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Home > Main Library > Water, including dams > Water bodies (global. regional) > Human activities in, on and around Burma's water bodies > Threats to Burma's water bodies and their communities > The industrialisation of Burma's rivers

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The industrialisation of Burma's rivers

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Arakan Rivers Network (ARN)
Description/subject: Background of Arakan Rivers Network (ARN): "The Arakan Rivers Network (ARN) was founded in July 2009 by the All Arakan Students' and Youths' Congress (AASYC) as an emergency response to the challenging calls to sustain the use of water resources vital for the livelihoods of waterside dwellers. Spurred by profit motive alone, transnational corporations have been vigorously seeking to exploit our natural resources. This is done with the backing of Burma's notorious dictators who in turn enjoy the opportunity to expand their military and entrench their power with the revenue generated from foreign investments. Thus, the potential implications of such projects are manifold, affecting important social, cultural, and economic aspects of local people"curseâ€� for the Burmese people. The ARN"developmentâ€�. ARN is open to the participation of all Arakanese people, regardless of their sex, colour, religion, or political affiliation; it is dedicated to the common good of humanity."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Arakan Rivers Network (ARN)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 29 November 2009

Title: Burma Rivers Network (BRN)
Description/subject: Salween, Irrawaddy, Chindwin, Mekong, Sittaung, Kaladan, Estuaries including "Burma Dams map"... * Home * News o News Archives * Rivers o Irrawaddy o Salween o Chindwin o Mekong o Sittaung o Kaladan o Estuaries * Burma Energy o Hydropower o Oil and Gas o Bio-fuel * Dam Projects o Salween Dams + Upper Thanlwin + Tasang + Weigyi + Dagwin + Hatgyi + Downstream Impacts o Irrawaddy/N'Mai/Mali o Yeywa Dam o Paunglaung Dams o Shweli Dams o Tamanthi Dam o Dapein Dam o Kengtawng Dam o Lawpita Hydropower o Mekong Development * Concerns o Transparency o Social Impacts of Dams o Environmental Impacts of Dams o Dam Safety o Militarization o Mining o Mangrove Loss * Investors o Chinese o Thai o Burmese o Others * Resources o About Dams o Hydropower Guidelines o Burma's River Law o China's Dam Industry o BRN Publications * Actions o Press Releases o International Campaigns o Local Action o Tools * Photos o Salween River o Mekong River o Shweli River o Irrawaddy River o Paunglaung River o Downstream Impacts * Videos "Large dams are being constructed on all of Burma's major rivers and tributaries by Chinese, Thai and Indian companies. The dams are causing displacement, militarization, human rights abuses, and irreversible environmental damage, threatening the livelihoods and food security of millions. The power and revenues generated are going to the military regime and neighbouring countries. There is complete military control of energy development in Burma and no processes that allow for information disclosure, public participation or implementation of proper standards for dam-building. Neighbouring countries benefit from this situation by gaining electricity without bearing the social and environmental costs. To ensure transparency and accountability, the recognition of rights, and social justice in energy development projects, a democratically-elected government is needed in Burma. All investments in large dam projects in Burma must be stopped until that time, when sustainable energy policies can be developed. The Burma Rivers Network invites you to join us to protect the health and biodiversity of river ecosystems, and to protect the rights of communities negatively impacted by large-scale river development. Please contact us at burmariversnetwork@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit this website for updates on current campaigns."
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Burma Rivers Network (BRN)
Format/size: html, pdf, Adobe Flash
Date of entry/update: 30 January 2009

