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  • Hou Sahong Channel, Dam Site, Viet Nam

    Changing Tides for a Common Future: The MRC and Hydro-Diplomacy

    10/03/2015

    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.

  • Election over Troubled Waters: Why Benefit Sharing over the Salween is Important for Myanmar

    10/03/2015

    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.

  • China’s demand for aluminium is poisoning Southeast Asia

    09/20/2015

    Soaring Chinese demand for natural resources is wreaking environmental havoc throughout Southeast Asia. Driven by its internal needs to provide breakneck rates of job creation and economic growth, China’s developmental model has repeatedly abused the fickle regulatory environment of its neighbors to drive its thirst for commodities. It has made it clear that, whoever can provide, it will buy. At the behest of Chinese companies, countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia have rolled out the red carpet, with little regard for their fragile ecosystems.

  • Multilateral Development Banks and Safeguards

    09/16/2015

    Independent evaluations at multilateral development banks (MDBs) have called for a reform of the system of safeguards that they use to deflect potential damages to communities and the environment associated with the investments they finance. Without such mitigation, roads can harm habitats, dams displace communities and slum rebuilding hurt livelihoods.

  • Ban Pong: A Story of a Solid Community

    09/06/2015

    Two hundred years ago, the ancestors of the Ban Pong people came to the area to try to develop the land, during a time where land titles did not exist. They had lived in peace until the government issued a land titling policy in the 1990s.

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