Comments On: Draft – Study on the Impacts of Mainstream Hydropower Dams on the Mekong River

Draft Report of the MDS-IAR

Report prepared for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam – by DHI & HDR

Dr. Lilliana Corredor – on behalf of Scientists for the Mekong
17 December 2015

Scientists for the Mekong offers other Scientists, Fisheries Experts, SE Asian Decision Makers, International Aid Organisations, NGOs and the public, the opportunity to peruse the latest study made on the Impacts of the cascade of 11 planned Hydropower Dams on the Main Stream of the Mekong River Basin.

Download the PDF file here:

MEKONG DELTA STUDY – IAR Draft-final_02-12-2015_summary-ver5_update8-00.pdf (7.5mb)

Study on the Impacts of Mainstream Hydropower on the Mekong River Draft Impact Assessment Report – Methods and Results – Summary Version”.
Report prepared by (DHI) for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam – 10 October 2015.

Below we offer our views on this study and the full Executive Summary of the DRAFT of this Impact Assessment Report – as it was this paper that the ‘Oxfam Analysis’ scrutinised and commented on.

We believe this study deserves international attention because of the disastrous consequences it heralds for: the Food Security of 60 million people, the economies of Cambodia and Vietnam, Climate Warming, Species extinction, and for one of the most important aquatic ecosystems on Earth: the Mekong River.

This much awaited Impact Assessment Report (IAR) – also known as the Mekong Delta Study (MDS-IAR) – was Commissioned by the Government of Vietnam in 2013. It was recently disclosed at a Meeting of Experts held in Ho Chi Minh City, on the 4 December 2015.

This Draft MDS-IAR is the most important study recently undertaken to address the Impacts of 11 Hydropower Dams on the Lower Mekong Basin. It is the result of 28 months of multi-disciplinary research by two Environmental Consultant companies: American HDR and Danish DHI. These companies were engaged by the Government of Vietnam in cooperation with the Governments of Cambodia and Laos, and partly funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT).

We recently found out this report had already been discussed in Hanoi, Vietnam in October 2015, but only now did we get access to it. This means that the pro-Hydropower interest groups have had 2 months to review and criticize this IAR.

This report has unsurprisingly, already generated controversy among pro-Hydropower factions such as representatives of the Laos National Mekong Commission (LNMC), the Cambodian National Mekong Commission (CNMC), and Dam developers.

However, most unexpected and shock-provoking is the intervention by OXFAM Australia!

Surprisingly, the most virulent criticism – in an obvious attempt to discredit the findings of the Mekong Delta Study IAR, has been provided in a “counter-attack new study” by Cambodian ‘Scientists’ HIRED by OXFAM Australia to review the results of the MDS-IAR report… [What?]

This would appear to be in contradiction to the fact that the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) not only partly funded the multi-million-dollar MDS-IAR in the first place, but most likely helped hire the consultants HRD & DHI to carry out this study

It is clear that OXFAM Australia was most displeased with the results of the MDS-IAR study, as evidenced by the fact that immediately after its release Oxfam decided to commission a “counter-attack” study to review it. This new “Scientific Analysis” (sic) of the MDS-IAR study in question is entitled:

“Independent Analysis of the Mekong Delta Study (MDS) Impact Assessment Report” – Prepared for Oxfam Mekong Regional Program, by Dr. Sokhem Pech, Chheng Phen, & Tes Sopharith, Version 1, Phnom Penh, Nov 28, 2015.

The above analysis by the new Cambodian Consultants and their comments will be discussed on a separate Blog (see also our Discussion below).

Suffice it to say that it is obvious that the excessive antagonistic reactions towards the Impact Assessment Report MSD-IAR have been provoked by its conclusions. That is:

“The construction of Hydropower Dams on the main stream of the Mekong River should be avoided or the Dams relocated to tributaries.”

And a long list of severe and disastrous damages, including risk to the Food Supply and well being of millions of people in the Lower Mekong Basin… [Precisely what we concluded in our COP21 article and in our LIST of Damages- see our Blogs]

While we concur that there are gaps of data in the MDS-IAR, our view is that, the brief given to the Consultants was too vast to be accomplished in less than 3 years, in the first place. The brief of this IAR was so extensive, it would require the engagement of a small army of scientists for a long-term study of least 10-years to be completed in all the geographical areas of the Lower Mekong Basin, in all the ecosystems within this Basin (i.e. main stream of river, tributaries, wetlands, mangroves, delta, etc.), and in all the topics specified in the brief as needing to be addressed … That is, if a comprehensive quality study was to be expected.

