Between 10 and 19 February 2011, a walk will take place along the Mekong River in northern Thailand to celebrate and raise awareness of the river’s natural beauty and conservation importance. The “Dhamma Yatra” walk for Mekong nature is being jointly organised by MWD Thailand and its partners, the Mekong-Lanna Network for Nature and Culture Conservation, Hill Area and Community Development Foundation (HADF), Living River Siam, Northern River Basin Network, Khun Nikom Phuttha and his Dhamma Yatra Network, Plum Village, a network of people from eight Mekong provinces, Anantara Golden Triangle, Panyapeti Institute, the Tambon Community Organization Network from seven Mekong provinces in northeast Thailand, and the Recycle Band.
Khun Tuenjai Deetes, chair of the National Working Group (NWG) of MWD Thailand, has been closely involved in preparations for the walk, beginning with a meeting of the NWG on 19 November 2011. The walk will cover 131 km along the Mekong River in Chiang Khong district of Chiang Rai, starting from Chiang Saen on 10 February and finishing on 19 February at Kang Pha Dai where the Mekong flows into Lao PDR.
The “Dhamma Yatra” walk will aim to create awareness of Mekong River conservation issues by bringing different groups of people together to see, listen to and learn about the nature and communities along the river’s course. Leaning forums will be held during the walk for well-known speakers to address participants and take part in moderated discussions. Conservation activities will also be organised with local communities, such as declaring and celebrating aquatic conservation zones in the Mekong River.