Target: Goh Nan Kioh, Executive Chairman of the Board of Mega First Corporation
Goal: Stop the damming of a river that would cause the extinction of a rare species of dolphin
The Irrawaddy dolphin is a rare dolphin species living in the Mekong River in Southeast Asia, and a development company is planning to dam the river near their habitat in Laos. Building the dam could kill the few dolphins that survive there and lead to the extinction of the species. In addition the dam would jeopardize local fisheries, forcing millions of people who rely on these fisheries into poverty.
Only 85 Irrawaddy dolphins currently survive in a small section of the Mekong River. Plans to build the Don Sahong Dam near their community would devastate the species. Sound waves from the initial explosions to clear tons of rock would likely kill many of these dolphins due to their highly sensitive hearing. The dolphins who manage to survive construction on the river would then be forced to endure increased boat traffic, drastic changes in water quality, and the destruction of much of their habitat, likely leading to their extinction.
The dam will also severely impact the food security and livelihoods of the people who rely on the river’s fisheries, according to World Wildlife Fund. More than 60 million people in Cambodia and Laos could be forced into poverty as a direct result of the building of the dam.
Officials from Mega First Corporation, the development company building the dam, have scheduled construction to begin in mid to late 2014. Urge company officials to immediately cancel plans to build the dam and to seek out alternative arrangements instead.
Dear Mr. Goh Nan Kioh,
I strongly oppose construction of the Don Sahong Dam in the Mekong River. A rare species called the Irrawaddy dolphin lives there, and building the dam would almost certainly lead to its extinction. The dam would also jeopardize local fisheries, forcing the millions of people who depend on them into poverty.
Only 85 Irrawaddy dolphins currently survive in this section of the Mekong, and sound waves from explosions during construction alone would kill many of them due to their highly sensitive hearing. Those dolphins that survive would see their habitat and food supply decimated while simultaneously having to deal with increased boat traffic and pollution in the area.
Building a dam is not the only way to manage the Mekong River’s resources. There are alternative approaches and technologies that could do so in a sustainable way and help meet energy needs as well. I urge you to show compassion to the dolphins as well as the people who rely on the river for survival and cancel plans to build the Don Sahong Dam.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: BBC World Service Bangladesh Boat via Flickr