As a new year dawns, the waters of the Mekong River remain turbulent with uncertainty. While many take holidays and prepare for the new year, the people of the Mekong face an unknown future.
Earlier this month, residents along the Mekong in Chiang Rai were preparing to participate in a public hearing about a project to canalize the Lancang-Mekong, popularly known as the Mekong “rapids-blasting” project. The Chiang Khong Conservation Group, a local environmental organization, was informed by the Marine Department that eight hearings would be organized in districts along the Mekong in Chiang Rai from December 12-18. However, just one day before the meetings were due to begin, the group received a letter advising that the hearings would be postponed indefinitely.