Striking a balance between conservation and development at the heart of Mekong struggle

Depending on who you speak to, there are naturally differing perspectives in regard to the future of the Mekong River, as most people living along the river look for a sustainable future through conservation of the existing ecosystem, while governments seek balanced resource usage and benefit-sharing arrived at via diplomacy and negotiation. The Lower Mekong has been a hotspot for mega-projects and developments initiated by the governments of Mekong River Basin countries and big private investors. Many of them have already constructed on the mainstream of the river – for instance, the Xayaburi and Don Sahong dams – while many other projects, such as the river’s navigation-channel improvement and Pak Beng Dam, are scheduled to be implemented soon.

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