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Date: Fri, 14 Apr 1995 02:09:03 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>
From: Rich Winkel <rich@pencil.cs.missouri.edu>
Organization: PACH
Subject: Thai NGOs on Mekong Agreement
To: Multiple recipients of list ACTIV-L <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.missouri.edu>

/** reg.seasia: 873.0 **/
** Topic: Thai NGOs on Mekong Agreement **
** Written 12:29 PM Apr 4, 1995 by patrickirn in cdp:reg.seasia **
From: Patrick McCully <patrickirn>

>From terraper@comnet.ksc.net.th Mon Apr 3 21:58:44 1995
From: Dave Patterson <terraper@comnet.ksc.net.th>
Subject: mekong statement

Statement on Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin

4 April 1995, Chiengrai, Thailand

On 5 April 1995, governments of the lower Mekong Basin, those of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, will participate in the signing of the agreement for Cooperation in the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin.

On this occasion, we, the undersigned Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) of Thailand, respectfully submit this Statement to the Government of Thailand to convey our sincere concern to all parties involved.

The 4,200 kilometre Mekong River is the source of a rice-growing civilization. Food productivity throughout the 795,000 square kilometre Mekong River Basin is also important for the world. Large areas of pristine forest constitute the source of hundreds of large and small tributaries flowing into the Mekong and also provide habitat for many rare animals including the Kouprey and the Vu Quang Ox.

The ecological system of the Mekong River Basin also includes seasonally flooded forests, Cambodias Great Lake, and the Mekong Delta in Vietnam. In all, the Mekong River Basin sustains one of the most biologically diverse fish and aquatic fauna populations in the world. Mekong fishes undertake massive seasonal migrations to feed and spawn throughout the river basin. Scientists are still identifying new fish species in Mekong waters and estimate that there are more than 1,000 species. Fish are the primary source of protein for the vast majority of people living in the Mekong River Basin.

The Mekong River Basin is also a centre of great cultural diversity, representing a heritage that is both unique and of great value for the world. The traditional balance and harmony of rural peoples livelihoods with the ecosystems of the Mekong River Basin is both the foundation and potential for agriculture-based economic development.

We, the undersigned, support the principle of equal cooperation amongst the riparian countries of the Mekong River Basin through the equal participation of Mekong citizens.

We, the undersigned, oppose the influence of the dam-building industry in the discussions, planning and determination of the objectives of the Agreement, which has defined a single, centrally-planned concept of development.

We, the undersigned, oppose the Mekong water diversion plans of the Government of Thailand.

We, the undersigned, demand an end to the era of environmental destruction and the beginning of an era of sustainability that does not damage the natural environment and which benefits all members of societies.

We, the undersigned, conclude that,

The Mekong River basin has immense value and potential to form the basis of a new era of sustainability. Recognition of this is an important first step towards long-lasting peace and a better quality of life for all people living in the basin.

Yours Respectfully,

1. Friends of the People Group
2. NGO Coordinating Committee on Development
3. NGO Coordinating Committee on Development (North)
4. NGO Coordinating Committee on Development (Northeast)
5. Villagers Committee for the Recovery of Livelihood and Community in the Mool River Watershed
6. Committee of 16 Institutes for the Conservation of Natural Resources and the Environment
7. Isarn Natural Resources and Environment Working Group
8. River Protection Network
9. Conservation of the Phrom River Watershed Project
10. Conservation and Recovery of the Phong Watershed Project
11. Community Forest Project, Surin Province
12. Community Forest Development Project, Phan District, Suring Province
13. Lao Watershed Development Project, Chiangmai Province
14. Kok Watershed Conservation and Recovery Project, Chiangmai Province
15. Thammool Project, Surin Province
16. Peoples Organization Network for Conservation of Watersheds
17. Local Development Institute
18. Union for Civil Liberties
19. Creative Association for Life and Environment, Chiengrai Province
20. Association for Study and Culture of Akha People
21. Isarn Farmers Union
22. Wildlife Fund Thailand, Under the Royal Patronage of Her Majesty the Queen
23. Seub Nakasathien Foundation
24. Thai Volunteers for Society Foundation
25. Foundation for Ecological Recovery
26. Coordinating Committee for Plain of the Weeping Kula Development Cooperation, Roi-Et Province
27. Northern Development Workers Association
28. Rural Reconstruction Alumni and Friends Association
29. Siam Environment Club
30. Technology Centre for Society