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Stop Dams from Choking Mekong Wildlife and Communities to Death

1,322 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal

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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

Help us protect the vibrant Mekong River ecosystems and the communities that depend on its free-flowing waters.

The Mekong River, the very heart of Southeast Asia, is at a critical juncture. Stretching over 2,500 miles, this majestic river supports the lives of tens of millions. Yet, its future hangs in the balance due to the rapid construction of dams, especially those spearheaded by China.

The time to act is now.

The Dam Effect: A Crisis Unfolding

The building of Chinese-constructed dams has pushed the Mekong's rich biodiversity to the edge. An alarming one in five fish species faces extinction, a stark indicator of the ecological disruption underway1.

These aren't just numbers; they represent the unraveling of a complex web of life that sustains the river and its people.

Livelihoods on the Line

For countless communities dotting the Mekong's banks, the river is more than water; it's their livelihood. The dams have led to dwindling fish populations and altered water quality, undermining food security and local economies2.

Each dam built not only restricts the river's flow but also the flow of life and prosperity for these communities.

Beyond the immediate, the sediment blocked by these dams tells another tale of loss. Vital for maintaining fertile lands downstream, this sediment is the unsung hero of agricultural productivity in the region. As it dwindles, so does the hope of millions who depend on the land for their sustenance3.

A Glimmer of Hope

Yet, all is not lost. Experts believe sustainable development and cooperative efforts can mitigate these adverse effects and preserve the Mekong's vitality4.

The choices we make today can either lead to revival or ruin.

Your Voice Matters

By signing this petition, you stand for balanced development that respects the river's ecological integrity and the lives it supports.

The Mekong River's story isn't written in stone; it's written in water, in the lives it touches, and in the actions we take. Sign the petition today and be part of the movement to safeguard this irreplaceable treasure for generations to come.

More on this issue:

  1. South China Morning Post (4 March 2024), "Chinese-built dams multiply, 1 in 5 Mekong fish species face extinction, report finds: ‘biggest threat is hydropower’."
  2. Keir Simmons, Rhoda Kwan, Nat Sumon and Jennifer Jett, NBC News (7 February 2022), "Chinese dams on Mekong River endanger fish stocks, livelihoods, activists say."
  3. Michael Sullivan, NPR (28 December 2023), "Mekong River communities rely on it for food — new dams threaten resources."
  4. Lee Kok Leong, Maritime Fairtrade (13 July 2022), "Mekong River Faces Existential Threat From Chinese Dams."
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The Petition:

To the Minister of Water Resources, People's Republic of China, and the Leadership of China Datang Corporation,

We, the undersigned, are reaching out to express our deep concerns regarding the current trajectory of dam construction along the Mekong River, particularly the Pak Beng project in Laos. The Mekong River, an invaluable resource for millions, is experiencing unprecedented ecological and social upheaval due to the proliferation of dams, which has led to significant negative impacts on the river's biodiversity, local communities, and downstream agricultural productivity.

The construction of dams has been linked to the fragmentation of habitats, posing a severe threat to the biodiversity of the Mekong River, including the risk of extinction for one in five fish species. Local communities, who rely on the river for sustenance and livelihood, face an uncertain future as fish populations dwindle and water quality changes. Additionally, the blockage of sediment flow by the dams is affecting agricultural productivity in downstream regions, especially the Mekong Delta, which is crucial for the food security of Southeast Asia.

In light of these challenges, we urge the Ministry of Water Resources and China Datang Corporation to adopt a more sustainable approach to river development. This includes:

  1. Conducting comprehensive environmental impact assessments that consider the cumulative effects of multiple dam projects on the Mekong River ecosystem and its dependent communities.
  2. Implementing transparent and inclusive decision-making processes that involve all stakeholders, including downstream countries and local communities, in discussions about the future of the Mekong River.
  3. Investing in alternative, less invasive renewable energy sources that minimize ecological disruption and support the long-term health of the river.
  4. Collaborating with international conservation organizations, scientists, and other stakeholders to develop and implement strategies that ensure the sustainable management of the Mekong River's resources.

By taking these actions, we believe that it is possible to achieve a balance between meeting energy demands and preserving the ecological integrity and social fabric of the Mekong River region. A commitment to sustainable river development will not only safeguard the biodiversity and livelihoods dependent on the Mekong but also contribute to a more stable, prosperous, and harmonious future for all.

We appreciate your attention to this urgent matter and look forward to your positive response and commitment to sustainable development practices along the Mekong River.


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