Nonetheless, we consider that the MDS-IAR study provides enough substantiated information so as to be taken seriously and its results heeded, pending the completion of further studies.

The MDS reveals the large amount of impacts and the devastating consequences that Hydropower Dams will have on the Mekong basin if the cascade of 11 dams is built.

In fact, the consequences reported in the MDS study are so disastrous, they warrant a MORATORIUM on all Hydropower Dams in the Mekong Basin until all the gaps in data are filled.

Although, it is hereby predicted that any additional data will give more validity and strength to the findings reported in the MDS Study.

The MDS-IAR elaborates on the consequences of the many impacts the Hydropower dams will have on the Mekong basin, in particular on the following issues: water levels and discharges, fisheries, biodiversity, Irrawaddy dolphins, fish species migration, loss of biodiversity & extinction, sediments, bed load, washload, erosion, nutrients, salt intrusion, navigation, agriculture, Food security, livelihood, economic impacts, and more.

The report also looked at the impacts of the dams in 3 separate scenarios:

  • Scenario 1) The Cascade of eleven dams on the mainstream of the Mekong River;
  • Scenario 2) The Cascade plus dams in the main tributaries; and
  • Scenario 3) The Cascade and Water Diversion schemes in Thailand and Cambodia.

Rather than editing such a thorough and complex study, we present below the FULL Executive Summary of the Mekong Delta Study IAR and a link to download the Full Draft of this Impact Assessment Report.


Xayaburi dam, Northern Laos (60% complete) - via thestimsoncentre

Xayaburi dam, Northern Laos (60% complete) via thestimsoncentre

“Eleven hydropower projects have been proposed for the Mekong River mainstream in the Lower Mekong Basin, which covers riparian areas of Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia, and Viet Nam. All the proposed dams will be located in Thailand, Lao PDR, and Cambodia. There have been constant worries that construction and operation of any or all of these proposed projects could potentially have substantial and wide‐ranging environmental and socio‐economic effects in all four countries. In particular, there is tremendous concern over the impacts of the planned hydropower cascade on the downstream floodplains of Cambodia and Viet Nam. That led to a strong need that conduction of additional studies and analyses, using the most updated data and best available scientific tools, were a must to improve understanding of how the planned hydropower cascade would impact the natural and human environment and the socio-economic status and livelihood of tens of millions of people in the Mekong Delta.

Therefore, the Government of Viet Nam initiated the Study on the Impacts of Mainstream Hydropower on the Mekong River (also known as the Mekong Delta Study or MDS) to study the overall impact of the proposed LMB mainstream hydropower cascade on the natural, social, and economic systems of Cambodian and Vietnamese floodplains implemented in close cooperation with the Governments of Lao PDR and Cambodia. Accordingly, the primary objectives of the MDS were to evaluate changes projected to occur in the hydrological processes of the LMB resulting from the construction and operation of the planned mainstream hydropower cascade, and assess how these changes could potentially impact the human and natural environment in the Cambodian and Vietnamese floodplains. Other objectives included developing a comprehensive database of relevant environmental, social, and economic conditions for the Lower Mekong River Basin, and seeking Basin wide consensus on the results of the impact assessment and determining avoidance and mitigation measures through close consultation with stakeholders.

Impacts associated with the major changes caused by mainstream hydropower projects (river flows and inundation patterns; sediment and nutrient loading; salinity intrusions; and dam barrier effects) were assessed separately for six resource areas: namely fisheries, biodiversity, navigation, agriculture, livelihood and economics. Inter- and intra-resource area impacts were identified and overall impacts of the various resources areas on the regional and national economy were forecasted. Two additional scenarios also were evaluated to examine the incremental effects of tributary dams and mainstream water withdrawals.

