MORE THAN 80 ENVIRONMENTAL and human rights groups in Thailand and Burma have called on China to consult countries downstream of the Salween river before going ahead with its plan to build 13 hydro power dams, with a combined capacity of 21,320MW, by 2024.
The environmental groups alleged that the dams, planned for the upper part of the river in China’s Yunnan province, would severely damage the ecosystem and livelihood of people in Thailand and Burma, who depend on the 2800km long river for fishing and farming. The Salween is
southeast Asia’s second largest river after the Mekong.
China, Burma and Thailand have no agreement on the use of this transboundary river, allowing each of them free use over it. Thailand and Burma plan to jointly build hydro dams along parts of the Salween river they share. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand has proposed building two dams, with the capacity to generate 4540MW and 792MW respectively.
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