Xayaburi and the Mekong Critical Point: Over-Damming the Shared River and Bigger Threats to the Shared Future




Le, Nhina

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Taylor & Francis (Routledge)


Despite the correlation between hydropower plant construction and economic growth, Laos’ approach to the Xayaburi issue may backfire. The construction of big dams on the Mekong River would lead to food insecurity and jeopardize the health and livelihoods of over 60 million people in the region. These communities see the survival of the river and its resources as an important part of their everyday socio-economic lives, traditional values, and cultural identities. If the problems of resource and power management and distribution continue, and if public concerns are not adequately addressed, over time, these issues may become a potential source of social unrest and human, national, and regional instabilities.



Dam, Mekong River, Resource management, Xayaburi, Geopolitics, Water, Food security


Le, N. (2013). Xayaburi and Mekong Critical Point. Peace Review, Vol 25 (2).