Villages and academic collaboration gathers crucial data on Mekong River dam projects’ impact

In a collective stance against two prospective dam projects along the Mekong River, villagers from five communities, researchers, as well as a Thai university, have teamed up. The collaboration aims to gather comprehensive data regarding their local economy, natural resources, and potential downstream impacts. The participation from within the communities stretches to Ubon Ratchathani province, located in northeast Thailand. The data gathering has been ongoing since January.

Montri Chantawong, the founder of The Mekong Butterfly Freedom Group and a researcher, highlighted that this collaborative data gathering is an important step in preparing the villagers for the inevitable impacts of dam construction projects. Over the past nine months, 12 new dams have emerged upstream in China and an additional two in Laos. These structures have already had a profound effect on the natural environment and the villagers’ way of life.

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Nattapong Westwood