Xayaburi Dam: Delivery of protest signatures to the embassies of Laos in Berlin and Paris
On monday, April 18, 2011, Rainforest Rescue handed over 15.000 signings against the construction of the Xayaburi-Dam to the representatives of the laotian and thai embassies in Berlin and Paris. With this campaign we are showing solidarity with the struggle of the local activists of the Mekong River. We are calling the embassador to advocate the stop of the project in favor of the environment and the people living on the Mekong-River.
Located in northern Laos, the proposed 1,260 megawatt Xayaburi Dam is the most advanced of a planned eleven-dam cascade for the Mekong River’s lower mainstream.
Until now existing four dams located in the head waters of the Mekong River in China. The impacts on the water supply caused by them are mostly felt by riverside communities of the neighbouring countries. Local environment organisations are concerned, that the Xayaburi Dam will be worsen the situation of the river’s ecology system and therewith the sustentation of the people. Moreover uncertainty is caused by the government of Laos, who is not willing to publish the environmental studies over the estimated impacts of the Xayaburi Dam.
If built, the Xayaburi Dam threatens to cause unprecedented damage to the river’s ecology and fisheries by blocking the migratory route of at least 23 fish species and threatening the extinction of 41 more fish species, including the critically endangered Mekong Giant Catfish. This in turn will have devastating impacts to the livelihoods and food security of millions of people living along the river who depend on its natural resources.
The Mekong River is host to the world’s largest freshwater fishery, which is central to the food security and livelihoods of millions of people throughout the region. With more than 1,000 species, the Mekong River is also a treasure trove of biodiversity and the second most biodiverse river system in the world.
Furthermore we are calling the government of Laos to publish the environmental studies over the estimated impacts of the Xayaburi Dam and to finally stop the project.
On April 19, 2011, after the meeting of the government representatives from Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia the decision-making process on the Xayaburi Dam was deferred and elevated on the Ministerial level. While Laos oposed a delay of the process, the other lower Mekong Basin countries agreed to delegate the decision on a higher administrative section. The main cause for this decision were the national and international protests toward the construction and the insufficient informations of the upcoming ecological impacts of the Xayaburi Dam. The April 19 decision brings a much needed, if temporary, reprieve to the mighty Mekong River.