Are We Seeing the Mekong River’s ‘Last Days’?

In the introduction to his new book, Brian Eyler cautions that “the reader should not get the impression from the book’s title that the Mekong River is in its death throes.” Yet 320 pages later, he signs off with a warning: “Unless we begin today to see the river and the landscape around it as a connected system and act jointly for its conservation, the Mighty Mekong’s last days are here and now.” Regardless of the impressions Eyler wishes to convey — of the river itself, of China, of the other five riparian nations, of the peoples and cultures within its basin — his final words are the far more convincing.

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