Commons Comment articles

Will the Dawei Special Economic Zone benefit the people of Myanmar?

Will the Dawei Special Economic Zone benefit the people of Myanmar?

The Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project in Myanmar will establish large-scale industrial estates for export-led industrialization. Japan has recently expressed interest in investing in the Dawei SEZ. Japan’s economy has been built on this model of industrial development. This development model has caused enormous environmental and health impacts.

Minari Tsuchikawa questions whether it is appropriate for Japan to impose this type of “development” model on Myanmar rather than allow the people of Myanmar to find their own path of sustainable development.

ASEAN: How about accountability beyond borders?

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.

Wishing all readers the best for 2015

It is now almost one year since the Mekong Commons website was launched in March 2014. We would like to thank all our readers and contributors as well as our web manager, web designer and our guest editors for believing in this website and making it a success. The stories, pictures and videos that have appeared on the website during

Map Tha Phut industrial estate in Rayong

Environmental protection begins with protecting human rights

From ensuring access to natural resources to protection against exposure to health-damaging pollution, a clean and healthy environment and the fulfillment of human rights cannot be separated. In this Commons Comment, Carl Middleton and Aadi Samarkand argue that while there is a long way to go to in recognizing the right to a healthy environment in Southeast Asia, some windows of opportunity exist.

Fishers at Chong Kneas village, Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia.

Development and the Mekong Commons

In the Mekong Region, after decades of governments, donors, corporations, experts and others pursuing development, winners and losers have emerged. In this first “Commons Comment” editorial, we discuss the changing lives in the Mekong Region, new development trends, impacts on the commons, and why Mekong Commons was initiated.

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