Environment and natural resources

Ecological services

The Precarious State of the Mekong

The author Tucker Elliot wrote in “The Rainy Season” about the volatile nature of the Mekong:  “No matter the border, the Mekong has been an indiscriminate giver and taker of life in Southeast Asia for thousands of years. It’s a paradox like civilization’s other great rivers – ...

Nicholas Muller

Thailand’s rich freshwater biodiversity under threat

The Thai government has taken efforts to tackle climate change by building a large number of water retention projects. But they could threaten the country’s freshwater biodiversity unless new sustainable solutions are taken into consideration. In a remote forest in Thailand’s western Ratchaburi province, a team ...

Pratch Rujivanarom

Vietnam orders media to promote its ocean strategy

The Vietnamese government has launched a national campaign to promote its maritime policies as the ruling party pledges to explore “all available legal tools” to defend its interests amid China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea. A government order stipulates that by 2025, all domestic media outlets ...

RFA Staff

Ramsar designation planned for Boeung Prek Lapouv area

The Boeung Prek Lapouv Protected Landscape Area in Takeo province – renowned as a habitat for many species of rare water and migratory birds – is set to be designated a Ramsar site, or a wetland of international importance. Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said ...

Orm Bunthoeurn

Volatile Mekong threatens birds’ nest

Just 50 metres from the Mekong, in the shadow of a discarded plastic cup, a lone chick sits camouflaged on the sand. It is a newly hatched small pratincole in Bueng Kan province, northeast Thailand.  “I recorded 15 nests on the beach, smaller numbers compared with previous ...

Tyler Roney

Myanmar migratory bird census to be taken by locals

The Asian migratory bird census which is usually conducted yearly will be taken in collaboration with local communities in Myanmar this year, said Daw Thiri Daewi Aung, executive director at Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association (BANCA). “Normally, the migratory bird census is taken in the second ...

Phyo Wai Kyaw

$1M grant from Luce Foundation launches interdisciplinary program on. Mekong Sustainability 

A Michigan State University interdisciplinary team of faculty and staff is working to foster environmental justice in Southeast Asia. The Henry Luce Foundation’s Initiative on Southeast Asia, or LuceSEA, is providing $1 million in funding to help create the Mekong Culture WELL project. The Lower Mekong ...

Lois Furry, Amanda Flaim

Tonlé Sap Ecosystem is threatened by Development of Hydropower Dams on the Mekong River

Every year, between May and October, floodwaters from the Lower Mekong Basin reverse the flow of the Tonlé River in Cambodia. That pushes sediment-rich waters into the Tonlé Sap Lake and its surrounding floodplains and forests, which support complex food webs, migration patterns and agricultural ...

Kitila Davies

Giant river animals on verge of extinction, report warns

Populations of the great beasts that once dominated the world’s rivers and lakes have crashed in the last 50 years, according to the first comprehensive study. Some freshwater megafauna have already been declared extinct, such as the Yangtze dolphin, and many more are now on the ...

Damian Carrington

Where Did All the Free-Flowing Rivers Go?

A map of the world’s free-flowing rivers shows a shrinking number can still meander as they please. New plans for hydropower will further constrain flow.  Giant catfish once swam in the golden-brown waters of the Mekong River near the Thai village of Sob Ruak. But since ...

Jenessa Duncombe

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