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.
One of the greatest impacts of dam construction in the Mekong Basin is on inland fisheries and the livelihoods of small-scale fishers. A fisher in the Mekong Delta talks about the plight of inland fishing livelihoods in An Phu district, An Giang province in Vietnam.
The Khong-Loei-Chi-Mun project is the latest version of a long history of plans for large-scale irrigation in Northeastern Thailand. Visiting the area, Mai Lan hears how Thailand’s Royal Irrigation Department is pushing ahead with studies, as communities, NGOs, and downstream countries worry about the environmental and social impacts.
In Thailand, communities still suffer impacts of the World Bank’s Pak Mun Dam over 25 years after construction started. Whilst fisheries are decimated, and the communities’ fishing culture largely lost, compensation is inadequate. Yuka Kiguchi asks what are the responsibilities of the World Bank and Government for restitution and redress?
Women fishers in Kratie Province, Cambodia are concerned about plans for the Don Sahong Dam upstream in Laos. They worry that the river’s fisheries and the endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin will be affected. Working with civil society groups, they have raised their voice through a campaign that has involved both protest and radio shows.
Climate change already affects Thai communities who rely on the Mekong River’s natural resources. Areeya Tivasuradej shows how the Clean Development Mechanism by supporting hydropower dams that devastate communities and ecosystems is a false solution to climate change, and calls for a new approach following Climate Justice principles.