FOLLOWING THE launch of its ambitious Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (Belt and Road) initiative in a big way, China followed it up with last month’s official inauguration of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which is now operational.
Opinion & Blogs
As of Tuesday, the combined amount of usable water retained in seven major dams, including Bhumibol and Sirikit, that feed the Central plains stood at around 3,300 million cubic metres, or 18 per cent of their combined capacity of around 24,700 million cu.
The National Water Resources Committee (NWRC) came up with this figure at the end of November as it does every year, and after seeing these numbers, I must say it is of serious concern and I wonder how we will be able to survive yet another drought.
The Mekong countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam are emerging to be not only the new growth center but also a new strategic frontier in Asia.
With a population of around 240 million and a combined GDP of $664 billion, the Mekong region has geopolitical significance and economic weight. It is located at the junction of the enormous emerging markets of Asia and their combined population of about 3.3 billion.
Myanmar’s landmark election and the likelihood of a peaceful and smooth power transition have drawn more international attention and interest to the Mekong region as a whole. Myanmar is expected to be a key regional actor and now possibly a catalyst of regional peace, democracy, and development.
A leaked WWF report exposes the scale of illegal logging in Laos. Almost all of timber exports from Laos go to Vietnam and China. In 2013, Laos exported 1.4 million cubic metres of timber to these two countries. That’s more than 10 times the official timber harvest in Laos.
The recent Thai Supreme Court acquittal of three men who masterminded the murder of environmental activist Charoen Wat-aksorn, shows a skewed justice system that puts capitalism in front of community. But this is not the only case of the forced silence of environmentalists.
How dam construction companies deal with the social and environmental impacts of their projects comes down to more than just their own policies, write Johan Nordensvard and Frauke Urban.
Not only does hydropower development along the Mekong impact on food security, it also pushes land-use changes in other parts of the world. This was shown by visiting researcher Jamie Pittock in a recent Water Dialogues seminar.
The fallout from the Great Fall in financial markets, equities and currencies is ricocheting through the regional economy and beginning to exact a toll – initially among badly-run companies and poorly-managed government institutions.
Across the open door of the immigration office, a black dog sleeps, his ears twitching. It is a slow day at the border, under the tropical afternoon sun.
Streets were turned into riv-ers in Ha Noi and HCM City in a matter of hours over the last few days in what have been described as historic rainfalls. Traffic was thrown into chaos as thousands of residents scrambled to get home in the driving rain that lasted for hours at a time.
The Mekong River Commission (MRC), the only intergovernmental body mandated to sustainably manage and protect the Lower Mekong River, is on the brink of demise. While transboundary water governance has faced significant challenges in the region since the MRC was established in 1995, the Commission’s first real test came more recently with the start of the regional debate over plans to build a cascade of eleven mainstream dams on the Lower Mekong River.
Minority groups, which make up 40 percent of Myanmar’s population and are represented by their own political parties, have not been under effective state control since Myanmar’s independence 67 years ago. Despite the ceasefire agreement, fighting between ethnic armed groups and the Myanmar Armed Forces has continued in several states. One of their grievances is the damming of the Salween river in their controlled territories. Proper accommodation of the interests of minority groups in this matter is crucial for ensuring that a peaceful post-election period and transition towards true democracy.