[2.12.09] Yesterday (1st December), on the final day of the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) call for public submissions to its Strategic Environmental Assessment on the Mekong mainstream dams, the Save the Mekong Coalition sent a letter to the Chairpersons of the National Mekong Committees (NMCs) of Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, urging for a strong and trusted consultative process at the national and local level on development options for the river, which guarantees the participation of all riparian communities who would be affected by the eleven dams proposed on the lower Mekong mainstream.
The letter, copied to the MRC Secretariat and its donors, presents to the NMC Chairpersons the 23,110 signature “Save the Mekong” postcard petition, gathered by civil society groups in the Mekong region and around the world since March 2009. The “Save the Mekong” postcard petition was sent to the Prime Ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam on 19th October 2009, requesting all the Prime Ministers, as well as the NMC Chairpersons and international donors, to listen to the voice of the Mekong People and keep the Mekong flowing freely of dams, while also considering more sustainable ways to meet the region’s electricity needs that avoid creating cross-border impacts and disputes.
“Mekong mainstream dams threaten serious social and environmental impacts, and to undermine regional food security, economy and existing efforts to alleviate poverty and meet Millennium Development Goals” the letter states.
Additionally, the letter to the NMCs emphasizes the absence of strong national and local level processes as a barrier to the MRC’s assessment, by stating that “the MRC Secretariat has failed to listen and respond to peoples’ requests and kept the assessment process on Mekong mainstream dams separate from the actual realities on the ground.”The Save the Mekong coalition is a network of non-government organizations, community groups, academics, journalists, artists, fishers, farmers and ordinary people from within the Mekong countries and internationally.
H.E. Mr Lim Kean Hor, Chairman of Cambodia National Mekong Committee
H.E. Ms Khempheng Pholsena, Chairperson of Lao National Mekong Committee
H.E. Mr Suwit Khunkitti, Chairman of Thai National Mekong Committee
H.E. Dr Pham Khoi Nguyen, Chairman of Viet Nam National Mekong Committee
For more information, please contact:
Premrudee Daoroung, Towards Ecological Recovery and Regional Alliance (TERRA)
Tel. +66 (0) 81-4342334; email: email@example.com ; http://www.terraper.org
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