A win for Kru Ti and the Mekong River
Over the past 20 years, Niwat Roykaew, a teacher, activist and founder of the Chiang Khong Conservation Group in Chiang Rai province has been campaigning to bolster the grassroots movement he initiated to protect the Mekong River, a crucial lifeline for countries in the Mekong Region.
The movement began in earnest in opposition to a state-endorsed project to blast rapids along the river. It needs to be mentioned that the rapid clearance is the result of cooperation between Thai and Chinese authorities, with the goal of opening a logistical route for large cargo barges from Yunnan in China’s southwestern region to Luang Prabang in Laos.
Now the long struggle has started to bear fruit with another small conservation group, the Mekong School on Local Knowledge, emerging as a learning centre for children, students, civil servants, Buddhist monks and the general public.