Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ho Chi Minh Declaration dodges Mekong dams dispute: rivers group

Medilyn Manibo in Eco-Business: Non-profit group International Rivers expressed disappointment over the unresolved dispute concerning the proposed dams on the Mekong River at the second Mekong River Commission (MRC) Summit held recently in Vietnam.

International Rivers, which works with an international network of organisa
tions that aim to protect rivers and local communities against unsustainable management, said that the actions and statements of government leaders in the region did not clearly denounce the current rush of dams being built along the mainstream portion of the lower Mekong river.

Ame Trandem, the environmental group’s Southeast Asia programme director, explained how the on-going construction of dams pursued by the Lao government poses a threat to local communities and their livelihood.

Government leaders from Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Thailand and Vietnam presented the Ho Chi Minh Declaration as the outcome of the summit, which concluded on April 5. The declaration set new priorities for the MRC, an intergovernmental body that facilitates regional cooperation agreements between the four member countries.

The actions proposed in this document include expediting the implementation of MRC’s basin-wide studies to reduce negative impacts of development projects in the river, including hydropower, as well as prioritising initiatives on battling the effects of natural disasters and the impact of climate change and rising sea level on the river basin...

Khon Phapheng Falls on the Mekong River in Laos, shot by Rup11, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported2.5 Generic2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license

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