The impact assessment approach was based on internationally recognized standards and accepted practices and principles. Guidelines recommended by the International Association for Impact Assessment, the United States National Environmental Policy Act, and the World Bank International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability were incorporated, as applicable. Best available input data and peer-reviewed, scientifically validated impact assessment methods were used to characterize and quantify the impacts.

The assessment results indicate that the planned mainstream hydropower cascade (Scenario 1) would cause high to very high adverse effects on some of the key sectors and environmental resources in Cambodia and Viet Nam if implemented without mitigations. Cumulative adverse effects of the planned cascade and tributary dams (Scenario 2), and the planned cascade and proposed water diversion schemes in Thailand and Cambodia (Scenario 3) would pose even greater impacts to the Mekong Delta in comparison to Scenario 1 effects. Under all 3 scenarios, the most severe adverse impacts are anticipated to result from a combination of the dam barrier effects and the reduction in sediment- associated nutrient loading.

Notable adverse impacts on the individual resource areas include the following:

  • Though low to moderate changes expected for normal hydrological year, high to very high short-term adverse impacts on river flow regimes would occur as a result of dam hydropeaking operations and dry-season drawdowns (potential loss of 10-day water volume at Kratie is 60%, and at Tan Chau and Chau Doc the potential loss is 40%). The river course of Cambodia downstream of the cascade is projected to suffer the highest impacts from wildly fluctuated flows and water level. A mongst three assessed scenrios, impacts on flow regimes of Scenario 3 are worst, while those of Scenario 2 lesser.
  • Sediment and nutrient deposition would decrease as much as 65 percent at Kratie and Tan Chau – Chau Doc and by smaller amounts off the mainstream, potentially causing a substantial decline in biological productivity, reduction in agricultural production, increase in erosion, and a decrease in the rate of buildup of riparian and coastal sites. The Scenario 2 poses most severe impacts on sedimentation and nutrients in comparison to the others two.
  • Salinity intrusion would increase in some coastal areas. Similar to flow impacts, Scenrio 3 causes largest impacts on salinity intrusion. 

  • Travel routes of long-distance migratory fish (white fish), which account for 74% of the catch of the top ten commercial fish species, would be completely obstructed. The dams would also block upstream and downstream movements of all other migratory fish and other aquatic animals. Overall the presence of the dams is expected to cause a very high decline in total capture fishery yields of about 50% for both Viet Nam and Cambodia. Tributary dams and diversion may cause cause additional impacts on fisheries at a marginal increase. 

  • The substantial loss of capture fishery resources would adversely affect food security, livelihood, social well being, and economic status of large segments of the population in the Cambodian floodplains and the Mekong River Delta that are directly or indirectly reliant on fishing and associated occupations. 

  • High to very high adverse effects on biodiversity include the potential for extirpation or global extinction of up to 10 percent of the fish species from Viet Nam and southern Cambodia, reduced populations of surviving migratory fish species, extirpation of the Irrawaddy dolphin from the Mekong River, reduced distribution and abundance of freshwater mussels, and reduced drift of all other invertebrates. 

  • Unsafe conditions for the operation of vessels could occur downstream of dams operating for peak daily power production or conducting drawdowns. Low to moderate adverse impacts are projected on navigation elsewhere mainly due to changes in river flow regime and resulting challenges to river navigation not historically encountered. 

  • Overall, low to moderate adverse impacts are projected on agricultural productivity. But within the areas that are impacted, the impacts would be high. 

  • Key significant impacts to the livelihood of people in the region would occur due to water level reductions, and increase in salinity incursions in the Vietnamese Delta. Livelihood will also be indirectly impacted due to direct impacts on capture fisheries, agriculture, and navigation. 

  • Economic impacts within the riparian areas and the floodplains could be high.

Overall, in Cambodia a national industry of high importance (fisheries) would suffer very high decline in yields, and widespread adverse impacts are anticipated in the riparian areas between Kratie and Kampong Kor, which would be most severely impacted. Viet Nam would also suffer great losses in fisheries and biodiversity, and experience potential impacts due to increase in salinity incursions.

