Opponents of Mekong dams campaign in Australia

12 February 2010

Environmental activists from Thailand are in Australia to campaign against 11 new dams along the Mekong River.

In the region south of China, 60 million people rely on the Mekong River in Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Oxfam Australia is assisting in the campaign.

Oxfam's Michael Simon says the proposed hydropower dams will block fish migration and flood rice paddies.

"Land is already extremely hard sought after, for plantations, logging, and for these people to be relocated away from the river, away from their livelihoods," he says.

"It's a well known global norm that people who are forced to resettle are pushed further into poverty."

Oxfam has sponsored a photo exhibition in Canbera and Melbourne, featuring the diversity of life on the Mekong.

It's on display at the High Court in Canberra until February 16, then at the State Library of Victoria.

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