News

Will the Mekong River Really Become the Next South China Sea?

In recent years, the fate of Southeast Asia’s great river – the Mekong – has attracted growing international scrutiny. The Mekong faces many challenges, from the impacts of climate change and saline encroachment in its delta, to dam developments on the headwaters of the river ...

Sebastian Strangio

Can Mekong Stingrays Tell the Chinese Dam Story Well?

Can a giant stingray in the Lower Mekong be used to craft a good narrative about Chinese upstream dams? It can, according to an unsigned Khmer Times article in June 2022 about a 300-kilogramme stingray found in Cambodia’s Stung Treng province. The article quoted Zeb Hogan, ...

HOANG THI HA

Overall Mekong River flow patterns do not change–report finding

Two hydropower projects along Southeast Asia’s most important river have had measurable, but moderate, impact on water flow, sediment and fisheries, according to preliminary findings of a report by the Mekong River Commission (MRC) released last week. With roughly one year of monitoring data, the MRC ...

Vientiane Times/Asia News Network

China pledges to share more data on the Mekong River with downstream nations

China will share more data on the Mekong River with countries downstream, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, amid long-standing criticism that its projects have caused flooding and drought in the river’s lower reaches. This was to “share the dividends of cooperation and push development”, Wang said ...

Jack Lau

Mekong dams must release less water in dry season to preserve habitats, experts say

Abnormally high-water levels in the Mekong River at the end of May indicate that dams on the river must release less water during the dry season to protect the ecosystem, experts said at an online panel Monday.  Rain levels during the dry season this year have ...

Eugene Whong for RFA

Diplomacy is indispensable to manage the Mekong

Milton Osborne mischaracterises the Mekong River Commission when writing last month in The Interpreter that the regional organisation “ignores reality”. To say we were “celebrating” the health of the river at our Mekong Day event on 5 April overlooks the fact that on that day I continued ...

ANOULAK KITTIKHOUN

Saving the Mekong delta from drowning

Southeast Asia’s most productive agricultural region and home to 17 million people could be mostly underwater within a lifetime. Saving the Mekong River Delta requires urgent, concerted action among countries in the region to lessen the impact of upstream dams and better manage water and ...

ROB JORDAN | Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Another Mekong River dam in Laos begins review process

Lao officials will soon submit plans for the Phou Ngoy Dam and hydropower plant to the Mekong River Commission for review, but villagers whose livelihoods would be hurt by the construction worry they will be left out of the process. Thailand’s Charoen Energy and Water Asia ...

How the Mekong River Commission ignores reality

Among the many “days” celebrated by the international community, one entrant seems especially incongruous. “Mekong Day” was proclaimed by the Mekong River Commission’s (MRC) headquarters in Vientiane to celebrate the signature of the “Agreement on the Cooperation and Sustainable Development of the Mekong River”, which took place ...

MILTON OSBORNE

Opinion: Floodplain wetlands of the Mekong – going, going, gone?

A rapid and irreversible change is taking place in the Lower Mekong basin. Floodplain grasslands and freshwater wetlands are being lost – bustling ecosystems that once supported thriving communities of large mammals and birds. These include the spectacular sarus crane; the greater adjutant, one of ...

Ding Li Yong, Khwankhao Sinhaseni

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