Pak Mun Declaration
Approved at the First East and SE Asia Meeting
on Dams, Rivers and People
Demanding a moratorium on dam construction,
decommissioning of existing dams,
reparations for dam-affected people
Mae Mun and Mekong Rivers,
Kong Jiam, Thailand
July 1, 2000
We, the people from 12 countries
of East and Southeast Asia namely Korea, China, Japan, Indonesia,
Philippines, Thailand, Burma, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia
and Hong Kong, representing organizations of dam-affected
people and their allies, have gathered here at the mouth of
the Mun River (Pak Mun) in order to express our unity in strengthening
the people's power and supporting our struggle against the
injustices that we are now encountering.
We have exchanged our experiences both at the local and regional
level and recognize that all of us are facing similar kinds
of problems caused by dams. Dams have brought about the destruction
of rivers and the lives and livelihoods of villagers. Dams
undermine the rights of people, their community and culture
as well as destroying the environment, all of which are basic
needs for their survival.
In order to protect the rights and livelihood of people and
rivers, our demands are as follows;
１ A moratorium on large dam construction in East and SE Asia
until the problems created by existing dams have been rectified
and reparation made to affected communities. Further, dams
which have created irreversible social, environmental, and
cultural destruction must be decommissioned and the rivers
２ The bilateral and multilateral organizations must stop financing
dam projects. Development assistance should not be spent on
destroying the lives of the people. The transnational corporations,
private companies and private banks must also abolish their
investment in dam-building projects that do not do justice
３ Governments, dam-building companies, dam industry consultants,
the World Bank, private banks and the Asian Development Bank,
who are all responsible for the havoc wreaked upon our communities
by large dams, must pay proper reparations to all dam-affected
４ Critical and independent inquiries on the rationale and
justification of proposed dam projects should be carried out.
Integrated Resource Planning, demand side management and conservation
of natural resources should be prioritized. Cheaper, cleaner
and better alternatives to dams should be undertaken to meet
actual needs of people for energy and water.
５ No development projects should be built without the voluntary,
prior and informed consent of all affected people. Information
regarding proposed projects must be disclosed, in a timely
and transparent manner, to the general public and, especially,
to people directly impacted from such projects. Further, we
demand democratic reforms throughout the region to increase
freedom of speech, press and assembly so that people can participate
without fear in the decision-making process regarding the
use and management of their resources.
６ The oppression of indigenous peoples by dams and other projects
should be stopped. We demand that the cultural, social, economic
and land rights of indigenous peoples be fully recognized
７ We oppose the privatization of rivers and water resources.
We also oppose the control of rivers and water resources by
illegitimate and repressive governments, as in Burma. Access
to water is a basic human right. Rivers must be in the hands
of the people, not the private sector or military regimes.
８ In order for our demands to be implemented, we declare that
we will unite our struggle at the local, national and international
level so as to stop the funding of dam projects in East and
SE Asia and to restore rivers to the communities who depend
Water for Life, not for Death!
Ao Khuan kuen bpai, ao Dhammachat kuen ma!
Take your dams back, give us nature!