The projected impacts are based on a robust combination of quantitative and qualitative analyses of the best available data with advanced modeling systems and customized impact assessment tools. The actual impacts may well be greater than projected because of the cumulative effects of other natural phenomenon (climate change, sea level rise), on-going developments in the LMB (deforestation, etc.), and the uncertainty related to how the natural systems will respond to the major disruption in the LMB system. Though recognizing that biological resources are adaptive by nature and over time to counter and overcome some of the projected impacts, but such adaptations cannot fully compensate for the projected effects.

Projected impacts on capture fisheries and biodiversity could be reduced, primarily through avoidance, which could include
1) constructing only selected hydropower projects from the planned cascade, and in particular avoiding construction in the lower cascade, and/or
2) relocating some planned projects off the mainstream to tributaries. Fish passage technologies and/or dam design changes may be considered to mitigate some of the projected losses. However, the effectiveness of fish passage technologies has not been proven in the context of the Mekong Basin and its highly diverse fish diversity. Therefore, it is uncertain what degree of relief fish passage technologies may be able to provide. Also, it is likely that even the best available fish passage technologies may not be able to handle the massive volume of fish migrations, which during peak migration periods can reach up to 3 million fish per hour, and the diversity of migration strategies that characterize the hundreds of fish species in the basin.

In conclusion, the planned hydropower cascade would cause very high adverse impacts to Mekong River floodplains and delta due to the combined interaction of dam barrier effects, highly reduced sediment and nutrient loading, and increase in salinity incursion. Yield of the critically important capture fishery could be reduced by over 50 percent, and up 10 percent of fish species in the region could be lost. The large amounts of sediment trapped behind the dams would greatly decrease the delta’s capacity to replenish itself making it more vulnerable to sea level rise, saline intrusion, and may worsen coastal erosion. Loss of nutrients trapped along with the sediments will decimate the unmatched productivity of the entire delta system.

In the Mekong River Delta, the food, health, and economic security of the local populations are inseparably intertwined with the integrity of the natural environment. Mainstream hydropower development in the LMB would cause irreparable and long-lasting damage to the floodplains and aquatic environment, resulting in significant reduction in the socio-economic status of millions of residents and creating social and economic burdens on local and regional economies. With view of the Mekong River Delta as a unique system of national and international heritage, the planned hydropower cascade would substantially and permanently alter the productivity of the natural system leading to degradation of all Delta’s related values.”

MAP Mekong River

MAP of the Mekong River – 11 Planned dams and those in construction –


As mentioned above, this MDS-IAR study received a very harsh review in the report commissioned by Oxfam [1]. In our view, it goes a lot further than mere malicious comments aimed at discrediting the MSD-IAR. This will be discussed in-depth in another Blog.

For now suffice it to inform the public that:

Oxfam Australia not only spearheaded a campaign to discredit the MDS-IAR study, hired the ‘scientists’ consultants, funded a new “Analysis of the MDS-IAR Study findings”, tried to conceal from the public eye the results of the Mekong Delta Study, but also had an Oxfam team working ‘regularly’ with the team of ‘scientists’ it hired to finalise the Analysis, with the obvious aim to discredit the findings of the MDS-IAR.

It did not stop there. Oxfam proceeded to question the validity of the MDS-IAR findings through discussions – based on the substandard scientific work in the ‘Oxfam Analysis’, which in addition contains a large amount of unfounded, bureaucratic-like comments – at two meetings with International stakeholders in Hanoi and in HCMC – in October and December 2015, respectively.

In our opinion the few valid points worth discussing in regards to the ‘Oxfam Analysis’ is that Oxfam’s consultants consider that the MDS-IAR did not provide enough data for a number of topics and, did not address key issues of importance such as:

  • The impacts of upstream Chinese dams built on ‘geological faults’ and the serious damage their collapse could cause to downstream populations
  • The impacts of Climate Change on the Mekong basin and the actual Dam structures
  • The impacts of dams on the Tonle Sap lake and wetlands, their rich biodiversity and fisheries
  • The impacts of Salinity intrusion in the Mekong Delta, and many more.

We concur with others that the MDS-IAR needs more data in some issues and also needs to look at other issues of concern. In our view, in addition to the above, any Impact Assessment Report ought to investigate the following issues :

  • The impacts of the Don Sahong Dam being built on a ‘geological fault’ and the serious damage its collapse could cause to downstream populations.
  • The impacts of the Methane & CO2 emissions by Hydropower dams on increasing Climate Change.

