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C.2.c. Campaigns Against Dams
Examines growing significance of environmental movement in Thailand since the success in stopping proposed dam in 1988.
Analysis of two case studies in Thailand: the Raindrops Association encouraging villagers to resuscitate the natural environment; and the opposition to planned Kaeng Krung Dam.
Focused particularly on the controversy over the major Narmada River dam projects, but also provides comparative perspective by considering dam projects in Brazil, China, Indonesia, South Africa and Lesotho, where the World Bank and other lenders were persuaded to withdraw funding.
See also: Khagram, ‘Restructuring the Global Politics of Development: The Case of India’s Narmada Valley Dams’, pp. 206-30; and Smitu, Kothari, ‘Globalization, Global Alliances and the Narmada Movement’, pp. 231-44.
Journalist Nina Lakhani draws on numerous interviews, including with Caceras herself, legal files and corporate records to recount the years of environmental protest by this indigenous Honduran activist, who received the Goldman Prize in 2015 for her successful campaign to halt the hydroelectric dam being built on a river sacred to her people, and was assassinated in 2016. She had been under threat for years, and many colleagues had been killed or forced into exile. Lakhani attended the trial of Caceres' killers in 2018, when employees of the dam Company and state security were implicated in the murder by hired gunmen. But the trial failed to reveal who had ordered and paid for the assassination.
Interview with Peter Lallang, campaigning in Sarawak to defend its biodiverse rainf orest and indigenous people against the Malaysian government's plans for megadams. He briefly describes the Save Rivers campaign that included river flotillas in towns and rural areas and a two-year blockade to stop dam building. The campaign also made international links with the Green Party in Australia to lobby parliamentarians about links to a Tasmanian company, and also top renewable energy experts at the University of California, who provided alternative energy proposals for the region. After five years the Malaysian government agreed to cancel the dam, but campaigners fear it may revive the project.
Commentary by Booker-winning novelist and prominent Narvada Dam activist on struggle against the Sardar Sarovar Dam and the wider implications of government policy on building dams. Also available in various forms on the internet.
This article covers a major struggle for indigenous rights and environmental protection in Brazil, opposing construction of 49 dams on the Tapajos river and its tributaries to generate electricity and to create a canal to a major new container port. The scheme is backed by the Brazilian government and includes finance and engineering from Chinese and European companies, and would provide power to soya growers and mining companies. It threatens the home of the Munduruku tribes and an area of pristine rainforest. The protesters gained a partial victory in 2016 when the Brazilian environmental agency suspended the license for one dam, but the local people fear renewed pressure.