Individual Documents

Title: One cannot step into the same river twice: making the Kaladan Project people-centred
Date of publication: 11 June 2013
Description/subject: "The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (hereafter “Kaladan Project”) will see the construction of a combined inland waterway and highway transportation system connecting Mizoram State in Northeast India with a Bay of Bengal deepsea port at Sitetway, Arakan State in Western Burma. The Indian government is entirely financing the Kaladan Project, and these funds are officially classified as development aid to Burma. Once completed, the infrastructure will belong to the Burma government, but the project is unquestionably designed to achieve India’s economic and geostrategic interests. The Kaladan Project - conceived in 2003, formalized in 2008 and slated for completion in 2015 - is a cornerstone of India’s “Look East Policy” aimed at expanding Indian economic and political influence in Southeast and East Asia. The Kaladan Project is being developed in Arakan and Chin States - Burma’s least-developed and most poverty-prone states - where improved infrastructure is badly needed. Yet it remains an open question whether the Kaladan Project will be implemented in a way that ensures the people living along the project route are the main beneficiaries of this large-scale infrastructure development. This report from the Kaladan Movement provides an update on the progress of the Kaladan Project; assesses the potential Project-related benefi ts and negative impacts for people living in the project area; provides an overview of the current on-the-ground impacts, focusing on the hopes and concerns of the local people; and makes a series of recommendations to the Burma and India governments......."Part 1: Introduction to the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project; 1.1 Specifications of the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project; 1.2 Context of the Kaladan Project: India-Burma relations; 1.3 Economies of Mizoram, Arakan, and Chin States; 1.4 The natural environment in the Kaladan Project area... Part 2: Potential Impacts of the Kaladan Project: 2.1 Potential beneficial impacts of the Kaladan Project; 2.2 Potential negative impacts of the Kaladan project... Part 3: Current Impacts of the Kaladan Project: 3.1 Lack of consultation; 3.2 Lack of information provided to the community and lack of government transparency; 3.3 Lack of comprehensive and public Environmental, Health and Social Impact Assessments; 3.4 Labour discrimination; 3.5 Land confi scation and forced eviction; 3.6 Destruction of local cultural heritage; 3.7 Riverine ecological destruction from aggregate mining and dredging..... https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/102872850/KM_Report_Eng.pdf
Language: English (main text); Burmese (press release)
Source/publisher: Kaladan Movement
Format/size: pdf (4.8MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs15/Kaladan_Movement-PR-2013-06-11-en.pdf (Press Release - English)
Date of entry/update: 12 June 2013

Title: Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project
Date of publication: November 2009
Description/subject: A preliminary report from the Arakan Rivers Network (ARN)...1. Executive Summary: "On April 2nd 2008 the Indian government signed an agreement with the Burmese military junta for the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project. The project will connect the landlocked area of Northeast India with the sea via Western Burma (Myanmar) and open up trade routes to Southeast Asia. Engineering plans show that widespread damage will be done to the coast of Arakan State, Western Burma, which is a key area for mangrove forests, shrimp farms and fishing.2 Similar damage will be done to the Kaladan River and surrounding paddy fields, cutting off much needed supplies of food, on which over a million local civilians depend. Furthermore, the proposed highway is to be built straight through the mountainous forests of Chin State, which are home to many endangered species. On top of this, large-scale militarisation has already been reported in the project area, which has led to forced labour on military infrastructure, forced relocation, extortion, physical and sexual abuse and an exodus of thousands of Arakanese families into India. There seems to have been no effort made by the junta or the Indian companies involved to protect the wellbeing of local civilians who already live in extreme poverty and have been given no choice about the project."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Arakan Rivers Network (ARN)
Format/size: pdf (960K-OBL version; 5.14MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.arakanrivers.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/Preliminary-Report-of-Kaladan-Multi-Mulda-Tr...
Date of entry/update: 12 December 2009

Title: "Undercurrents" - Monitoring Development on Burma's Mekong - Issue 3
Date of publication: April 2009
Description/subject: this issue focuses on how the expanding influence of Chinese interests in the Golden Triangle region, from rubber plantations to wildlife trading, is bringing rapid destructive changes to local communities. There are also articles on opium cultivation, mining operations, the mainstream Mekong dams in China, and unprecedented flooding downstream..... Mekong Biodiversity Up for Sale: A new hub of wildlife trade and a network of direct buyers from China is hastening the pace of species loss... Rubber Mania: Scrambling to supply China, can ordinary farmers benefit?... Drug Country: Another opium season in eastern Shan State sees increased cultivation, mulitple cropping and a new form of an old drug... Construction Steams Ahead: A photo essay from the Nouzhadu Dam, one of the eight planned on the mainstream Mekong in China... Digging for Riches: An update on mining operations in eastern Shan State... Washed Out: Unprecedented flooding wreaks havoc in the Golden Triangle.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Lahu National Development Organization (LNDO)
Format/size: pdf (3.6MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs07/undercurrentsissue3.pdf
Date of entry/update: 11 April 2009

Title: Khoe Kay: Biodiversity in Peril
Date of publication: July 2008
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "A team of Karen researchers from the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network has undertaken this study to begin documentation of the rich biodiversity of Khoe Kay, a bend in the Salween River that is part of their homeland. They also want to document and expose the severe threats faced by this stretch of the Salween, both from large dams and ongoing militarization. Using methods of their own culture, as well as those used in university research, they have found that Khoe Kay is studded with both plant and animal diversity, with 194 plant species and 200 animals identified. Forty-two of these species are considered endangered, being found in IUCN's Redlist, the CITES Appendices, or both. Thus, conservation of the area will protect many globally important resources. Endemic and unknown species are also represented, with eight endemic fish species of particular interest. Also, many of the plants and animals unknown to Western science are used by the Karen for food and medicine, providing opportunities for further research. Furthermore, several entire taxa, such as mollusks, spiders and fungi, have been treated very lightly if at all in this report, so the reader is encouraged to undertake further study with assistance from KESAN. Lying on the riverine border of Thailand and Burma, the area is relatively untrammeled. Teak trees dominate, and therefore Khoe Kay provides a window into the biodiversity of the entire region prior to industrial development. Threats from proposed large dams and militarization may seriously degrade Khoe Kay. With dams, the main concerns are greenhouse gas emissions, loss of fisheries, cumulative effects of several cascading dams, and flow changes and sedimentation. Militarization of the area is also increasing, having already resulted in the loss of one severely endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Karen Environmental and Social Action Network
Format/size: pdf (5.9MB - original; 4.7MB - burmalibrary version)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs6/2008_009_24_khoekay-b.pdf
Date of entry/update: 07 February 2009