While we agree that there are important data gaps, overall the MDS-IAR study provides enough sturdy information to totally invalidate the discrediting efforts by the ‘Oxfam Analysis’, as well as, results published in previous reports such as those produced by The Stimson Centre [3, 4, 5] – which obviously align to Oxfam’s viewpoint on the matter.

The Stimson Centre ill-advised Laos by concluding that:

“Our main finding is that the current narrative is overly pessimistic and that a new and more nuanced view is required. We have cautiously concluded that some of the design changes in the Xayaburi and Don Sahong projects may successfully mitigate some of the impacts on fisheries and sediment transfer, but this unfortunately cannot be known until the dam is operational and impacts are irreversible.”… [ED: What?]

Encouraging a government to engage in a hydropower development that will most probably result in serious damage, which will be irreversible, is disgraceful. But more reproachable still is the fact that by offering such distorted advice, the consultants are knowingly putting at Risk the Food Security and livelihoods of 60 million poor people, the economy of TWO countries and an ecosystem! Instead of this being a “nuanced narrative”, such a statement is a highly irresponsible advice by a Consultant firm.

Any consultant with integrity would never suggest to a client to ‘just go ahead, do the damage and find out later how bad it is, but it is sure to be irreversible’…

Hence, these American consultants gave “Carte Blanche” to Laos to continue with the development of both the Xayaburi Dam and the Don Sahong Dam. And pretty much convinced Oxfam Australia that Dams are not really a problem.

Similarly, the efforts by Oxfam Australia to discredit the findings of the MDS-IAR, while disregarding a lot of scientific evidence by this and other studies that demonstrate that the construction of Hydropower Dams in the Lower Mekong Basin will result in the loss of Food Supply of 60 Million people, which is nothing less than contemptible!

Particularly, given that the very core mission of Oxfam is precisely the opposite: i.e. to “ensure the protection of the Food Supply of poor people in developing countries”.

Oxfam’s deplorable conduct begs the question: Why would an International Aid organization supposed to Protect the Food Supply of Poor people be taking steps to ensure the contrary?

It’s clear that the Oxfam consultants were disappointed and infuriated by not finding anywhere in the MDS-IAR supporting evidence or validation, of the benefits of Hydropower dams – similar to those offered by the Stimson Centre to Laos.

The MDS-IAR did not provide a list of benefits… and rightly so, simply because there are no financial benefits that can possibly outweigh the enormous damages created by the cascade of 11 Hydropower dams. (See also [6] [7])

Scientists for the Mekong have recently uncovered several possible reasons that would explain Oxfam’s campaign to discredit the MDS-IAR findings:

  1. The Australian Aid Program by DFAT has been quietly funding for years (with the World bank) a project entitled: Laos Hydropower and Mining Technical Assistance: (MTAH)”. See the final evaluation report – 5 Nov 2015 [8]
  2. Oxfam is in collusion with the Hydropower Interest Groups in SE Asia. By discrediting the MDS-IAR Study, Oxfam actually enables the construction of Hydropower Dams in the Mekong Region. And by doing so, Oxfam Australia is supporting the DFAT Aid program to Laos.
  3. Hydropower Dam Development in SE Asia is mostly funded by Chinese Banks [9]. Hence, it appears that both Oxfam and the Australian Government DFAT are both supporting and enabling China’s Hydropower business and push for sovereignty in SE Asia. Because,
  4. Australia has a Trade Agreement with China (ChAFTA), which is Australia’s largest export market. Could it be that DFAT is trying to protect its Trade Agreement with China by asking Oxfam to do the discrediting campaign on the MDS-IAT study and to take the heat? This is not so far-fetched if one considers that according to the DFAT website [10]: Australia exported over $80 billion worth of resources, energy and manufacturing products to China in 2014, almost one third of our total goods exports to all countries.”

Would the Mekong Hydropower Projects and their disastrous Social, Economic and Ecological consequences be allowed to become a “casualty” of a bigger Trade Agreement Deal between Australia, China and the Big Banks (including the World Bank)?

A more in-depth discussion on why Oxfam has taken steps to discredit the MDS-IAR study is given in another blog.

