at the First East and SE Asia Meeting
on Dams, Rivers and People
a moratorium on dam construction,
decommissioning of existing dams,
reparations for dam-affected people
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.
to protect the rights and livelihood of people and rivers, our demands
are as follows;
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
for Life, not for Death!
kuen bpai, ao Dhammachat kuen ma!
Take your dams back, give us nature!