The Mekong’s normal flow can be restored if large volumes of water are consistently and reliably released from Chinese dam reservoirs. However, China’s water policy shows Beijing is unlikely to change its behavior and the worst for the Mekong is yet to come.
If China takes the bait and resumes this and other deeply unpopular hydropower projects in partnership with the new junta, it is likely to permanently alienate the people of Myanmar, including their democratic leaders.
Time is running out and one Stanford University expert says that things could begin to look ‘bleak’ if something is not done to address the country’s rapidly looming fertility crisis.
According to the latest Global Climate Risk Index report, published in January, Vietnam’s economy is among the most vulnerable in the world to the impacts of climate change.
Brian Eyler, an expert in rivers who is the director of the South East Asia Program at the Stimson Center said China has built several small- and medium-sized dam and as per an analysis of recent data on Chinese dams, “these operations have delivered deeper and deeper cuts to the downstream communities of the once-mighty Mekong river.”
The race between two competing ideas for mega infrastructure projects in Southern Thailand has entered the final stretch. The old Khlong Thai or “Thai Canal” scheme has been overtaken by the new “Land Bridge”, which enjoys crucial support from Transport Minister Saksiam Chidchob.
They report that several countries under greatest China debt stress show great promise for both debt-for-nature and debt-for-climate swaps, including Angola, Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Solomon Islands, which score highest across simultaneous climate and biodiversity threats and opportunities.
Rice-producing and storm-vulnerable Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, for instance, are potential “risk exporters” to countries like Singapore that depend heavily on their harvests,
Though the subregional mechanism, the Mekong-Ganga Cooperation (MGC), exists — through which India engages with the five nations in the Mekong subregion — it focuses on socio-economic and cultural cooperation such as connectivity, trade, tourism, etc.
Entrepreneurs banking on electric vehicles as one of the solutions to tackle climate change are positioning themselves early, as Thailand looks to ramp up production.