We await the final text of the Mekong Delta Study for a more in-depth view.

In the mean time, readers are encouraged to peruse another very important scientific study [11], which provides an analysis of the importance of open discussion, involvement of affected communities, and the Community Consultation Process in Environmental Impact Assessments in the Mekong River basin. We hope the Oxfam team will read this document to understand the importance of Environmental Impact Assessments.

The social impacts of the breach of the Human Rights of Dam-affected communities in Laos and Cambodia – though the severe punishment of any opposition, substandard Community Consultation and lack of Freedom of Speech, are of serious concern.

We suggest Oxfam Australia ought to be giving more attention and funding to resolving the issue of Human Rights Violations through forcefully relocating communities who do not wish the dams – given that it directly affects Social stability.  

As well, Oxfam ought to be focusing on the consequences of Hydropower dams in the region. In particular, the loss of Food & Water Supply, and the loss of livelihoods of 60+million people, rather than wasting funds to discredit the results of a valuable study.

Specially, given that the MDS Study is actually aligned to Oxfam’s core purpose. That is: the protection of the Food Security, Health and Well being of poor people in the Mekong basin.



[1] Study on the Impacts of Mainstream Hydropower on the Mekong River Draft Impact Assessment Report Impact Assessment Methods and Results – Summary Version. Also known as the Mekong Delta Study (MDS) – Report prepared by Malmgren-Hansen, A. (DHI), Anwar Khan (HDR) & Kim Wium Olesen (DHI) for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Vietnam – 10 October 2015.

[2] Independent Analysis of the Mekong Delta Study (MDS) Impact Assessment Report – Prepared for Oxfam Mekong Regional Program, by Dr. Sokhem Pech, Chheng Phen, & Tes Sopharith, Version 1, Phnom Penh, Nov 28, 2015.

[3] Dams And Food Security In The Mekong: Site Visits To The Xayaburi And Don Sahong Dam Projects – First Spotlight Report by Courtney Weatherby, The STIMSON Centre – 25 Feb. 2015

[4] Dams and Food Security In The Mekong: Visiting the Don Sahong Dam – Second Spotlight Report by Courtney Weatherby, The STIMSON Centre – 27 Feb. 2015

[5] Letters from the Mekong: Time for a New Narrative on Mekong Hydropower, by R. Cronin & C. Weatherby – 9 October 2015

[6] LIST of Damages by Hydropower Dams on the Mekong Basin. L. Corredor (2015)

[7] COP21 – Mekong Dolphin Extinction, Hydropower & Climate Change. L. Corredor – 25 November 2015

[8] Laos Hydropower and Mining Technical Assistance: final evaluation report – 5 Nov 2015

[9] Chinese State-Owned Enterprise Investment in Mekong Hydropower: Political and Economic Drivers and Their Implications across the Water, Energy, Food Nexus – 18 May 2015

[10] Australian Government’s – Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) –

[11] MPE-MEKONG EIA BRIEFING: Environmental Impact Assessment Comparative Analysis In Lower Mekong Countries. Baird, M & R.Frankel (2015)

More References

Media Kit on the Xayaburi Dam – Compilation of information by International Rivers

Media Kit on the Don Sahong Dam

WWF – The Don Sahong Dam And The Mekong Dolphin – February 2014

Fisheries of the rivers of Southeast Asia – Chapter 3.24 – Welcomme, R.L. et al. (2015) – In: Freshwater Fisheries Ecology – Editor John F. Craig, Sept. 2015, Wiley Online Library

Fisheries Bioecology At The Khone Falls (Mekong River, Southern Laos). Baran, E., I.G. Baird & G. Cans (2005)

Summary Of Scientific Reviews From Three International Fish Passage Experts On The Don Sahong Dam EIA and Technical Reports Related To Project Design And Mitigation Measures (Feb. 2014)

The Don Sahong Dam: Potential Impacts on Regional Fish Migrations, Livelihoods and Human Health. Ian G. Baird (2009)

Lower Sesan 2 Dam – Compilation of Information by International Rivers

Lower Sesan 2 (LS2) Hydropower Project – Compilation of Information by Mekong Watch

Humans Use Way More Water Than We Thought. Patrick Kiger, News Discovery – 10 December 2015

