Women fishers in Kratie Province, Cambodia are concerned about plans for the Don Sahong Dam upstream in Laos. They worry that the river’s fisheries and the endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin will be affected. Working with civil society groups, they have raised their voice through a campaign that has involved both protest and radio shows.
Inside Lao PDR, the Mekong hydropower projects are presently being built in an atmosphere of fear where local communities cannot express critical opinions, ask questions or request information. This article explores why this repressive atmosphere means we will never really know what these affected local communities think or feel about the many dams being built for so-called “development” and “rural benefit”.
Lao PDR is aiming high by promoting casinos mainly with Chinese investors. But these monumental structures are endangering local livelihoods, dispossessing farmers of land and inviting armed crime into previously quiet rural areas. Melinda Boh explores these dubious investments taken in the name of rural development and reducing poverty.
Bangkok’s ever-expanding electricity demand is contributing to environmental and social injustices through the generation of electricity far away from the city. This includes in the Mekong River basin, particularly through the expansion of hydropower dams in Laos.
The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), to be launched in 2015, aims to create a single market and production base. Dorothy Guerrero examines whether this advances socio-economic development in the ASEAN region, or results in damage to people’s general well-being, human rights and environmental security.