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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 10/15/2014, 00.00


    Bangkok, activists and citizens file suit to stop Xayaburi dam

    The inhabitants of the eight provinces file injunction suit with Administrative judge. They aim to stop construction of the controversial mega-plant, to be built in Laotian territory. For the Court, the people "have the right" to defend the environment and their livelihoods, which must be "balanced" with economic development.

    Bangkok (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The residents of the eight provinces of Thailand bordering the Mekong River have filed for a court to stop construction of the Xayaburi dam in the lower part of the reservoir. The members of the Network of Thai People have asked the Administrative Court to suspend a power-purchase agreement (PPA) signed by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand to buy 95% of the electricity to be generated by the hydroelectric dam that has stoked environmental and economic concern from Vietnam and Cambodia.

    On 24 June, the judges allowed an appeal by the inhabitants of 37 villages, which call on the Egat to respect the rights of citizens and the Constitution of 1997. This includes transparent public hearings, as well as health and environmental impact assessments before signing power purchase deals.

    Welcoming the proceedings, the Administrative Court emphasized that the people "have every right" to defend their environment and way of life, which must be "balanced" with a healthy economic development. The court also cited the 1995 Mekong Agreement which requires the public to be notified about projects affecting the current in the Mekong River before they can proceed.

    Rattanamanee Polkla, a lawyer and member of the Save the Mekong coalition, made ​​up of activists, citizens and experts, recalls the great "risks" associated with the system and hopes construction will be halted pending "until the final decision of the judges". Moreover, the coalition claimed Egat has "grossly overestimated" the amount of electricity Thailand needs, and "has not studied potentially cheaper or greener electricity generating options."

    The US$ 3.5 billion, 1.26-megawatt hydropower project is in its early phase with less than 10 per cent complete. Although located in a remote area in northern Laos, the dam has already displaced more than 2,100 villagers.  Vietnam, Cambodia and the Mekong River Commission (MRC) have called for a ten-year moratorium without success. Meanwhile, there has been a 300,000 tonnes drop in fish catch. The Mekong River starts in the Tibetan plateau, flows through China's Yunnan province until it reaches Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. About 65 million people live along the river, relying on fish farms and the natural fishery, which is worth an estimated US$ 3 billion. Considered the second most important river in the world in terms of biodiversity, the 4,880-km long Mekong is threatened by a number of projects involving dams and hydroelectric power plants.


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    See also

    20/10/2010 LAOS – VIETNAM – CHINA
    Calls for a moratorium on Mekong dam building that destroy environment and people
    Laos and Cambodia are planning to build dams to generate electrical power for sale. China, which already has four big dams upstream, is accused of taking too much water. The river’s ecosystems and the lives of 65 million people are at risk. Vietnam and Thailand are not against a US role in the matter.

    06/09/2014 CHINA - MYANMAR - THAILAND
    Chinese dams on Thanlwin River threaten livelihood of Burmese villages
    The alarm raised by Chinese, Burmese and Thai scholars at seminar in Mon state. The dams already present in the upper part of the river, in Chinese territory, have altered the course of the river and caused an increase in salt water. Fishing at risk as well as the survival of entire villages.

    19/04/2011 ASIA
    Following Vietnam protests, Laotian govt puts off Xayaburi dam decision
    The four-nation (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand) Mekong River Commission met today. There is “still a difference in views” over the project, which Vietnam vehemently opposes. Environmentalists back a ten-year moratorium. Vientiane gives in and postpones decision.

    23/06/2010 CHINA – THAILAND – LAOS
    New Mekong bridges linking China to SE Asia get green light
    The roads of a new north-south corridor will bring goods and people from China to South-East Asia. Social problems will come with the new transportation routes.

    06/04/2010 THAILAND – CHINA – VIETNAM
    Mekong nations meet after 15 years
    The second summit of the Mekong River Commission, which includes Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, ended yesterday with a joint statement on a common action plan to develop the river. Delegates from Myanmar and China attend the meeting as ‘dialogue partners’. Beijing rejects accusations that its hydropower development is harming the river basin.

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