WWF – Summary Of Scientific Reviews from Three International Fish Passage Experts on the Don Sahong Dam EIA and Technical Reports Related to Project Design And Mitigation Measures – 12 March 2014

Challenges facing the Mekong’s inland fisheries highlighted at the 2015 China-ASEAN Environmental Cooperation Forum in Nanning, China. Agus Nugroho – 30 Sept 2015

Shrinking and Sinking Deltas: Major role of Dams in delta subsidence and Effective Sea Level Rise. Dandekar, P. & H. Thakkar (2014)
Download here: SANDRP (South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People)

Life-Giving Deltas Starved by Dams. Bosshard, P. & P. Dandikar, 2014 starved_b_5380336.html?ir=Australia

Modern Misconceptions about Hydropower. Nguyen Huu Thien (2014), Compiled by GreenID & Vietnam River Networks, Hanoi, Vietnam,14pp.

Hydropower and Social Conflict in Vietnam: Lessons For Myanmar. Trang Do & Elliot Brennan, Institute for Security & Development Policy, Policy Brief No. 187- 11 December 2015

Rescaling and Reordering Nature–Society Relations: The Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Dam 
and Laos–Thailand Electricity Networks. Baird, I.G. & N. Quastel (2015), Annals of the Association of American Geographers, DOI: 10.1080/00045608.2015.1064511

Does the World Bank’s “Success Story” on Dams Still Hold Water? Peter Bosshard – 3 Oct. 2015

Improved Communication Benefits Resettled Communities in Lao PDR

Mekong Region’s Wetlands at Risk from Mega Infrastructure Projects, Environmental Groups Warn Delegates to Ramsar Meeting. WWF Cambodia – 30 October 2014

Water-Energy-Food Nexus in a Transboundary River Basin: The Case of Tonle Sap Lake, Mekong River Basin. Keskinen, M. et al. (2015), Water, 7 (10), 5416-5436; doi:10.3390/w7105416

Stanford scientists solve mystery of arsenic release into groundwater. Ker Than – Stanford Report, 4 December 2015

Vietnamese Plea to Thailand: Don’t Divert the Mekong – 24 August 2015

Global Witness report Deadly Environment –April 2014

Chiang Khong Declaration, by The Network of Thai People in Eight Mekong Provinces – 14 March 2014

More than a quarter of a million people say NO to Don Sahong Dam – 11 Sept. 2014

Silence of the Dammed – Missing voices in Don Sahong – 12 July 2015

Few Surprised as Laos Fails to Win U.N. Rights Council Seat – Oct 2015

Lao Court Jails Polish Activist Following Online Criticism of Government – 1 November 2015

Thailand’s electricity utility may be complicit in human rights violations in Myanmar’s Salween dams – 11 June 2015

Concern grows for jailed Cambodian activists amid civil rights crackdown – 10 Nov. 2015

The UN Human Rights and Environment Expert Should Focus on Conservation Refugees and FPIC, EarthRights International – 5 Nov 2015

Submission of Earth Rights International to John Knox, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment. Harris, M. et al. (2015).

Transboundary water governance and climate change adaptation: International law, policy guidelines and best practice application. Rieu-Clarke, A. et al. (2015)- UNESCO 2015 – ISBN 978-92-3-100135-2

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Hydroelectric Dams – NUMEROUS Articles. See: Philip M. Fearnside – Website –

Fearnside, P.M. – LISTS of articles on Emissions by Hydroelectric Dams – MULTIPLE ARTICLES by many authors, in several languages:

Fearnside, P.M. 2015. Tropical Hydropower in the Clean Development Mechanism: Brazil’s Santo Antônio Dam as an example of the need for change. Climatic Change 131(4): 575-589. doi: 10.1007/s10584-015-1393-3 <Preprint-L> <Publisher link> <doi link>

Fearnside, P.M. 2015. Emissions from tropical hydropower and the IPCC. Environmental Science & Policy 50: 225-239. doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2015.03.002 <Preprint-L>

Fearnside, P.M. 2015. Greenhouse gas emissions from hydroelectric dams in tropical forests. pp. 428-438 In: J. Lehr & J. Keeley (eds.) Alternative Energy and Shale Gas Encyclopedia. John Wiley & Sons Publishers, New York, E.U.A. 880 pp. ISBN: 978-0-470-89441-5 (no prelo). <Preprint-> >

