Mekong crisis could deepen fault lines within Asean if not seen as regional issue: ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute report

ASEAN, as a regional bloc, needs to take full ownership of the issues surrounding the Mekong River’s environmental crisis instead of relegating it to be of sub-regional importance for fear of displeasing Beijing, said researchers at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

“The Mekong River ecosystem is on the verge of irreversible collapse due to the accumulative effects of climate change and increased numbers of upstream dams as well as other human-made activities such as deforestation, sand mining, extensive irrigation for agriculture and wetland conversion,” said a report authored by Hoang Thi Ha, fellow and lead researcher of political security affairs at the institute’s Asean Studies Centre, with Farah Nadine Seth, research officer at the same centre.

Severe droughts in 2019 caused water levels in the river to drop to their lowest in more than 100 years, they added.

Keep reading