Environment-threatening Mekong dam deferred


This National Geographic video is about the Mekong giant catfish.

Another National Geographic video says about itself:

Wild populations of the iconic Mekong giant catfish will be driven to extinction if hydropower dams planned for the Mekong River go ahead, says a report released by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) today.

Fortunately, respite for the Mekong giant catfish and other wildlife threatened by the World Bank-supported dam plans … It is to be hoped these plans will go to the scrapheap forever.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Mekong dam plans on hold

LAOS: The government announced yesterday that it would defer a decision on erecting the first dam on the lower Mekong River.

The decision came in the face of opposition from its closest ally Vietnam after reports of the project beginning.

Vietnam has urged at least a 10-year moratorium on all mainstream dams on the river.

A meeting of officials from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam in Vientiane decided that the issue would be sent for consideration at the ministerial level.

See also here.

May 2011: A series of successful restaurant raids by Vietnamese enforcement teams have been carried in Da Lat, the latest action in Vietnam’s ongoing effort to eradicate the illegal sale of wildlife within its borders: here.

October 2011: Burma’s President Thein Sein has announced that the controversial Myitsone Dam on the Irrawaddy River would be halted. In a groundbreaking move, he says he has made the landmark decision to ‘to respect the will of the people’: here.

A Mekong Giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas) was captured by fishermen in Champassak province in southern Laos last Wednesday and successfully released back into the Mekong river by Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Department officials: here.

March 2013. In the WWF report, “Seven Sins of Dam Building,” numerous dam projects under construction or planned are given a failing review by the conservation organization. Aside from the internationally controversial Belo Monte (Brazil) and Xayaburi (Laos) dams, European projects, such as in Austria and Turkey, are also on the list: here.

February 2014: The Laos government’s decision to forge ahead with the Don Sahong hydropower project in southern Laos, could be dire for the population of Mekong dolphins living in the Mekong River, warns a WWF report: here.

Joy as China shelves plans to dam ‘angry river’. Environmentalists celebrate as Beijing appears to abandon plans to build giant hydroelectric dams on 1,750-mile Nujiang: here.

6 thoughts on “Environment-threatening Mekong dam deferred

  1. Major cash boost for green scheme

    VIETNAM: Swiss officials contributed two million francs (£1.37m) to the country’s Renewable Energy Development Programme (REDP) at a ceremony in Hanoi on Tuesday.

    The REDP, which is expected to cost £193m, aims to increase the supply of electricity from renewable sources on a commercially sustainable basis in order to address rising demand and improve access in remote areas.

    World Bank Vietnam director Victoria Kwakwa said the programme would protect the environment, promote socio-economic development and reduce exhaust fumes.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/104525

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  2. Junta backs down after dam protests

    Myanmar: President Thein Sein called on Friday for work on a controversial Chinese-backed hydroelectic dam to be halted and the concerns of its critics settled in a startling turnaround welcomed by environmentalists.

    He said that the £2.3 billion Myitsone dam project in the northern state of Kachin should be suspended because “it is against the will of the people.”

    Mr Sein said work would be stopped for the duration of his term – at least until 2015 – despite ministers’ claims it would go ahead regardless of public opposition.

    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/110216

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