Save the Mekong Coalition Launch

On March 14th 2009 in Bangkok, a new coalition to save Southeast Asia’s Mekong River is launched at a special photography exhibition. The 14 March also marks the International Day of Action for Rivers.

The Save the Mekong coalition was formed in response to growing public concern about the effects big dams would have on the Mekong’s migratory fish stocks, regional food security, and the livelihoods of millions of people.

Save the Mekong

The coalition is open to non-government organizations, community groups, academics, artists and ordinary citizens within the Mekong region and internationally, anyone who shares concerns regarding the future of one of the world’s greatest river systems.

Save the Mekong aims to do two things: raise public awareness about the risks associated with damming such an important international river, and persuade policymakers to adopt more sustainable and peaceful ways of meeting people’s energy and water needs.

Over the coming months, Save the Mekong coalition partners in the Mekong region and internationally will launch a series of activities supporting the coalition’s message.

During March and April, Save the Mekong will be collecting signed postcards from people in the Mekong countries and around the world, urging the region’s political leaders to keep the Mekong flowing freely as a precious source of food, income and life for present and future generations.

People can also sign an online petition at http://tinyurl.com/Save-the-Mekong

More information on the coalition and plans to build hydropower dams on the Mekong is available in English, Burmese, Chinese, Khmer, Lao, Thai and Vietnamese on the coalition’s web site www.SavetheMekong.org.

PanNature also joins the Save the Mekong coalition and pledges to play an active role in promoting information and raising public awareness on issues related to the Mekong River in Vietnam.

The opening event of the Mekong photography exhibition “Siphandone – Mekong Fishing Under Threat” by one of Thailand’s leading photographers, Suthep Kritsanavarin, is entitled “Siphandone – Mekong Fishing Under Threat.”

This Mekong Giant Catfish was caught in the Khone Falls’ Hou Sahong channel, where the Don Sahong Dam would be built. Photo from Save the Mekong website.

This Mekong Giant Catfish was caught in the Khone Falls’ Hou Sahong channel, where the Don Sahong Dam would be built. Photo from Save the Mekong website.

The Siphandone area is located on the Mekong River in southern Laos, nearby to Thailand’s Ubon Ratchathani province and Cambodia’s Stung Treng province. It is just one area threatened by a series of eleven big hydropower dams proposed for the lower stretches of the mighty river, which is shared by China, Burma, Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam.

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