ASEAN Today

Cambodia’s Tonle Sap shows what’s at stake in the Mekong’s dam-fueled decline

Every year around December, fishers, farmers and families across Cambodia begin the season for making the country’s traditional prahok fish paste, a vital staple in the country’s diet. But this tradition, along with the food supply and livelihoods of millions of people, is under threat from a growing ecological ...

Editorial

Angkor sells out: Cambodia turns a blind eye to vanishing forests

A series of reports this year show that protected forest areas across Cambodia are under increasing threat from land grabs and deforestation. As Cambodians struggle with the economic impacts of COVID-19, journalists and advocates report that illegal logging and land development continues, from central Cambodia’s Prey Lang Forest to the Cardamom Mountains ...

Editorial

Geopolitics plays out on the Mekong with doubts on dams and promises of cooperation

Recent weeks have seen new developments in the ongoing tension over the Mekong river and its waters, as the river basin faces ecological crises and its waters play an ever-larger role in geopolitics. Thailand has announced that it is reconsidering its decision to purchase power from the planned Sanakham ...

Editorial

Severe storms show how dams, displacement magnify climate impacts in Laos

As a wave of storms drives flooding across Southeast Asia, a community in northern Laos displaced by a hydropower dam says their new homes are no longer safe due to the threat of landslides. Over 12,000 people have been relocated to allow for the construction of seven dams on the ...

Editorial

Typhoon Vamco strikes Vietnam and the Philippines, showing force of climate crisis

On November 15, Typhoon Vamco struck the coast of central Vietnam with gusts topping 100 kilometers per hour, becoming the latest in a string of storms to hit the country in recent weeks. Following months of harsh drought, the storms have caused widespread flooding and landslides, displacing ...

Editorial

Extreme weather highlights Southeast Asia’s vulnerability to climate change

Over the past several weeks, parts of Southeast Asia have been pummeled by severe storms. Widespread flooding across the region, especially in Vietnam, left hundreds of thousands of residents temporarily displaced. In Vietnam alone, at least 90,000 people were forced from their homes during the first several weeks ...

Zachary Frye

Are Southeast Asia’s cyber defenses vulnerable to Chinese attacks?

A telecom firm in the Philippines recently hired the services of a United States-based cybersecurity firm to shore up its defenses against the potential threats of spying by China. It became the latest in a string of Southeast Asian corporations to have engaged a cybersecurity firm to strengthen ...

Umair Jamal

How Cambodia can revive agriculture with big data

Once the backbone of Cambodia’s economy, agricultural growth is slowing. It stood at 7.2% between 2003 and 2007 and 4.5% between 2008 and 2012 but has hovered around 1% in recent years. In 2019, the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors contributed just 20.7% to the country’s gross domestic product, ...

Grace Lim

New Chinese power deal sees Laos risk its future for quick gains

In early September, the Lao government signed a deal to give majority control of its electric grid over to a Chinese state-owned company amid mounting public debt as Beijing continues to expand its role in the country. State-owned China Southern Power Grid Company signed a deal with the ...

New Mekong dam ignores threats to UNESCO World Heritage city, livelihoods and ecosystems

As US-China tensions turn towards the Mekong River and its dams, the area near Laos’ latest hydropower project on the river is already seeing major controversy around existing dam projects. The Lao government is preparing to start construction on the Luang Prabang Dam, a 1,460-megawatt (MW) project that will be ...

Editorial

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