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 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.
Women are often at the forefront of protecting forests in the Mekong region. Women are now seeking greater representation and influence in decision-making over the protection and management of community forests.
The Mekong Delta Study initiated by Government of Vietnam (2013-2015) aimed to look at the impacts of Mekong mainstream hydropower on Vietnam’s Mekong Delta that is the rice and fruit production centre for Vietnam. But the weak study process ignored local people’s concerns and has failed to protect the Mekong Delta and its communities.
Despite strong local protests, Thailand’s military government is going ahead with oil drilling in Kalasin province in northeast Thailand. As the regime breaks its promise of a just energy policy, once again local people are paying for the real costs of the country’s ambitious energy plans.
Questions are being raised about the complicity of Thailand’s state-run power utility – EGAT under the Ministry of Energy – in serious human rights violations in the building of the massive US$10 billion Mong Ton (formerly called the Tasang) dam in the Upper Salween River in Myanmar.
When their calls for participation in Lower Se San II Dam planning processes fall on deaf ears, community members turn to traditional justice, calling upon their ancestral spirit Neak Ta Krahom Kor to protect them from forced relocation. Does Neak Ta Krahom Kor possess the strength to guard the community from this latest threat?
The first regional consultation for the Don Sahong hydropower dam in Laos produced more questions than answers. The dam threatens the region’s capture fisheries and will have high costs for local livelihoods. The authors explain why, as Laos embarks to become the energy hub for the Mekong Region, dams risk increasing rural poverty.
In Cambodia, ecotourism is growing with the noble goal of protecting the environment, giving tourists a feel for nature, and sharing benefits with rural communities. Whether ecotourism is wholly achieving these intentions remains an open question, as this article explores one such ecotourism venture, the “4 Rivers Floating Lodge”.