Better Ways articles

Rare frog-headed turtle brought back from the brink

Rare frog-headed turtle brought back from the brink

A species of giant Mekong turtles was believed to have been extinct until in 2007 when a mother turtle was found. Since then, governmental authorities, a non-governmental organization, local people and even Buddhist monks have joined hands to ensure the survival of the soft-shell, frog-headed turtles. Their number has slowly grown, but humans, natural predators and climate change continue to pose serious threats.

Growing mountains of solid waste in Vietnam pose huge environmental challenge

With Vietnam producing about 15 million tons of waste each year, both the increasing quantity and the changing composition of waste is posing a huge environmental challenge for municipal authorities and local communities in Vietnam. Truong Minh Chien writes about the need for more efficient waste management policies combined with raising public awareness to tackle the serious waste problem.

Vietnam’s first clean energy commune created through Local Energy Planning

In Vietnam, Local Energy Planning (LEP) has transformed the understanding of community members in Nam Cuong Commune of their energy supply, demand and use. Le Ngoc Son explains the origin of the LEP method and how it is local-led, and proposes that LEP has the potential to be replicated across Vietnam and beyond.

Amidst the drought, diversifying farming systems can protect food security in Cambodia

Climate change especially drought are threatening the rice production and fishery in Cambodia. Sao Phal Niseiy explains that farmers and fishers can cope through efforts at raising awareness, promoting capacity building and diversified farming systems to ensure food security.

Organic rice in Northeastern Thailand: Improving farmers’ livelihoods and the environment

Farmers in Surin Province, Thailand are turning to organic agriculture after struggling with debt, health issues and soil degradation from past chemical-intensive farming. Organic rice, integrated farming and farmer cooperatives are becoming popular to improve livelihoods, recover ecosystems and soil, and increase climate resilience.

UN Watercourses Convention: Can it revitalise the Mekong Agreement 20 years on?

Originally lauded as a model for the world, the 1995 Mekong Agreement has since demonstrated legal ambiguities, gaps and limitations, especially in regulating dam construction. Rémy Kinna argues that 20 years on, the UN Watercourses Convention, the most authoritative global treaty on international rivers, can strengthen and revitalise it.

The Mekong region’s urban future: Why learning from a rural lifestyle could build sustainable cities

Urbanization in the Mekong Region is transforming societies that were once dependent upon agricultural production. This article explores how some urban inhabitants have not fully let go of their rural traditions, raising the question can such wisdom bring a more sustainable lifestyle to urban areas?