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Pak Mun Declaration
Pak Mun Declaration

Approved at the First East and SE Asia Meeting
on Dams, Rivers and People

Demanding a moratorium on dam construction,
decommissioning of existing dams,
reparations for dam-affected people

Mae Mun and Mekong Rivers,
Kong Jiam, Thailand
July 1, 2000

We, the people from 12 countries of East and Southeast Asia namely Korea, China, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Burma, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia and Hong Kong, representing organizations of dam-affected people and their allies, have gathered here at the mouth of the Mun River (Pak Mun) in order to express our unity in strengthening the people's power and supporting our struggle against the injustices that we are now encountering.

We have exchanged our experiences both at the local and regional level and recognize that all of us are facing similar kinds of problems caused by dams. Dams have brought about the destruction of rivers and the lives and livelihoods of villagers. Dams undermine the rights of people, their community and culture as well as destroying the environment, all of which are basic needs for their survival.

In order to protect the rights and livelihood of people and rivers, our demands are as follows;

  1. A moratorium on large dam construction in East and SE Asia until the problems created by existing dams have been rectified and reparation made to affected communities. Further, dams which have created irreversible social, environmental, and cultural destruction must be decommissioned and the rivers restored.
  2. The bilateral and multilateral organizations must stop financing dam projects. Development assistance should not be spent on destroying the lives of the people. The transnational corporations, private companies and private banks must also abolish their investment in dam-building projects that do not do justice to people.
  3. Governments, dam-building companies, dam industry consultants, the World Bank, private banks and the Asian Development Bank, who are all responsible for the havoc wreaked upon our communities by large dams, must pay proper reparations to all dam-affected communities.
  4. Critical and independent inquiries on the rationale and justification of proposed dam projects should be carried out. Integrated Resource Planning, demand side management and conservation of natural resources should be prioritized. Cheaper, cleaner and better alternatives to dams should be undertaken to meet actual needs of people for energy and water.
  5. No development projects should be built without the voluntary, prior and informed consent of all affected people. Information regarding proposed projects must be disclosed, in a timely and transparent manner, to the general public and, especially, to people directly impacted from such projects. Further, we demand democratic reforms throughout the region to increase freedom of speech, press and assembly so that people can participate without fear in the decision-making process regarding the use and management of their resources.
  6. The oppression of indigenous peoples by dams and other projects should be stopped. We demand that the cultural, social, economic and land rights of indigenous peoples be fully recognized and respected.
  7. We oppose the privatization of rivers and water resources. We also oppose the control of rivers and water resources by illegitimate and repressive governments, as in Burma. Access to water is a basic human right. Rivers must be in the hands of the people, not the private sector or military regimes.

In order for our demands to be implemented, we declare that we will unite our struggle at the local, national and international level so as to stop the funding of dam projects in East and SE Asia and to restore rivers to the communities who depend on them.

Water for Life, not for Death!

Ao Khuan kuen bpai, ao Dhammachat kuen ma!
Take your dams back, give us nature!