China Joins Lower Mekong River Countries to Study Impacts of Climate Change, Dams

China and the countries of the lower Mekong River are teaming up for their largest joint study yet of the impacts climate change and hydropower dams are having on one of Asia’s great waterways, and how to cope with the growing threats from floods and drought.

On Tuesday, the Mekong River Commission — an intergovernmental body comprising Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam — announced a three-year study spanning the entire river basin, in tandem with Myanmar and the China-led Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Water Center, or LMC. Lancang is China’s name for the Mekong.

From its headwaters in China’s western highlands to its delta on the South China Sea, the Mekong courses over 4,000 kilometers through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, supporting the livelihoods of 60 million people along the way.

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Zsombor Peter