Mekong Eye

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Stories - Page 23

  • Southeast Asia’s last major undammed river in crisis


    From the snow-capped mountains of Tibet, the Salween rushes through steep gorges in Yunnan Province and flows through four of Myanmar’s ethnic states before emptying into the Andaman Sea.

    With dams on hold upstream, Yunnan’s provincial chief Li Jiheng expressed support in 2016 for a national park to stimulate this region’s tourism in the upper Salween (the Nu River) which already attracts many visitors to the ‘Three Parallel Rivers’ World Heritage site. Although Li Jiheng was recently replaced by Chen Hao, it is hoped that the dams will remain suspended.

  • 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.”

  • Meteorologist advises smaller alternatives to Myitsone megadam


    The former director general of the meteorology and hydrology department has proposed an alternative solution to the problem of the stalled Myitsone hydropower dam. Instead of building one destructive and publically reviled mega dam, why not build four smaller hydropower projects instead, he suggested on Facebook yesterday night.

  • Research: Watershed or Powershed? Critical Hydropolitics, China and the ‘Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Framework’


    Abstract: The countries sharing the Lancang-Mekong River are entering a new era of hydropolitics with a growing number of hydropower dams throughout the basin. Three ‘powersheds’, conceptualised as physical, institutional and political constructs that connect dams to major power markets in China, Thailand and Vietnam, are transforming the nature–society relations of the watershed. In the process, new conditions are produced within which the region’s hydropolitics unfold. This is epitomised by the ‘Lancang-Mekong Cooperation’ framework, a new initiative led by China that proposes programs on both economic and water resource development, and anticipates hydrodiplomacy via China’s dam-engineered control of the headwaters.

  • Vietnam playing ‘key Mekong sub-region role’


    VIETNAM has been making practical contributions to turning the Mekong sub-region into a dynamic and prosperous economic area via two crucial cooperation frameworks. That is according to the country’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, who spoke before meetings of those cooperations, the 8th Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Summit (CLMV-8) and the 7th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Coopera-tion Strategy Summit (ACMECS-7) which will be held in Hanoi on October 25 and 26.

  • From dams to basins: mapping across scales


    t the end of June 2016, WLE Greater Mekong published a series of maps identifying dams on the Irrawaddy, Salween, Mekong, and Red rivers and their tributaries. The maps cover existing dams, dams under construction, planned dams, and cancelled dams; both irrigation dams and hydroelectric dams are mapped, as long as they have a reservoir size of at least 0.5 km2 and/or have an installed capacity of at least 15 megawatts (for hydroelectric dams).

    The following is the first half of an interview that took place on 8 July 2016, between Dr Kim Geheb—the WLE Greater Mekong Regional Coordinator — and the editor of Thrive. It is being published here in anticipation of the Great Mekong Forum on Water, Food, and Energy.

  • Renewable energy gains offer us a cleaner future


    China has made a number of significant steps towards building a future of more sustainable energy.

    President Xi Jinping has made good on his commitment to increase the supply of renewable energy at the climate change conference in Paris last year, a time when the toxic smog choking streets in Beijing and Shanghai was making global headlines. I wrote about this at the time in my column “China’s energy paradox”.

  • Asia: Heading towards a seismic shift


    In a decade’s time, visitors to Asean, South and North Asia may find their personal experiences in their respective destinations differ quite drastically.

    Each Asian nation is busy operating at its own pace, plotting a new stage of economic development and growth – despite ongoing global economic uncertainty.

    In the process of this seismic shift, some countries have chosen to work in partnerships while others are tackling the challenges alone. All of them reflect Asia’s unique aspiration to take on global competitive pressure. Some nations aim to get out of the middle-income trap, while others want to secure a higher standard of living for their people.


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