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ACTION ALERT: Save the Irrawaddy River Dolphins; Stop the Don Sahong Dam


January 22, 2015
Petition: Rainforest Rescue

The future of the Mekong River’s ecosystem, her people and the rare and endangered Irrawaddy river dolphins are in jeopardy, as plans are rapidly proceeding to build the Don Sahong Dam -- the second dam on the Lower Mekong mainstream. Rainforest Rescue is calling on Mekong Prime Ministers to stop the potentially disastrous project.

https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/mailalert/979/the-mekong-river-means-life-stop-the-don-sahong-dam#sr=rdr&md=newsletter&ct=html&cn=petition-979

The Mekong River Means Life:
Save the Irrawaddy Dolphins; Stop the Don Sahong Dam

Petition: Rainforest Rescue

(January 19, 2015) -- The future of the Mekong River’s ecosystem, her people and the rare and endangered Irrawaddy river dolphins are in jeopardy, as plans are rapidly proceeding to build the Don Sahong Dam -- the second dam on the Lower Mekong mainstream. Rainforest Rescue is calling on Mekong Prime Ministers to stop the potentially disastrous project.

Background
The Mekong River is the mother of all Southeast Asian rivers, providing life-sustaining resources to millions of people. The future of the Mekong and her people are in jeopardy, however. The government of Laos plans to build the Don Sahong Dam -- the second dam proposed for construction on the Lower Mekong mainstream -- on the main pathway in the Mekong that allows for year-round fish migration.

If built, the Don Sahong Dam will entirely block the Hou Sahong Channel, endangering fish migration throughout the region, with far-reaching consequences for food and livelihood security in Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

Lives in this area and throughout the Mekong are intricately entwined with the river that provides an identity and rich history, as well as a source of income and food security. T

he planned site of the Don Sahong Dam is a unique section of the Mekong River, home to one of the last remaining populations of critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins as well as the iconic Khone Phapheng waterfalls, and near an internationally protected Ramsar wetland site in downstream Cambodia.

All four governments of the Mekong region are expected to meet in January, at the end of a six-month regional consultation process, to decide the future of the Don Sahong Dam.

Now is the time for us to make our voices heard and call on Mekong leaders to stop gambling with the lives of their people and future of the vital resources the river supports.

Please call on the governments of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam to cancel the Don Sahong Dam and seek more sustainable energy options to protect the future of the Mekong River’s fish and her people.

A Petition from Rainforest Rescue
To: the Prime Ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand


H.E. Samdech Akkak Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen,
The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia

H.E Thongsing Thammavong,
The Prime Minister of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic

H.E Nguyen Tan Dung,
The Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

H.E Prayuth Chan-ocha
The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand

Your Excellencies,

We, the undersigned are writing to express our serious concern about the Don Sahong Dam, in southern Laos, and the future of livelihoods and food security throughout the Mekong region.

The Mekong River is of global importance, supporting a unique biodiversity which is rivaled only by the Amazon River. The Mekong is home to the world’s largest and most productive inland fishery, and is a vital resource for the entire Mekong region and a lifeline for our planet.

The proposed Don Sahong Dam would block the main pathway in the Mekong -- the Hou Sahong Channel - that is used year-round by fish migrating throughout the region. The impacts of this project would be disastrous for inland fisheries and subsequently the food security and livelihoods of millions.

The proposed mitigation measures, upon which the project’s success hinges, have never been tested in the Mekong region and regional experts have expressed fears that the measures will not be sufficient to offset the loss of the Hou Sahong Channel for fish migration.

The Mekong’s critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphin and a Ramsar wetland site in Cambodia will also suffer impacts. There is too much at stake for the Mekong to take such a gamble; risking the lives of millions of people, for very limited returns.

We understand that regional discussions, through the Prior Consultation process for the Don Sahong Dam will soon be coming to a close, and we urge Mekong leaders to take urgent action to prioritize the sustainable future of the Mekong River's vital resources.

We call on Mekong leaders to immediately take action to protect the Mekong River by not allowing the Don Sahong Dam project to proceed, and instead promoting more sustainable energy options.

Sincerely,

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