Since 2016, farmers in Cambodia’s Battambang province have been facing severe drought that has resulted in decline in rice production, deaths of livestock, and loss of livelihoods. The author explores whether building more reservoirs is a solution to help farmers cope with the impact of droughts that are recurring with increasing frequency in Cambodia and the Mekong Region.
From the Commons
Up to 14 coal fired-power plants are set to be built in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta as part of Vietnam’s Power Development Plan (PDP). Nguyen Thi Ha looks at how the coal plants already operating in the delta area are affecting the health, salt and fish farms, and local livelihoods of thousands of communities living in the delta.
The Ou River, the longest tributary of the Mekong in the Lao PDR, is undergoing massive changes, with seven dams in various stages of construction already affecting the livelihoods of Khmu communities that have resided there for generations. Sabrina Gyorvary recently visited the area with a local guide and recounts her conversations with community members as they recollect their memories of living with the Ou River.
Known as a national treasure of Cambodia, the Prey Lang forest in Preah Vihear province serves as the main source of livelihoods for indigenous people and is an indispensable part of the country’s forest ecosystem. In the last few years, the forest has come under destruction from logging and large-scale plantations. Youth campaigns are supporting the local communities, who depend on the forest, in an ongoing struggle to protect the forest areas from being completely wiped away.
Economic growth in Southeast Asia has bought jobs and increased state revenues, but also wrought labour rights violations, community dispossession of land and natural resources, and environmental degradation. Carl Middleton argues that economic reform starts with greater Corporate Accountability, including across borders.