Killing the Mekong - Asia

Rich in extraordinary biodiversity, the Mekong River is the Amazon of South East Asia. But the construction of multiple dams threatens to have devastating effects on this energy and development-hungry region.

"Mekong River gives everything. Mekong river is mother," says one local. The river's cultural, environmental and economic significance is unmeasurable. But despite the threat of earthquakes, extinction of species and food shortages, the dream of hydropower - and the money it brings - is driving governments to turn its torrents into peaceful reservoirs. European consultant Poyry, who are working on the Xayaburi dam, have been accused by environmentalists of giving the Laotian government, "badly misleading advice". Meanwhile, fisheries expert Ian Baird points out, "the very people that regional governments and international organizations are spending a lot of time trying to alleviate from poverty are the ones who are going to be impacted".

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