Phou Bunthann

Development and Community Rights Program Coordinator at 3S River Protection Network

Active in Country: Cambodia

DTP Alumnus: 2011 Indigenous Peoples Program - Philippines & 2008 18th Annual Program - Australia

Phou Bunthann participated in DTP Indigenous Peoples Program in Philippines in 2011 and DTP 18th Annual Program in Australia in 2008.


Phou, a development and community rights program coordinator at the 3S Rivers Protection Network, argues that the project will have a disastrous effect on local communities – especially Indigenous people reliant on natural resources. Many will be forced to relocate and the dam will severely impact local fish stocks and the biodiversity of the entire Lower Mekong Basin. Phou joined a DTP program in 2008 and continues to use the skills and contacts he gained in his advocacy work.


The Sesan, Srepok and Sekong (3S) rivers in northeastern Cambodia contribute more than 15% of the Mekong’s water flow and support a biologically diverse ecosystem. Many villagers living along the Mekong and its tributaries depend on the river for their food security and livelihoods. But they face an uncertain future in the shadow of the planned Lower Sesan 2 hydropower dam.


"This dam will completely change the lives and livelihood of the local people forever. Communities will be left poor and suffering, especially Indigenous people. And the impacts of this dam will be felt as far downstream as the Mekong Delta in Vietnam and as far upstream as Laos and Thailand. The Royal Government of Cambodia should cancel this project because it will not benefit Cambodia or the region"


Profile was part of 2015 DTP's 25th Anniversary Exhibition