Mekong Eye

Vietnam loses sacred cranes after habitat change

Twenty years ago, Nguyen Van Liet took scientists to the wetlands near his hometown of Tram Chim on Vietnam’s Mekong Delta to find sarus cranes, a vulnerable bird species according to the IUCN Red List, native to Southeast Asia, South Asia and Australia. “We had to ...

Tran Nguyen

Incomes dry up for farmers on Cambodia’s huge lake

Life has never been easy for farmers along Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake – the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia – and now water shortages, soil degradation and the rising costs for chemicals have added to their hardships. “Each season, the most challenging problems we farmers ...

Sao Phal Niseiy

Thailand’s rich freshwater biodiversity under threat

The Thai government has taken efforts to tackle climate change by building a large number of water retention projects. But they could threaten the country’s freshwater biodiversity unless new sustainable solutions are taken into consideration. In a remote forest in Thailand’s western Ratchaburi province, a team ...

Pratch Rujivanarom

Myanmar’s environment hit by rare earth mining boom

Kachin State’s Chipwi Township in northernmost Myanmar is known for its pristine forests and crystal-clear water. But 10 years ago, local residents started noticing the patches of land that had been cleared on the lush mountains surrounding their town, which borders China’s Yunnan province. It started ...

Maran

Environment ignored as Myanmar struggles with coup

When Myanmar’s military staged a coup more than one year ago and seized power from a democratically-elected civilian government, not only did it undo a decade of opening up the country that brought a degree of freedom and prosperity to ordinary citizens, it also condemned ...

Thin Lei Win

Unraveling the Mystery of Laos U-Turn from Renewables to Coal to Power the Battery of Southeast Asia

After years of hydropower supercharging Laos’ successful ambition to become the key power exporter in the region, Laos’ energy export market has taken a surprising turn towards coal. According to most international analysis from Carbon Tracker to Bloomberg, carbon is dying. Yet in Laos, energy carbon production went ...

Kannikar Petchkaew

Thailand’s pangolin pipeline

In the early hours of a Sunday morning this past March, officers manning a roadside checkpoint in Thailand’s Prachuap Khiri Khan province were hardly fooled when an approaching pick-up attempted to bypass their blockade by hastily detouring down a side road 300m away. The officers gave ...

Chuleeporn Butrkote

Vietnam’s social media shaping new environmentalism

“I am frequently on several environmental online forums and campaigns led by Vietnamese, who have addressed Hanoi’s logging of 6,700 trees, the Thai Binh deforestation for economic development, and the construction in Cat Ba,” says Tran Thi Thuy Binh, a member of the Vietnam Forum ...

A look inside Xayaburi dam

The Xayaburi dam, with installed capacity of 1,260 MW, is the first one among 12 mainstream dams on the Mekong river. Located approximately 30 kilometers east of Xayaburi district, in northern Laos, this $3.2 billion dam is a controversial case: while Laos and dam-developers are ...

The Bird’s eye view: what endangered birds tell us about the risks of Mekong development

The Thai government started 2017 announcing another major commitment to transportation expansion: US$25 billion to finance futuristic high-speed trains, super highways and expanded sea and airports. Far less glitzy but immediately controversial, however, was one of its final transportation acts of 2016: preparing to restart, after ...

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