Working closely with the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and other regional and national partners, SERVIR-Mekong brought together satellite imagery, ground-based measurements, and local expertise to produce water resource maps, drought forecasts, and other online data resources. These products help the MRC and other agencies prepare for and respond effectively to drought.
Mekong Blues (Laos) – Hydropower dams on the lower Mekong in Laos would threaten the future of the world’s most productive freshwater fisheries, the stability of the densely populated delta, and the river’s biodiversity – including critically endangered river dolphins and Mekong giant catfish. 60 million people depend on the health of the lower Mekong.
Riverscope has been applied to five pilot projects in Africa and Southeast Asia, including three dams planned on the Mekong River. The assessments found that large hydropower projects are often associated with ESG risks that are difficult to manage effectively or at a reasonable cost. This inevitably leads to long delays and budget overruns.
Southeast as a whole, from Indonesia to Thailand and Vietnam, now accounts for more than half of global energy demand. All the major economies in the region continue to rely on coal and as a result, emissions will keep rising.
Outlining a comprehensive action plan for the Mekong River region at a virtual meeting with Association of Southeast Asian Nations foreign ministers earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken made it clear that Biden sees the area as America’s new strategic “pivot.”
The inaugural meeting between the bloc and the Mekong River Commission has been hailed as a means of boosting protection of the vital waterway. Asean has not previously discussed issues relating to the river at the regional level, but its fluctuating water levels have put upstream Chinese dams in the spotlight.
Int’l RBOs are often seen as “powerless” or “toothless” when it comes to difficult decisions like dam building. But MRC Secretariat’s Anoulak Kittikhoun argues otherwise. In his interview with Khmer Times he addresses this & several other questions.
This paper first provides a theoretical tour d’horizon of this legal problématique, identifying a series of problems and possible solutions based on the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. The practical consequences of this problématique will then be explored in the context of the Lancang–Mekong River, and the interaction between the various legal frameworks at play.
For instance, the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Cross-Border Transport Facilitation Agreement (CBTA) allows each of the six-member countries – Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam – to issue up to 500 GMS Road Transport Permits and Temporary Admission Documents (TADs) for goods and passenger vehicles registered, owned and/or operated in that country.