A euphemistically named agreement for
the "sustainable development of the Mekong river
basin" has generated a storm
of controversy. The rum-
blings were heard almost as
soon as the accord was
signed between the so-called
Lower Mekong countries -
Thailand, Laos, Cambodia
and Vietnam - in the Ist
week of April at Chiang Rai
in northern Thailand.
Non- governmental organisations (NGOS), holding a parallel meeting at Chiang Rai, immediately sought a review. Phisit Na Phatthalung, secretary general of the World -Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) insisted that the pact should be aimed at sustaining the Mekong rather than exploiting it for Gulf of Thailand development - under what he called the "hidden agendas" of funding agencies like the Asian Development Bank. A key concern is the Joss of the veto powers of the downstream Indochina states regarding diversions of water from the mainstream and its tributaries.
Vietnamese environmentalists too, are apprehensive that the dam will reduce the flow of fresh water into the estuary in Vietnam very quickly... "We will lose everything, including the sustainable economic development that supports the livelihood of the poor people in the Mekong Delta," maintains Le Dien Duc, an expert on wetlands at Hanoi University's Centre for Natural Resources Management and Environmental Studies.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.