Fearnside, P.M. 2013. Credit for climate mitigation by Amazonian dams: Loopholes and impacts illustrated by Brazil’s Jirau Hydroelectric Project. Carbon Management 4(6): 681-696. doi: 10.4155/CMT.13.57 <Preprint-L> <Publisher link>

Fearnside, P.M. 2013. Climate change and the Amazon: Tropical dams emit greenhouse gases. ReVista, Harvard Review of Latin America 12(2): 30-31. ISSN: 1541–1443. <Full text-L>

Fearnside, P.M. & S. Pueyo.. 2012. Underestimating greenhouse-gas emissions from tropical dams. Nature Climate Change 2(6): 382–384. doi:10.1038/nclimate1540

Fearnside, P.M. 2011. Methane emissions from hydroelectric dams. Science (E-Letter 28 July 2011), <Full text-L>

Fearnside, P.M. 2008. Hidrelétricas como “fábricas de metano”: O papel dos reservatórios em áreas de floresta tropical na emissão de gases de efeito estufa. Oecologia Brasiliensis 12(1): 100-115. <Full text-L>

English version: A framework for estimating greenhouse gas emissions from Brazil’s Amazonian hydroelectric dams. (manuscript) <Full text-L>

Fearnside, P.M. 2007. Why hydropower is not clean energy. Scitizen, Paris, France (peer-reviewed website). <Full text-L>

Fearnside, P.M. 2006. Greenhouse gas emissions from hydroelectric dams: Reply to Rosa et al. Climatic Change 75 (1-2): 103-109. (DOI: 10.1007/s10584-005-9016-z) <Preprint-L> <publisher link>

Fearnside, P.M. 2004. Greenhouse gas emissions from hydroelectric dams: Controversies provide a springboard for rethinking a supposedly “clean” energy source, Climatic Change 66(1-2): 1-8. Doi: 10.1023/B:CLIM.0000043174.02841.23 <preprint-L> <Publisher link-1>: <publisher link-2>

Fearnside, P.M. 2001. Environmental impacts of Brazil’s Tucuruí Dam: Unlearned lessons for hydroelectric development in Amazonia. Environmental Management 27(3): 377-396. Doi: 10.1007/s002670010156 <Preprint-L pdf> <Preprint-L html>

Fearnside, P.M. 1997. Greenhouse-gas emissions from Amazonian hydroelectric reservoirs: The example of Brazil’s Tucuruí Dam as compared to fossil fuel alternatives. Environmental Conservation 24(1): 64-75. doi:10.1017/S0376892997000118 <Preprint-L>

Fearnside, P.M. 1996. Hydroelectric dams in Brazilian Amazonia: Response to Rosa, Schaeffer & dos Santos. Environmental Conservation 23(2): 105-108. doi:10.1017/S0376892900038467 <preprint-L>

Fearnside, P.M. 1995. Hydroelectric dams in the Brazilian Amazon as sources of ‘greenhouse’ gases. Environmental Conservation 22(1): 7-19. doi:10.1017/S0376892900034020
<Preprint-L pdf> <Preprint-L html>

[1] Fearnside, P.M. 2007. Why hydropower is not clean energy. Scitizen, Paris, France (peer-reviewed website). <Full text-L>

Fearnside, P.M. 2015. Greenhouse gas emissions from hydroelectric dams in tropical forests. pp. 428-438 In: J. Lehr & J. Keeley (eds.) Alternative Energy and Shale Gas Encyclopedia. John Wiley & Sons Publishers, New York, E.U.A. 880 pp. ISBN: 978-0-470-89441-5 (no prelo). <Preprint-L> >

Dams Cause Climate Change, They Are Not Clean Energy, Gary Wockner – 14 August 2014

What’s Really Warming the World? – By Eric Roston – 24 June 2014

Social Cost of Carbon Emissions in Spotlight – By Jeff Tollefson – 13 November 2015

Greenhouse gas emissions | International Hydropower Association – 2015

UNFCCC – COP21: Adoption of the Paris Agreement – 12 December 2015