Cizhong, a remote Tibetan village in China’s Yunnan province, has no recourse against the onslaught of impacts from the construction of the Wunonglong dam on the Upper Mekong River.
Some may say it is too early to conclude that the changing weather patterns in the Mekong region – be it a longer dry season, unexpected river water level fluctuation, or cold days in early summer – are a result of climate change. Even if we could summarize the large number of expert debates and long list of research papers, it’s unlikely that a clear answer to the simple question “Is climate change happening in the Mekong?” would emerge.
Environmental activists are once again lashing out at the Lao government and the intergovernmental Mekong River Commission (MRC) in the hope that hydropower projects on the Mekong will be delayed or cancelled.
The debate about the power of naming is long-running and contentious, engaging citizens and colonizers, academics and activists.1 “South” of China, “East” of India, Southeast Asia were names that came primarily from people not native to these regions who imagined these areas as a region through acts of war and nation building.