Experts Weigh In

Founding RFA Executive Editor Dan Southerland Interviews Experts

Brian Eyler

Director, Southeast Asia Program, Stimson Center

The Mekong River crosses six countries and supports as many as 70 million people living both in subsistence economies and in modern cities. Yet little investigative reporting has been done on the impact of dam building along the river’s mainstream and its tributaries.

Ian Baird

Geography Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

As experts increasingly doubt the value of building large dams, Dr. Ian Baird takes a firm stand against international organizations that, according to him, have failed to mitigate negative impact on local populations.

Pham Tuan Phan

Chief Executive Officer, Mekong River Commission

The Mekong River Commission, created to promote sustainable development in four of the six countries it traverses, has long been accused of having “no teeth” at a time when upstream dams have an enormous impact on the lives and livelihoods of people downstream. Reports abound regarding decreasing staff and finances.