The Third Pole

China builds in Myanmar’s conflict areas

A year ago, Myanmar and China signed an agreement to establish the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), as part of China’s Belt and Road global infrastructure initiative. Today, that corridor is mired in conflict between the Myanmar military and ethnic armed groups. Stretching 1,700 kilometres, the CMEC’s ...

Nicholas Lo

Southeast Asia and the right to safe water

On 6 November, the Mekong River Commission acknowledged that climate change had exacerbated this year’s wildly varying water levels on the Mekong – which saw the mighty river reduced to a trickle in parts, even during the rainy season. But the main contributor, it said, ...

Sam Geall

The curse of hydropower?

As the world continues to suffer from climate change impacts, decarbonisation of the global economy is one of the most urgent needs faced by governments. This, though, will never be the only axis on which strategic political and economic decisions are taken. With more than a ...

Omair Ahmad

Sustaining the heartbeat of the Mekong Basin

The Mekong has another point of origin: the Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia. Each year life springs from the lake, mostly in the form of a massive fish population that migrates to the far reaches of the Mekong system both upstream and downstream. This annual ...

Brian Eyler, Courtney Weatherby

It’s decision time for Southeast Asia as power demand soars

Southeast Asia’s energy demand is expected to grow by two-thirds by 2040, requiring massive investment in new energy generation and transmission. Installed capacity will double from 240 gigawatts to 565 gigawatts, which amounts to adding a bit more than Japan’s total electricity capacity. Keep reading ...

Disaster after disaster on the Mekong

From sea to source, the Mekong River stretches nearly 5,000 km through six countries. More than 60 million people depend on its waters for survival, and it is second only to the Amazon in its biodiversity. Photographers Gareth Bright and Luke Forsyth spent eighteen months travelling ...

Best of 2018: Disaster after disaster on the Mekong

From sea to source, the Mekong River stretches nearly 5,000 km through six countries. More than 60 million people depend on its waters for survival, and it is second only to the Amazon in its biodiversity. Photographers Gareth Bright and Luke Forsyth spent eighteen months travelling ...

What does Chinese ‘reciprocity’ mean for Mekong’s dams?

China is exploring new ways to cooperate over water with Mekong countries, but any agreement must address civil society and environmental concerns, argues Carl Middleton. Keep reading ...

Why the Mekong matters

China’s growing influence – through its new multilateral institution – is reshaping the environmental and economic future of Southeast Asia. The countries of the Mekong should build a “community of shared future”, said China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in December last year. Keep reading   ...

Moratorium on new Mekong dams in Laos provides window of opportunity

As Laos hits the pause button on its huge hydropower dam building spree, this is an opportunity to push for other forms of renewable energy – solar and wind – that Laos is well-placed to use, argues Brian Eyler. Keep reading ...

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