Mekong Eye

Illegal gold mining threatens freshwater lake in Myanmar

Illegal gold mining is threatening Myanmar’s largest inland freshwater lake – which ethnic people in Kachin state depend on for their livelihoods – due to the increasing demand for the precious metal as the country’s economy teeters towards collapse.   U Aung Ko, a 60-year-old ethnic Shan ...

Maran

Vietnam’s minorities lose right to farm forests

One afternoon at the end of 2017, officials in Dakrong district in Central Vietnam’s Quang Tri province visited Ho Thi Nieng’s house. They claimed she and her husband had “burned the protected forest to do farming.” “We had been cultivating that land for a long time ...

Nguyen Dac Thanh

Indigenous Cambodians stripped of ancestral land

In the remote and densely forested northeastern province of Mondulkiri in Cambodia, Song Pro, a member of the indigenous Bunong community, stares at a rubber plantation that was once a sacred forest. When the war in Indochina came to Cambodia in the 1970s, the forest saved ...

Nehru Pry

Pristine bay in Phuket under threat from marina developers

A marina developer has plans to turn one of Phuket’s few remaining mangrove forests into a new gateway for luxury yachts and cruises post the Covid-19 pandemic period. In Ao Kung, a quiet bay in the northern part of bustling Phuket island, Sujirtra Thothip stood in ...

Wanpen Pajai

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

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