As many of you are probably aware, a number (aprox. 40) of large damming projects are currently under planning in Vietnam. Many of these dams are located in, or close to, areas considered to be "priority biological hotspots", and most of them will also af
fect the traditional lands of a number of native, ethnic groups.
Norwegian and Swedish companies are involved in some of the projects under planning, and the projects may receive financial aid through the norwegian agency for development assistance, NORAD and its swedish sister SIDA.Norad and SIDa has just decided to f
inance the master hydro power plan for Vietnam. This plan is expected to be crucial for future dam building, i.e. the World Bank is waiting for the plan before deciding whether to finance some projects.
As a Norwegian NGO, FIVAS is working to influence on the Norwegian authorities and their involvement in such controversial projects as are the planned dams in Vietnam. In order to demand thorough investigations on the consequences of such projects, FIVAS
is gathering information on the possible cultural, economical and environmental impacts that these may cause.
Experiences from other damming projects have shown that the affects on the native ictyofauna and local fisheries has often been disastrous. However, we do not have any good information on the Vietnamese ictyofauna. Judging from the situation in the neighb
ouring countries we expect that Vietnam should house a highly diverse ictyofauna, but from what we understand, few studies have been undertaken so far.
We are distributing this letter with the hope that someone out there might help us out with any information on the following issues:
* general aspects of the Vietnamese ictyofauna (diversity, to which extent it has been studied, etc)
* ictyofauna hotspots (are there any areas where damming project could be especially harmfull?)
* fish migration? (are there migrating species which would be negatively afected by damming of rivers?)
* economic and cultural values of freshwater fisheries.
* relevant literature
* names and e-mailadress of anyone working on relevant issues.
Please distibute this inquiry to anyone you think may be of help. As we have a meeting scheduled with the Norwegian authorities in medio April, quick respones would be greatly appreciated.
Responses sholud be sent to the following adress: fivas at online.no or snail-mail:
FIVAS - Association for International Water and Forest Studies
Foreningen for Internasjonale Vann- og Skogstudier