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RWESA - Rivers Watch East and Southeast Asia

Call to all agencies involved in dam-building in East and Southeast Asia upon the release of the World Commission on Dams final report

On July 1, 2000, Rivers Watch East and SE Asia (RWESA) was formed, a network of peoples organizations and NGOs working to stop the funding of dam projects in East and SE Asia and to restore rivers to the communities who depend on them. Dams have brought about the destruction of rivers and the lives and livelihoods of villagers in our region. 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.

At the time of our formation, we released the Pak Mun Declaration, demanding a moratorium on dam construction, decommissioning of existing dams and reparations for dam-affected peoples.

We welcome the final report of the World Commission on Dams. The report shows the devastating impacts of dam projects on communities and the environment, and also shows how dams have failed to deliver their projected benefits. However, the report does not go far enough in its recommendations.

In the light of the report and recommendations of the World Commission on Dams, and drawing on the Pak Mun Declaration, our demands are as follows:

  1. All agencies involved in dam-building in East and SE Asia, including governments, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japan Bank for International Cooperation, China Development Bank, bilateral aid agencies and companies should immediately and comprehensively adopt the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams, and should integrate them into their relevant policies. In particular, as recommended by the WCD, no project should proceed without the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples, and without the demonstrable public acceptance of all those who would be affected by the project.

  2. Independent, transparent and participatory reviews of all planned and ongoing dam projects should be undertaken, in accordance with the WCD's recommendations. While such reviews are taking place, project preparation and construction should be halted. Such reviews should establish whether the respective dams comply, as a minimum, with the recommendations of the WCD. If they do not, projects should be modified accordingly or stopped altogether. This is especially important for existing projects in East and SE Asia that are already wreaking havoc upon the lives of millions of people, such as Bakun and Selangor Dams in Malaysia, Three Gorges Dam in China, and San Roque Dam in the Philippines.

  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 make proper reparations to dam-affected communities. The restoration of livelihood and land compensation for relocated communities must be at the core of any reparation plans.

  4. We demand a moratorium on large dam construction in East and SE Asia until the recommendations of the WCD have been implemented by all dam-building agencies, and until reparations to dam-affected communities are being undertaken.

Bangkok, November 24, 2000

Endorsed by:

James Arvanitakis

Herman Brouwer
Church World Service Cambodia

Kong Socheat
Church World Service - Kompong Thom Province

Vann Piseth
Culture and Environment Preservation Association

Chhith Sam Ath
NGO Forum on Cambodia

Jack Hurd
WWF Conservation Program in Cambodia

Hong Kong
Kata Lee
Asian Center for the Progress of Peoples

Gerard Greenfield
Globalization Monitor

Sophia Woodman
Human Rights in China

Kevin Li
IRN/Greenpeace China

The Centre for Organisation Research & Education (CORE), Manipur
Citizens Concern for Dams and Development (CCDD), Manipur

Anung Karyadi
WALHI - Friends of the Earth, Indonesia

Arianto Sangaji
Yayasan Tanah Merdeka

Africa Japan Forum

APEC Monitor NGO Network


MATSUZAKI, Yuriko and OOMAE, Yuiko
Asian Womens Center

FUJIWARA, Toshihide
Campaign for Future of Filipino Children (CFFC)

Ikuko Matsumoto
Friends of the Earth-Japan

Doi Toshiyuki
Fukuoka NGO Forum on the Asian Development Bank (FNA)

IIDA, Tetsunari
Green Energy Law Network

Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies

Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES)

Japan NGO Network on Indonesia

Jubilee Kansai Network

Jubilee2000 Fukuoka

Satoru Matsumoto
Mekong Watch-Japan

Masahito Ujiie
National Dam Opposition Network Japan and
Sagami River Camp-in-Symposium

ODA Reform Network

Toshiko Niikura

Sarawak Campaign Commitee

TERAO, Terumi
Ex-professor at Nagoya Institute of Technology

ASAMI, Yasuhito
Associate Professor
Hitotsubashi University

KUSAGO, Takayoshi
Associate Professor
Hokkaido University

TODA, Kiyoshi
Associate Professor
Faculty of Environmental Studies
Nagasaki University

Jessica Binwani
Consumers Association of Penang and
Sahabat Alam Malaysia (Friends of the Earth Malaysia)

Sam Hui
SOS Selangor (Save Our Sungai Selangor)

Dr Kua Kia Soong
SUARAM (Suara Rakyat Malaysia)

Third World Network, Malaysia

Sarba Raj Khadka
Rural Reconstruction Nepal

Elisabeth F. Olsen

Joan Carling
Cordillera Peoples' Alliance, Philippines

Sri Lanka
Hemantha Withanage
Environment Foundation Ltd.

Sam Hsu
Radiation Safety and Protection Association and Taiwan Watch Institute

Lily Hsueh
Taiwan Environmental Action Network (TEAN)

Patrick Pierce
Earth Rights International

Asst. Professor Dr Kasian Tejapira
Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University

Prasittiporn Karn-Onsri
Friends of the People

Sugin Katasila
Group of Villagers Affected by Hua Na Dam, Thailand

Group of Villagers to Protect the Yom River (Kaeng Sua Ten), Thailand

Chainarong Sretthachau
SEARIN, Thailand

Pranee Nonchan
Villager Committee to Restore the Mun River, Thailand

Supoj Yaowalee
Villager Committee to Protect the Rub Ror River Basin, Thailand

Hannarong Yaowalers
Wildlife Fund Thailand

United States of America
Leslie Sewell
Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)

Aviva Imhof
International Rivers Network

Tuong Vi Pham
Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES)

Elizabeth Toder
PACT Viet Nam

Eric Coull
World Wide Fund for Nature

Hoang Phuong Thao
WWF Indochina Programme

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