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Petition to China from 83 organizations from Thailand/Burma on Upper Salween Dam

Southeast Asia Rivers Network
78 Moo 10
Tambol Suthep, Muang
Chiang Mai 50200
Tel: 053 278 334
Fax: 053 283 609 

16 December 2003

The Ambassador
The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Thailand
57 Ratchadaphisek Road
Dindaeng Bangkok

Your Excellency,

We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to express our concerns about the plans to develop large hydropower projects on the Nu/Salween River in China. We have learned that Chinese authorities plan to approve the construction of a major dam at Liuku within this month, without consultation with downstream countries and communities. We understand that there are further plans to build a total of thirteen large dams on the mainstream Nu/Salween.

The Nu/Salween, the last free-flowing international river in the region, is shared by three countries. Large numbers of peoples of many different ethnicities depend on the river for their livelihood. Nutrients carried down the river are a vital resource for downstream fisheries, and for fertilizing large areas of cultivated land. Forests and wetlands along the entire river, including the UNESCO World Heritage site in Yunnan, are home to many diverse species of wildlife and contain areas of great natural beauty. The peoples and the natural environment in the Nu/Salween River Basin will be drastically impacted by any major hydropower development undertaken by China on the river.

Therefore, we request the Chinese government to suspend the project immediately. The peoples in the Nu/Salween River Basin should be provided with timely and complete information about the planned developments and be entitled to participate in the decision-making process.

Before making decisions on the dam projects, there should be consensus among the riparian countries on the terms of environmental and social impact assessments, on mitigation measures, water management regimes, and reparation or compensation for negative downstream impacts. Environmental and social impact assessments should be comprehensive, including meaningful public participation, and should be carried out according to international standards. Furthermore, they should cover the impacts in the entire watershed, and not be limited to areas in China alone.

Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely yours,

Chainarong Sretthachau
Southeast Asia Rivers Network, Thailand

This letter is also endorsed by the following 82 organizations

All Burma Students' Democratic Front
Alternative Energy Project for Sustainability, Thailand
Arakan Youth Network group
Assembly of the Poor, Thailand
Buntad Ranges Community Empowerment Project, Thailand
Burma Today News and Media
Campaign for Media Reform, Thailand
Campaign for Popular Democracy, Thailand
Community Forest Support Group, Thailand
Community Network for Saving River Basins in Maehongson, Thailand
Community University, Thailand
Coordinating Committee of Human Rights Organization of Thailand
Concerned Individuals of Burma
Costal Zone Management through Community Organization and Network in Southern Thailand
Dictator Watch
EarthRights International
Friends of People, Thailand
Friends Without Borders
Images Asia
Kachin State National Congress for Democracy
Karen Environmental and Social Action Network
Karen Studies and Development Center, Thailand
Karen Rivers Watch
Karenni Evergreen
Karenni Information Network Group
Karenni National Women Organization
Karenni Social Welfare Committee
Karenni Refugee Committee
Karenni Student Union
Karenni Teacher Union
Lahu National Development Organization
Metta Dhammaraksa Foundation
Mon Unity League
Nationalities Youth Development Program
Ngwetaung Nature Network
NGO Coordinating Committee on Rural Development (NGO-CORD North), Thailand
NGO Coordinating Committee on Rural Development (NGO-CORD South), Thailand
NGOs Network on Costal Resources Management in Southern Thailand
Northern Farmers Federation, Thailand
Northern Development Foundation, Thailand
Peace and Human Rights Resource Center, Thailand
People's Defense Force
People's Liberation Front (Burma)
Project for Recovery of Life and Culture, Thailand
Project for River and Community, Thailand
Salween Watch
Salween News Network
Sekhiyadhamma Group
Seub Nakhasathien Foundation
Shan Democratic Union
Shan Human Rights Foundation
Shan State Organization
Shan Youth Power Media
Shan Youth Network Group
Student and Youth Congress of Burma
Students Federation of Thailand
Thai Action Committee for Democracy in Burma
Thai Volunteer Service
The Women's League of Burma comprising11 organizations:
Burmese Women's Union
Kachin Women's Association/Thailand
Karen Women's Organization
Kuki Women's Human Rights Organization
Lahu Women's Organization
Palaung Women's Organization
Pa-O Women's Union
Rakhine Women's Union
Shan Women's Action Network
Tavoy Women's Union
Women's Rights and Welfare Association of Burma
United Nationalities Youth League comprising:
All Arakan Students and Youth Congress
All Kachin Students and Youth Union
Chin Student Union
Karen Youth Organization
Karenni National Youth Organization
Kayan New Generation Youth
Lahu Democratic Front – Youth
Mon Unity League – Youth
Pa O Youth Organization
Palaung Youth Network Group
Wildlife Fund Thailand
Youth Rivers Network, Thailand
Youth Training Program for Social Development, Thailand

CC: Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Kingdom of Thailand


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Living River Siam Association  138 Moo 4, Suthep, Muang, Chiang Mai, 50200   Thailand
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