Late last month, Thailand’s cabinet approved the construction of the Huay Samong dam, which will inundate part of the World Heritage listed Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex.
The multi-million dollar project is expected to flood large areas of forest in Thap Lan and Pang Sida national parks. Construction is now cleared to proceed despite objections from the National World Heritage Committee and environmental activists, who questioned the validity of the 2003 Environmental Impact Assessment of the project.
With parts of Thailand suffering from severe drought and flooding in recent times, the dam may help communities and farmers not displaced. However, a recent global study highlights dams as both a key threat to biodiversity and an outdated approach to water management.