Without free, informed and prior consent from the public, international disputes may arise, as was seen with the Myitsone Dam and the Letpadaung Copper Mine.
New research from Oxford University looks at how Chinese dam builders are increasingly adopting international construction standards in response to dam opposition.
In autumn 2011, waterways took on an unprecedented prominence in Burmese thinking, thanks to the great Myitsone Dam controversy.
Top officials from Myanmar have discussed dams and hydropower projects with one of China’s biggest hydropower companies.
The Myanmar government decided in February, 2011 to postpone the Myitsone hydro-electricity dam which is to be built at the upper stream of the Ayeyarwady River. The justification was that the project would be harmful to the country’s economy and society.
Amidst the many challenges Myanmar now faces, the threats to the environment are urgent – and they are growing more extreme. The situation is especially serious in the case of mega dams and hydropower where a host of projects are being promoted, without appropriate planning or public consultation, that are likely to cause irreversible harm to communities and natural ecosystems around the country. Not only are many of the projects located in nationality areas that are conflict zones, but the bulk of the energy produced will also be exported to neighbouring countries.
Theingi Htun Htet Htet Just a few months before 2012 by-elections, a group of concerned citizens worried about the fate of Myitsone gathered together at a location overlooking the confluence of three rivers in Myitkyina, Kachin State. A man walked to a podium with the assistance of a friend and said, with tears in his […]
Residents in the Myitsone Dam project area have urged President Htin Kyaw and the new government to end the Myitsone project so that relocated villagers can return to their villages
“If the new government does not end this project, how must we, the residents, live? Our hearts are pounding. I want to cry. We have suffered repeatedly from troubles. If the project is not cancelled, I am sure that I will die there,” Ja Hkaung, whose farmland in Tan Hpe village was confiscated due to the project, said in a press conference.
Civil society organisations, in general steadfast supporters of the National League for Democracy and its leader, have not been idle in pressing their demands, many in critical areas combining overlapping aspects of her multiple ministerial posts.
Yesterday the NLD received an appeal by three prominent CSOs in Shan State calling for the immediate halt of construction work that has already begun on the controversial Upper Yeywa dam on the Myitnge (Namtu) River, as well as plans to build three others.
Hkawn San is one of about 5,000 people who were resettled by Chinese contractors from the catchment area behind the projected Myitsone Dam, which Myanmar President Thein Sein abruptly and unexpectedly cancelled in 2011, shortly after he took office. Like those in far too many other resettlement villages, Hkawn San is not happy.
“The house here has problems, we get barely enough food to survive, but we do not get enough money, so people have to go around trying to find day work,” she said, sitting in front of her new but already decaying house in Aung Myint Thar, one of the two resettlement villages located north of Myitkyina, the capital of Myanmar’s Kachin State.
The Mytsone Dam was meant to be one of the world’s largest, to be built at the confluence of the Mali Hka and the N’Mai Hka, the two streams that form the Irrawaddy, Myanmar’s most fabled river. The Irrawaddy Valley is considered to be the birthplace of Burmese civilization . It is now a bone of contention between Myanmar, with whom the cancellation was enormously popular, and China, which is seeking to restart construction.