Thailand | Founded in 2016 | Thousand Currents Partner since 2023

Project SEVANA

Protecting livelihood and natural resources in the Mekong region

Project SEVANA works collectively with the infrastructure-affected communities along the Mekong River and its basin. Along with regional activists, its vision is to strengthen the solidarity among local and Indigenous Peoples, smallholder farmers, and freshwater fisherfolk communities in resisting large-scale projects and false climate solutions. 

Project SEVANA’s strategy includes urging the Mekong governments, regional mechanisms like the Mekong River Committee and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights, to uphold the role of the public and communities impacted by hydropower dam projects, and stop large-scale, false climate projects in other Mekong countries. 

Project SEVANA’s work streams are:

  • Hydropower dam campaign: Given the significant foreign investments in mega dams and other infrastructure projects in the Mekong region, Project SEVANA mobilizes communities, allied social movements, journalists, and artists to campaign against such projects. They have done this through their negotiations with Thai state authorities to stop purchasing electricity from Laos dams, given the human and ecological rights violations.
  • Alliance building on Just Energy Transition: Project SEVANA has been organizing an annual regional convening called the Mekong-ASEAN Environmental Week (MAEW) for communities, academics, and activists working on the Just Energy Transition and other highlighted environmental issues in the region. MAEW brings together hundreds of participants annually. This convening is key for movement building, deepening movement analysis about false climate solutions and the key impacted large-scale projects around the region, and providing an opportunity to build strategies to resist them.
  • Research and documentation: Given the lack of documentation and information on large climate projects in the Mekong, Project SEVANA works with communities and allies to document the impacts of river and land grabbing, and various development projects while providing a gendered analysis.
  • Agroecology and food sovereignty: Since 2016, Project SEVANA has initiated a workstream on agroecology practices and the regional campaign on food sovereignty as a direct response to large-scale agribusiness and infrastructure projects in the region, which have been grabbing community lands and natural resources.
  • Community-controlled energy democracy: Since 2017, in collaboration with the local communities and organizations in the region, Project SEVANA has supported the work of community-level and smallholder farmers to set up, maintain, and manage community solar units. These units have provided electricity for water pumps among other needs.
  • Youth leadership building: Project SEVANA works with young people from Mekong communities, especially young women, to provide political and environmental analysis for potential young activists from cities and communities around the region.