Water governance – the legitimizing discourse for exploitation

The so-called ‘water governance’ for the Mekong states is when the Mekong River defined as the economic zone –where is meant to be exploited at the national levels. But what is the face of a good water governance should be like?

By Hoang Duong

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Thai Mekong Communities Oppose Laos Dam

By Tanasak Phosrikun

Loei Province, Thailand – ‘Chiang Khan’ is a Mekong riparian district located in Loei province, Northeastern Thailand. Chiang Khan is a new tourist hotspot, attracting a lot of tourists to visit every year, specifically in the winter time due to its beautiful, naturalistic atmosphere.

For the past year, the Chiang Khan communities are deeply concerned that the Laos’s Don Sahong dam, if built, will do harm to the Mekong river as well as their livelihoods.

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Dam EIAs enable “river grabbing”

The Mekong Commons re-worked and re-published the  iMekong’s article ‘DO EIAS ALLOW ‘RIVER GRABBING’?’; read the improved version at: Dam EIAs enable “river grabbing”

Water and river grabbing refers to situations where powerful actors such as developers and governments are able to take control of, or reallocate to their own benefits – including decision-making power – the use of rivers and water resources. This grabbing of water resources and river systems often comes at the expense of the local people who depend for their lives, cultures and livelihoods on these natural ecosystems.

Globally, the construction of hydropower dams has forced some 40-80 million people to leave their lands in the past six decades, according to the World Commission on Dams 2. Many communities around the world are still fighting against old dams and proposals for building new ones. One such struggle is continuing in a village called ‘Mae Khanil-Tai’ against the Mae Khan Dam project in the northern Thailand province of Chiang Mai

Read the full story at the Mekong Commons here.

Do EIAs Allow ‘River Grabbing’?

By Paw Siriluk Sriprasit

Chiang Mai – Though hydropower is considered a form of clean energy, the construction and operation of hydropower dams can drastically destroy rivers, and alter people’s way of life forever. Therefore, assessment of the environmental impacts of specific hydropower projects is crucial to avoid what can be called ‘river grabbing’.

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