On 14 March 2017, the International Day of Action for Rivers, we, the Save the Mekong Coalition along with civil society and community partners from Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, make this statement to express our gratitude to the Mekong River and the way of life she supports. The Mekong is our mother river, home to unique biodiversity and a lifeline for millions of people throughout the river basin. We recognize the efforts of Mekong communities who are working to protect and preserve the unique ecosystems and resources of the river for future generations.
We are extremely concerned by large-scale development plans, which ignore knowledge, cultures, and voices of the women and men in the Mekong Basin whose lives and beliefs are inherently intertwined with the Mekong River. Planning and decision-making over hydropower and other developments on the Mekong River have lacked public participation, transparency and accountability.
Rivers are essential in sustaining human existence globally, and yet, everywhere, freshwater systems are being destroyed and degraded. With climate change and increasing water scarcity, it is more important than ever to protect these vital resources and the biodiversity, natural systems and way of life they support.
On this day around the world hundreds of communities are joining together to take action for their rivers. We stand in solidarity with communities along the Mekong River. We re-affirm our commitment to work together across the basin, prioritizing the voices of Mekong communities in decision-making over the future of the Mekong River for current and future generations.