Agreement On Commercial Navigation On Lancang-Mekong River

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Posted by lapi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 08-04-2021

Three other dams will be built on the lower river in neighbouring Laos, including the Pak Beng dam, which is to be developed by a Chinese company via the Mekong River in Oudomxay, just 90 km from the Thai border. Another is the Luang Prabang Dam, proposed by Vietnamese and Thai developers, which is in the process of concluding the regional pre-consultation procedure of the Mekong River Commission. The rapid gas jet project is therefore part of a much larger plan for the Mekong River, which would transform the river from a vital turning point, which is competing only for the Amazon, into an industrial corridor where multinationals benefit at an incredible cost for the local livelihood and biodiversity of the waterway. The destruction of scattered rapids, depths and reefs can have widespread ecological consequences along the entire length of the Mekong River. Islands and rapids are sources of food and income for fishermen who depend on the river for a living. The explosion of the rapids would seriously endanger the income and food security of villagers living in the area. The Upper Mekong Navigation Improvement Project, funded by the Chinese government, is part of a grand plan that allows large ships to sail freely in the Mekong River between China and Laos. The first phase of the project would destroy 11 large rapids and 10 reefs along the Mekong River from the Sino-Burmese border to Ban Houayxai in Laos. To date, 20 of these rapids and reefs have already exploded, only one along the thai-lao-lao border. The second and third phases of construction would involve a new river pipeline.

The Mekong Rapid Burning Project has been on the government`s agenda for nearly 20 years. In 2000, China, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand signed the agreement on commercial shipping on the Lancang-Mekong River and launched studies to study the feasibility and impact of the project. The project aims to eliminate rapids from the mekong River by dredging and blasting and to allow year-round navigation of 500-ton cargo ships from Yunnan Province in southern China to the Thai border of Lao and further to Luang Prabang, Laos. Under the plan, the Mekong should be transformed into a canalized waterway for commercial shipping. The project has since been implemented in sections of the Mekong River in China, Myanmar and along the Lao border to the Thai border on the Golden Triangle. After sustained local campaigns, the project has taken on a number of twists and turns. In late 2017, Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai announced that China had decided to withdraw from its plan to explode the rapids and acknowledged that the project would harm communities along the river. But for Thai communities along the Mekong River and local organizations such as the Chiang Khong Conservation Group, the project has raised serious concerns about the threat to the river ecosystem, critical fish habitats and breeding sites, as well as local livelihoods and culture. The Mekong River of Chiang Rai has already experienced severe ecological devastation in recent years due to the construction of dams on the upper river in China. At least 11 dams have been completed on the Lancang or Upper Mekong, the Jinghong Dam — the nearest, blocked at the Thai border — is just 340 kilometres away.

The Thai cabinet`s decision this week is aimed at disrupting the ruthless rush to transform and exploit the meekong River`s rich resources. There is some hope that another future is still possible — which fully integrates the vital ecological, social and cultural values of the Mekong — and allows for peaceful cooperation between the neighbouring governments and those who share the Mekong River basin. “But it proves that we can do it with factual campaigns. Finally, this project is officially cancelled. But there are still big problems for the Mekong River, with more dams in the upper and lower basins.

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