The news from the 2nd Summit of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) held a few days ago in Ho Chi Minh City was disappointing. Although the Mekong leaders from Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos reaffirmed their commitment to the sustainable use of the Mekong River, they did not condemn what International River’s SE Asia Program Director, Ame Trandem, calls “the rush” of dam building along the Mekong. (International Rivers is a Berkeley, California-based organization committed to protecting the world’s rivers and the rights of communities that depend on them.)

In a statement released by the group, Trandem wrote, “Words without actions are meaningless; the Lao government must stop its free reign of Mekong mainstream dam building. We expect all construction on the Xayaburi and Don Sahong dams to end immediately and that no further decisions or actions be taken until the Mekong River Commission Council Study, Vietnam’s Delta Study, and transboundary impact assessments for each project have been completed and the results have been comprehensively reviewed.”

For more information see the blog, “Don Sahong Dam Will Be A Life Changer,” below. To read Trandem’s statement in full, go to the International Rivers website.