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Dams on the Mekong Continue, Under or Over the Radar

by Joshua Kurlantzick
November 8, 2012

A man casts a fishing net on the banks of the Mekong river. A man casts a fishing net on the banks of the Mekong river (Samrang Pring/Courtesy Reuters).

Reports this week that Laos has decided to continue building the Xayaburi Dam on the Mekong river, despite massive protests and many studies showing detrimental environmental impacts, reveals once again that, when it comes to the Mekong, the governments involved pay little attention to popular or scientific opinion. The U.S. government this week openly, and unusually bluntly, criticized Laos’ decision to continue with the work, but I doubt this critique is going to have any impact either. In the wake of Laos’ decision, I wanted to bring back a post from a year ago that effectively outlined all of the major challenges facing Mekong countries, and the sizable number of dams on the board. Check it out here.

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