Darkness along the banks of “The river of light”

Hydropower development is always a trade-off between economic benefits and environmental issues. Human-beings’ intrusive intervention has been turning many rivers into dead flows. The fate of the 3S basin – the name of three rivers Sesan, Sekong and Srepok which run through the territories of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia before joining the Great Mekong – are drastically threatened by hydropower dams.

Pak Beng – The Third Domino in The Series of Mainstream Dams on The Lower Mekong in Laos

On a visit to the Asian Institute of Technology AIT on 10-15-2012 to inspect the mockup of the Xayaburi Hydropower Dam, Mr. Viraphonh Viravong, Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines of Laos, the “brain” behind all development projects for hydropower dams in Laos asserted: “There is no question of Lao PDR not developing its hydropower potential. The only question is how to do it sustainably.”

Kratie’s Tourist Boat Operators Worry Over Don Sahong Dam Impacts in Laos

Two commune chiefs and tourist boat operators in Kratie province have expressed their dissatisfaction over the construction of Don Sahong Dam, saying people’s living conditions will be getting worse while biodiversity – including rare fish species and dolphins in the lower Mekong River – are facing a threat of becoming extinct in the future if the Lao dam proceeds with its construction.

New Study: Excluding Women from EIA Worsens Social and Environmental Impacts

Mekong Partnership for the Environment The Government of Vietnam requires Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) for all large-scale infrastructure development projects and supports public participation in the EIA process. However, a new study shows that women and other marginalized people are often not engaged effectively in the EIA. Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) supported the […]

MPE and Partners Help Dam-Affected Cambodians Build Skills to Engage in EIA Processes

Mekong Partnership for the Environment MPE supports work in communities affected by development projects because the success or failure of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) depends on meaningful participation of all key stakeholders. USAID-funded Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) in partnership with NGO Forum on Cambodia (NGOF) trained 21 CSO and community representatives at […]

Livelihoods in jeopardy as Vietnam’s Mekong Delta struggles with sediment loss

Duong Cong To checks the water of the Hau River next to his house and he is not happy at all.

“It’s too clean,” he says.

The 72-year-old has spent all his life by the river, one of two tributaries of the Mekong and the main source of alluvium for fish farms and plantations in southern Vietnam.

Over the past years he has noticed a significant change in the river: it keeps changing its color from a reddish brown to an ocean-like blue.

“The water should look red. Now it’s crystal clear like there’s nothing in there.”

Author Q&A: How communities struggling with climate and development are “Living with the Mekong”

The richly illustrated book Living with the Mekong provides readers with insights into urban developments in one of the world’s most threatened deltas. According to the author, the book gives a personal account of “how Vietnam and the Vietnamese people cope with the consequences of climate change.” Joep Janssen, a Dutch urban delta expert, travelled through the Mekong Delta and Ho Chi Minh City area researching the impacts of climate change and development on farmers and urban inhabitants. The Mekong Eye talked to Joep, via email, about urbanization, climate change, development, and how decision makers in the Mekong region might learn from the Dutch experience.