The government’s push to reclaim forest land from encroachers in Ubon Ratchathani’s Khong Chiam district has threatened members of two communities who now face arrest and eviction from their land. To make things worse, construction of Chinese dams in the upper Mekong River in the past decade has severely impacted fish stocks and local livelihoods that depend on fishing.
Isaan’s last free-flowing river and one of the country’s most ecologically diverse areas is under attack. The government’s water management plans call for dams and watergates to be built on the Songkhram River. If they go ahead, this area will see the same ecological and environmental destruction that other dams in the region have already caused.