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Laos damages Mekong river with more dams / 上游國家競建壩 湄公河生態陷危機          

Good Morning Taiwan
2016-08-18
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The Mekong river is the longest river in Southeast Asia, rising in southeastern Qinghai province, China, also known as the Lancang River. It flows through 6 different countries, China's Yunnan province, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. China has built six dams on its stretch of the Mekong since the mid-1990s, which posed great threat for the downstream residents as well as the wildlife species. Now Lao government is forging ahead with more dam-building spree, meaning the future of this mighty waterway is in grave danger.

These adorable-looking dolphins can be found along the Mekong River and they are called Irrawaddy Dolphins. In Cambodia, they inhabit a large stretch of the Mekong river and the majority of this dolphin territory is in the section of river that runs through the town of Kratie in east-central Cambodia. However, the Lao government's plan to build multiple dams is putting these animals at risk. The majestic Mekong River stretches some 4,800 km from the Tibetan plateau to the South China Sea, carving through China's Yunnan province, then Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The Mekong flows out of China from southern Yunnan, where it is known locally as the Lancang River. In mid-1990s, China's construction of dams and a navigation channel along the upper reaches of the Mekong threatened the complex ecosystem. Take Chiang Khong as an example, it is in the far north of Thailand, where the Mekong forms the country's border with Lao. More than a decade ago, a Chiang Khong fisherman's day's catch was ten or more kilograms. Now, it's one or two kilograms or often nothing. The river once supported one of the world's most diverse fisheries, now some species of fish have gone altogether, and fishing as a main livelihood has almost disappeared. There are currently two massive dams under construction, the Laos government is proposing a total of 9 hydropower dams along the river. These projects have not only angered Cambodia and environmental groups in Thailand, but it also triggered a rare rebuke by Laos's biggest ally, Vietnam.

==NIWAT ROYKAEW Founder of Chiang Khong Conservation Group,==
Dam is very dangerous for the river. It's very dangerous because dam changes everything. Change ecology, change level of the river water, change way of the water. So I think have problem. Big problem.

Over 60 million people depend on the Mekong and its tributaries for food, water, transport and many other aspects of their daily lives. However, the construction of the dams are destroying many communities downstream, affecting local fishing and farming.

==KAMPAI BUNMEE Laotian-Thai villager==
I'm really worried, the river bank accounts for 20% of the farmland, and all of these could be inundated.

==PIANPORN DEETES Rivers International Campaigner==
What we are really looking for now is the mechanism to regulate and to manage all of the river as a river, not as each section owned by different companies.

The construction of the dams is an ominous sign for the river's 60 million downstream residents and some of the world's most endangered wildlife species. The future of this mighty waterway is in grave danger.

TRANSLATED BY:STELLA TU


伊河豚在湄公河上跳躍翻滾,這個柬埔寨桔井小鎮的天然奇景,總是吸引觀光客慕名而來,然而鄰近寮國即將開發的水壩工程,正使瀕危的淡水海豚飽受威脅。

有東方多瑙河美譽的湄公河,cg in 流經中國,緬甸,寮國,泰國,柬埔寨和越南六國,cg out 是亞洲第七大河流,在中國雲南境內叫做瀾滄江,1990年代中期,中國在瀾滄江攔水興建六座大壩,對下游造成嚴重衝擊,泰北清萊和寮國以湄公河為界的清孔縣,十多年前漁夫每天還能自湄公河打撈十多公斤的漁獲,現在頂多一兩公斤,有時甚至什麼也抓不到,部份魚類品種已經消失。今年春天聖嬰現象作祟,越南等地鬧乾旱,湄公河也無法發揮紓解功能,這些都是中國建水壩的後遺症。

如今和中國交好的寮國, 決定向老大哥看齊,正在湄公河興建兩座大壩,其中距離柬埔寨不到兩公里的棟沙宏大壩,已經築起防水堰,未來寮國總計將興建九座水壩,作為水力發電,下游的柬埔寨和越南都已提出抗議,泰國清孔縣的環保團體,也跳出來反對

==清孔環保團體創辦人 羅卡尤==
水壩對河川非常危險
因為水壩改變了一切
改變生態 改變水位
改變了水文
所以我認為問題很大 十分嚴重

總長4800公里的湄公河,維繫著沿岸6千萬人口的生存命脈,它原本擁有世界上最豐富的內陸漁源,孕育著湄公河三角洲,有稻米之碗稱號的糧倉,然而水壩不斷興建,就有越來越多農地萬劫不復,永沉水底

==寮裔泰國居民 班密==
我很擔心
河岸佔了農地的兩成
這些都可能會沉入水底

==國際護河運動人士 狄蝶絲==
我們現在關注的是規範管理整條河川的機制
而非由個別公司管理的河段

湄公河大壩的開發,影響的不只是海豚的存亡,或河流的保育,更攸關人民的福祉,個別國家為拼經濟犧牲水資源,作為大地之母的湄公河,恐怕也要哭泣。

記者 曾惠敏 報導