Date of publication: 05 September 2003
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:- "In March 2002, Chinese demolition crews began blasting rapids and reefs along Burma’s Mekong river as part of the ADB-promoted Mekong Navigation Improvement Project, aimed to allow larger ships to travel the river throughout the year. There was no consultation with the over 22,000 Shan, Akha and Lahu peoples living along and relying on the Burmese section of the river. Suspended during the rainy season, full-scale blasting resumed between December 2002 and April 2003. During this time, Burma’s military regime, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), mobilized over 1,000 troops along the river, who imposed restrictions on the movement of villagers, forcibly conscripted porters, committed sexual violence and extorted funds from local communities. The SPDC also set up new military outposts to expand their control along the Mekong. Development of the Mekong has thus precipitated further SPDC militarization in eastern Shan State, and further oppression of local communities. It also fits into a development agenda of the Burmese military regime which is benefiting only a small elite, and contributing to environmental degradation and the impoverishment of the majority of the population. The number of SPDC troops in the area has more than tripled over the past decade, despite the supposed pacification of the area resulting from ceasefire agreements with most of the ethnic resistance groups since 1989. The ceasefire agreements, together with the opening up of Burma’s economy since 1988, have led to a process of inequitable and unsustainable development in Shan State, whereby the regime, ceasefire leaders and other business elites have profited from unbridled exploitation of the area’s natural resources, with disastrous effects on the environment. It is estimated that eastern Shan State has lost 50% of its forest cover since 1988. Wildlife and forest products are also diminishing rapidly. The military and business elites continue to profit from the drug trade, while the hill communities growing the opium remain in poverty, and the rate of drug addiction amongst local villagers, particularly along the Mekong River, one of the main drug trafficking routes, is soaring. Luxurious casinos for tourists have been built amidst areas of extreme poverty. In the absence of democracy in Burma, increased trade and tourism resulting from the Mekong Navigation Improvement Project will only further accelerate this harmful pattern of development in Eastern Shan State. The LNDO urges the governments of China, Laos and Thailand to immediately suspend the Mekong Navigation Improvement Project until proper environmental and social impact assessments are carried out with participation of affected communities. A prerequisite for this must be the restoration of genuine peace and democracy in Burma. LNDO therefore urges foreign governments and international funding agencies to withhold support for all development projects inside Burma’s Shan State until a democratic system of government is installed which allows local people genuine participation in decision-making about the development of their area..." CONTENTS:- 1. Introduction... 2. Executive Summary... 3. The Upper Mekong Navigation Improvement Project: - Background of the project; - Environmental concerns; - Burma’s role in the project... 4. Implementation of the project - December 2002 to April 2003: - Lack of consultation with local communities about the blasting; - Restrictions on villagers’ movements and resulting loss of livelihood; - SPDC military operation along the Mekong riverbank during the period of blasting; - Human rights abuses during the military operation - Compulsory gambling fairs... 5. Political context of the project: - A pattern of increased militarization in Eastern Shan State; - Expansion of SPDC control along the Mekong; - Forced withdrawal and disarming of militia groups along the Mekong riverbank (December 02); - “Cracking down” on the Wa (January - March 03)... 6. Reinforcing inequitable and unsustainable development processes: - Trade and infrastructure in the hands of military and business elites; - Unregulated natural resource exploitation; - Timber; - Wildlife and forest products; - Minerals; - Lack of sincere and sustainable drug-eradication programs; - Promotion of casino tourism; - Conclusion and Recommendations... Appendices: 1. List of villagers in eastern Shan State along the Mekong River; 2. Map of Tachilek township; 3. Map of Mong Yawng township. (these last two accessible only by clicking the hyperlink, not by scrolling down. For print-out, to keep maps on a single page, use the Shanland URL and print out the sections separately)
Language: English
Source/publisher: The Lahu National Development Organisation
Format/size: html (153K)
Date of entry/update: 07 September 2003