News

Low dry season flows in Mekong drive down Cambodia’s Tonle Sap, countries urged to improve basin-wide management

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) Secretariat has urged the wider exchange of data and information as part of recommendations to improve water resource management in the Lower Mekong Basin, in a bulletin released today. The 18-page Situation Report encourages MRC Member Countries and Dialogue Partners to share ...

Interview: Pou Sothirak on protecting the Mekong and powering Cambodia

Previously secretary of state at the Foreign Affairs Ministry for the Cambodian government, Pou Sothirak is executive director of the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace. He is a tireless campaigner for the ecology and communities of the Lower Mekong and particularly Tonle Sap, Southeast ...

Tyler Roney

Scientists to catalogue mollusc diversity in Tonle Sap

Scientists working with the Wonders of the Mekong project have undertaken an ambitious initiative to catalogue the overlooked mollusc diversity in Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake, which was previously based on records from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Their new report provides a much-needed update on ...

Cambodia’s Tonle Sap shows what’s at stake in the Mekong’s dam-fueled decline

Every year around December, fishers, farmers and families across Cambodia begin the season for making the country’s traditional prahok fish paste, a vital staple in the country’s diet. But this tradition, along with the food supply and livelihoods of millions of people, is under threat from a growing ecological ...

Editorial

Cambodia's giant life-giving Tonle Sap lake in peril

As night falls over his floating village, fisherman Leng Vann puffs on a cigarette and heaves a sigh for Tonle Sap, the great inland lake that has sustained Cambodia for centuries. More than a million people live on or around the lake, the world’s largest inland ...

AFP

Tonle Sap Bottleneck comparison - September 2019 vs 2020

Prior to 2020, the 2019 wet season was one of the driest on record. The annual reversal of the Tonle Sap in Cambodia was severely delayed in 2019 but low rainfall plus upstream dam regulation (mostly from China’s 11 mainstream Mekong dams) have totally erased ...

Brian Eyler

Cambodia’s biggest lake is running dry, taking forests and fish with it

Hun Sotharith recalls when he moved to Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake to become a fisherman. It was the early 1990s, and the freshwater swamp forest where he fished was so dense that it could take Sotharith, a former soldier, a day and a half to ...

STEFAN LOVGREN

Drought, Dams on Mekong River Drop Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake to Record Low Levels

Climate change, drought, and upstream dams have led to record low water levels on the Mekong River, according to experts, who say the shortage is significantly harming Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake and the surrounding fishing communities who rely on it to earn a living. The water ...

Reported and translated by Sovannarith Keo. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

‘Water But No Fish’: Cambodia Faces Possible Food Crisis

For centuries, Cambodians have looked to Tonle Sap, both a river and a lake, for dinner. But a repast of grilled river fish, sprinkled with salt and stuffed with lemongrass, may soon be a very special event. Today, “there is only water but no fish,” said ...

Malis Tum

Tonlé Sap Ecosystem is threatened by Development of Hydropower Dams on the Mekong River

Every year, between May and October, floodwaters from the Lower Mekong Basin reverse the flow of the Tonlé River in Cambodia. That pushes sediment-rich waters into the Tonlé Sap Lake and its surrounding floodplains and forests, which support complex food webs, migration patterns and agricultural ...

Kitila Davies

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