On Thursday, October 29, 2015, stakeholders and experts on hydropower development and water resources in the Lower Mekong River Basin participated in a panel discussion entitled, “The New Mekong: Changes and Expectations.” Panelists included Mr. Trinh Le Nguyen (People and Nature Reconciliation), Mr. Nguyen Hong Toan (former Vietnam National Mekong Committee Secretary-General), Dr. Richard Cronin (The Stimson Center), Dr. Tran Viet Thai (Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies), and Mr. Jake Brunner (IUCN). A few key themes and topics were reiterated throughout the discussion:
The Mekong River Commission (MRC), the only intergovernmental body mandated to sustainably manage and protect the Lower Mekong River, is on the brink of demise. While transboundary water governance has faced significant challenges in the region since the MRC was established in 1995, the Commission’s first real test came more recently with the start of the regional debate over plans to build a cascade of eleven mainstream dams on the Lower Mekong River. It was a test that the MRC has so far failed. The real question now, is will the MRC sink or swim? Just as the Mekong River ebbs and flows, can the MRC change the tide of decision-making to fit the urgent needs of a shared river basin where more than 60 million people are deeply dependent on the river functioning as it has for centuries: A key source of livelihoods, food security, and cultural identity?
On the occasion of the Mekong River Commission’s Regional Public Consultation on the Don Sahong Dam, on December 12, 2014, the Save the Mekong Coalition reiterates our call for the cancellation of the Don Sahong Dam and the protection of the Mekong River. The Don Sahong Dam poses an unacceptable risk to regional fisheries and food security, placing the future of the Mekong River and her people in jeopardy.
Residents of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta have raised objections to the Don Sahong hydropower dam that Laos plans to build on the Mekong River's main stream. The objections came in late November after the Hanoi-based Green Innovation and Development Center, the Center for Biodiversity and Development at Vietnam Rivers Network, and local authorities finished a nearly two-week survey in communes in Can Tho and the five provinces of Ca Mau, Soc Trang, An Giang, Kien Giang, Vinh Long.
Bangkok, Thailand - The Save the Mekong coalition (StM) supports the Network of Thai People in the Eight Provinces of the Mekong Basin (the Network) filing an injunction today in the Thai Administrative Court calling for a suspension of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the Xayaburi Dam, the first dam being built on the Lower Mekong River.