VOA

Laos Defends Latest Plans to Dam the Mekong

Laos has dismissed fears that its next hydropower dam on the Mekong River would devastate downstream communities after neighboring countries and rights groups raised their doubts at a regional forum in the capital last week. The tiny landlocked country announced its intentions to go ahead with ...

Zsombor Peter

Rising Sea Levels Threaten to Flood Southern Vietnam by 2100

HO CHI MINH CITY – It’s not quite the first thing on everyone’s minds in the booming financial center of Vietnam, but everyone kind of knows it might happen: Global sea levels pushed up by climate change threatens to flood the city by the year ...

Ralph Jennings

Human Rights Talks Absent from ASEAN Summit

Much of the recent ASEAN summit was focused on political snubbing between Donald Trump and the region, an Asian trade agreement, and the South China Sea dispute, but one topic was not a priority: human rights. So says the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights organization, (APHR) ...

Ha Nguyen

Laos Urged to Cancel Latest Dam for Mainstream Mekong

Environmental rights groups are calling on Laos to cancel the latest hydro-electric dam it has approved for construction across the Mekong River, warning of dire consequences for the millions of people who rely on the waterway for a living. A six-month “prior consultation process” for the ...

Zsombor Peter

Chinese Support Gives Laos an Edge Over Powerful Neighbor Vietnam

A Mekong River hydropower dam scheduled to open this month worries Vietnam because the country sits just downriver from it and would be threatened by lower water flows. Officials in Hanoi aren’t wildly protesting to the dam’s host country, Laos, however, because Vietnam knows Laos has ...

Ralph Jennings

Cambodia Launches Campaign to End Child Labor in Brick Industry

Cambodia has launched a campaign to end child labor in the brick industry by 2020, a move industry observers cautiously welcome while expressing doubts the goal will be achieved, and calling for more structural changes. The industry drew international attention last year when a report, Blood ...

Leonie Kijewski

Start of Latest Mekong Dam Draws Fears of River's 'Tipping Point'

Critics of the 1,285-megawatt Xayaburi hydropower dam in northern Laos fear recent upgrades to the controversial project won’t be enough to save the Mekong River from a critical tipping point when it starts churning out electricity at full throttle next month. After seven years of construction, ...

Zsombor Peter

Wealthy Countries' Trash Overwhelms Southeast Asia

Wealthy countries are exporting millions of tons of plastic waste to Southeast Asia where the recycling systems are becoming overwhelmed, leading to widespread pollution problems, according to a joint investigation by Greenpeace and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA). In early 2018, China banned the import of plastic waste ...

Huge Land Loss Predicted for Vietnam's Mekong Delta

Nearly the entire Mekong Delta in Vietnam — an area that helps feed about 200 million people — will sink underwater by the year 2100 at current rates, a new study predicts. The delta, which is home to almost 18 million people and produces half ...

Laos Accused of Copy-Pasting Dam Impact Survey

An official impact assessment for a controversial new Lao dam on the Mekong river has been directly copied and pasted in parts from a previous project, a coalition of groups fighting to protect the river has alleged. The allegation came as Mekong River Commission (MRC) ...

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