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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 > Dams and other projects on specific rivers of Burma/Myanmar > Dams and other projects on the Mekong and its tributories

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Dams and other projects on the Mekong and its tributories

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Burma Rivers Network (Mekong)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Burma Rivers Network
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 18 October 2016

Individual Documents

Date of publication: 20 September 2014
Description/subject: "THE CHAIN-REACTION IMPACTS FROM THE DAMS: With the passing of time, the cumulative and irreversible chain-reaction impacts coming from the occluding rivers as well as the 26 mainstream dams (14 dams in the Mekong Cascades in Yunnan and 12 in the Lower Mekong) on the more than 4,800 kilometer-long Mekong include: 1/ Changes in the natural state of the river prevent its current from maintaining its seasonal “flood pulse” which is of vital importance to the Tonle Sap Lake, the heart that regulates the eco-system of the Mekong River and the Mekong Delta. 2/ Changes in the current’s flow will result in a reduction in the wetland areas and destruction of the vital habitat required by the fish species of the Mekong that in turn will adversely affect the fish source and food security. 3/ The altered current threatens the diversity of the fish population including flagship species that serve as a gauge of the wellbeing of the Mekong’s ecosystem like the Irrawaddy Dolphins and Pla Beuks that are facing the risk of extinction. 2 4/ The forests along with the wetlands of the Lower Mekong are classified as key biodiversity zones therefore protected by the Ramsar Convention. The dams will cause the wetlands to be submerged and impact the fauna and flora of the entire basin. 5/ Agricultural production will be adversely affected on account of the submerged lands. In addition, alluvia retained in the dam reservoirs upstream will deprive the fields along the riverbanks especially those in Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Basin and Vietnam’s Mekong Delta of their essential nutrients like phosphate and nitrogen. 6/ Reduction in the quantity of alluvia leads to imbalances in the current flow and cave-ins of riverbanks. Meanwhile the Cape Cà Mau is being continuously eroded and its seacoasts receding inland. The reservoirs bring about a weaker current flow and climate change results in a rise in the seawater level: the end result is an ever worsening and encroaching salinization in the basin. No rice species or orchards can survive in fields covered by sea salt.
Author/creator: NGÔ THẾ VINH
Language: English
Source/publisher: Nguoi Viet
Format/size: pdf (277K)
Date of entry/update: 18 October 2016

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: "Undercurrents" -- Monitoring development on Burma's Mekong - issue 2
Date of publication: July 2006
Description/subject: Articles on mining (including gold, manganese, coal), logging, opium, rape... Unhindered Prospects - Remote areas of Shan State a convenient place to mine for neighboring countries... Bigger, not Better - Despite its expansion, the Burma Army rests on shaky foundations... Deadly Changes - Unpredictable water surges and unprecedented low water levels on the Mekong have human costs... An Order is an Order - The junta's zeal for castor oil causes hardship for villagers... The En people... Still no signs of outlawing license to rape - Burma Army expansion impacts women... Gun-toting monks - Militarization leaves nothing sacred in Burma... Even the Last Tree - Unrestricted logging leaves the hills of eastern Shan State bare... What Opium Ban? - Despite UN claims of reductions, poppy cultivation and trade continue in territories under the control of ceasefire groups and the SPDC... Anything for Gold - Desperate gold mining continues even after deadly accident... Chameleon Moves his Capital - Leader of NDAA survives political shake-up and continues to develop his new center of action.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Lahu National Development Organization (LNDO)
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB-reduced version; 1.25MB-original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.burmalibrary.org/docs21/LNDO-2006-Undercurrent_Issue-2_Monitoring_Development_on_Burma-M...
Date of entry/update: 05 July 2006

Title: "Undercurrents" -- Monitoring development on Burma's Mekong [Issue No. 1]
Date of publication: January 2005
Description/subject: Contents: Letter from LNDO; Blasting the Mekong - The navigation scheme is making trade easier - but for whom? Sold down the river - one Lahu girl's story; Lord of Burma's Mekong - A profile of the shadowy drug kingpin who controls the eastern reaches of Shan State; Sop Lwe – the next Mong La? Drug lord Lin Ming Xian stakes Sop Lwe as his next casino resort - with uncertain consequences for the local population; Road Construction in Shan State: A Lucrative Way to Turn Illegal Drug Profits into Legal Revenues; Eastern Shan State Erupts Again - Movements by the SSA-S prompt increased persecution of civilians by the regime; New bridge planned across the Mekong - Big changes come to Keng Larb as a new bridge linking Burma and Laos is considered; No Place Left for the Spirits of the Yellow Leaves - Intensive logging leaves few options for the Mabri people; Living in a War Zone; 20 Lack of Education – Is Development Really Coming?
Language: English
Source/publisher: Lahu National Development Organization (LNDO)
Format/size: pdf (2.52MB)
Date of entry/update: 17 December 2004

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