Thai dam would flood tiger habitat, activists warn

Thai dam would flood tiger habitat, activists warn

THAILAND - A group of prominent environmental activists will kick off a protest today against the Nakhon Sawan Mae Wong Dam project, calling on the government to scrap the plan.

They said the dam project would inundate more than 13,000 rai of forest areas in Mae Wong National Park, affecting the balance of wildlife, including tigers.

A group led by Seub Nakhasathien Foundation's secretary-general Sasin Chalermlarp, will hand the petition to the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP)'s panel of environmental experts.

It will request they stop conducting a environmental and health impact assessment (EHIA) report on the proposed dam.

The Mae Wong Dam project was initiated by the Royal Irrigation Department (RID) 30 years ago and is now part of the government's Bt350 (S$14billion) -billion water-management and flood-prevention scheme.

The dam is aimed at resolving flood and drought problems in areas, which deliver water to 291,900 rai of irrigated areas in Nakhon Sawan, Kamphaeng Phet and Uthai Thani.

RID submitted the EHIA report for ONEP's deliberation several times without success, as it did not include information about proper measures to mitigate the impact of the project on the flora and fauna in the area.

In a bid to protest over the dam plan, Sasin and other environmental activists will start walking from Bangkok to the dam construction site located in Nakhon Sawan province's Mae Wong National Park. They will also tear up the EHIA report, page by page, during their protest trip.

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