The Thai government has moved ahead with the plan to boost trade, sparking outrage among environmentalists.
Hundreds of Thai NGOs are mobilising a campaign to the save the ecologically precious islets and rapids at Khon Pi Luang | Tom Fawthrop
Down the ages, the mighty Mekong has beguiled travellers with its swirling rapids, rocky inlets and dotted islets. Currents reefs and rocks have repeatedly thwarted attempts at smooth navigation since French colonial times, when explorers hoped to open up a lucrative backdoor trade route to tap China’s vast markets.
But today the natural landscape and the rich biodiversity of this great river are under threat from a rock and islets demolition plan.
Kobsak Pootrakool, a deputy minister at Thai Prime Minister’s office told media that China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand will set up a team to survey the river. “It is necessary to make way for navigational improvements in the river to make it passable for 500-tonne ships, for the safety of goods and transport of people, as well as reducing risk from accidents,” Kobsak said.