Mekong Eye

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The top 5 water stories in 2016

Water is an irreplaceable component in the fight against climate change but it is also its biggest victim. The World Economic Forum named water the number one threat in 2015 and it was also ranked a top risk in 2016. Over the last 12 months, the world was given a sneak preview of the global water wars scientists have predicted for the century ahead, and tensions surrounding dams and the control of water within drought situations were flashpoints for conflict. Companies can expect water use to hit their bottom lines harder and prices of electricity are likely to go up as hydropower comes under threat.

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China’s clean-energy giants on an overseas shopping spree

Chinese state-funded renewable energy firms are spreading the net overseas, as quality new projects become harder to come by at home, and have already been successful in snapping up some prime operational projects, while bidding for others, both in developed and emerging markets. The two most active are China General Nuclear Power Group, the nation’s largest nuclear reactor developer, and China Three Gorges, the country’s biggest hydro power projects developer.

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The media megaphone: does it help curb bad infrastructure projects?

We live today in the most explosive era of infrastructure development in human history. By mid-century the unprecedented rate of highway, dam, mine and power plant construction; along with city growth, will girdle the globe in concrete. Arguably, that burst of activity will improve the lives of millions. But it is also coming at a terrible cost to the natural world, as we lose the rainforests, estuaries, wetlands, wildlife and indigenous people of our planet.

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Eye Original

After COP22, cities will lead on climate change: Are Mekong cities part of this trend?

Cities are now taking lead in addressing climate change. New and innovative policies are being implemented at a local level because of the government´s closer relationships with their businesses, residents and institutions, and partnerships are being promoted globally. This shows how cities are well-positioned in to play a leadership in reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions.

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Development as Unfreedom: Shrinking Democratic Spaces in Asia

The real sign of development and democracy is how a country respects, protects and promotes freedoms and human rights. The biggest challenge of our times is the increasing gap between the promises and performance of states and governments in relation to the protection of the freedoms and human rights of their people. This is most evident in many countries in Asia, with the shrinking of freedom and democratic spaces resulting in increasing attacks on human rights defenders.

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The media's role in telling environmental stories

Journalists have the unique ability to help accelerate climate action through advocacy and education, but their potential to help achieve the global climate goals agreed in Paris last year still remains largely untapped, said media and environmental experts in Singapore. Speaking at the inaugural Asian Environmental Journalists Forum, organised by non-profit Singapore Environment Council and media organisation Eco-Business, panellists said that shrinking budgets, a lack of public interest and the ever increasing complexity and geographical scope of climate issues are just some of the challenges that journalists face when trying to report on environmental issues today.

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Recognizing environmentalists under threat

It is well documented that our planet, along with its biodiversity and life-sustaining resources, is severely threatened. Lesser known is that some of the bravest among us, our environmental defenders, are putting their lives on the line on a daily basis. According to Global Witness, hundreds of activists, indigenous leaders, and environmental journalists have been killed in the past five years. Still more have faced intimidation, legal threats, and brutal violence over their efforts to protect the planet and its resources.

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Report reveals a big dependence on freshwater fish for global food security

Freshwater fish play a surprisingly crucial role in feeding some of the world’s most vulnerable people, according to a study published Monday (Oct. 24) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “It was eye-opening just how many people are deeply dependent on freshwater fisheries as sources of protein,” says Pete McIntyre, a lead co-author of the study and professor of zoology in the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “Many people in poor nations do not get much animal protein to eat, and freshwater fish provide protein for the nutritional equivalent of 158 million people around the world.”

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