For nearly 20 years, activists have called against the development of hydro-dams and water projects along the Mekong River. But now, the campaign is taking the next step with plans to focus on taking action at the policy level.
It took 2 decades, but activists have now launched the “Mekong People’s Forum.” 200 people attended the forum including local villagers, conservationists, journalists, and representatives from the US and Australian embassies. The Chinese embassy, although invited, did not send anyone to attend the event. China is responsible for 11 dams on the river.
This is the first time the many conservation groups and activists have come together with a single forum to tackle the many challenges for the river. Several dams have now been built upstream in Laos and China causing massive problems for the natural flow of the river downstream through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Protests began around 20 years ago when the Chinese government started blasting rapids in the upper Mekong River from Yunnan to Myanmar and Laos to make way for commercial boats.
As China built more dams along the river, civil groups in 8 Thailand provinces along the river campaigned against the projects. Campaigns in local communities ended up going different directions, according to Niwat Roikaew who helped found the forum.
“The Mekong People’s Forum will hopefully make campaigns move in an united direction and also leverage bargaining power with the authorities.”
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.
Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.
Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.