Community Rights in the Mekong Sustainability Management

The Mekong River is unique in that it flows through and between so many countries. Every country takes what it can from it, leaving the millions who depend on it for their livelihoods and survival in an increasingly perilous situation. A team of guest contributors went to two communities in Isaan—one where the Mekong first touches the region in Loei and one 600 kms away in Ubon where it leaves Thai territory to learn how two communities are dealing with a drastically changing environment.

The crisis of pervasive moss in the Mekong

The phenomenon of persistent moss in the Mekong River is not a natural occurrence

A blue Mekong means sinking biodiversity and hard times for river communities

After the unusual change of color of the Mekong River last year, environmental expert Santiparp Siriwattanaphaiboon warned that manmade changes “will eventually bring an end to the civilization of those living on the banks of the Mekong.”

No land, no fish: Mekong community struggles against a double-threat

Ubon Ratchathani locals are wondering why they are being prosecuted for farming on land passed on to them by their parents.

When the Mekong has no fish, and the land can’t grow

The government’s push to reclaim forest land from encroachers in Ubon Ratchathani’s Khong Chiam district has threatened members of two communities who now face arrest and eviction from their land. To make things worse, construction of Chinese dams in the upper Mekong River in the past decade has severely impacted fish stocks and local livelihoods that depend on fishing.

Dismantle the dams, reform water management in Northeast Thailand

Six decades of dam building, from the dawn of the Cold War to the tenure of the latest military junta are proof of the failure of water management in Isaan. It’s time to dismantle the dams and turn to sustainable approaches, writes environmental expert Chainarong Setthachua.

Recovering livelihoods from a watery grave

Almost 27 years ago, communities in the Rasi Salai lost the wetlands, central to their lives, to a dam that flooded the surrounding lands. Thousands of families are still waiting to be compensated to this day. An economic valuation could measure the loss and its monetary value and help determine appropriate compensation.

China’s banana boom is ‘saving’ a Mekong community threatened by Chinese dams

A Mekong riverside community forced to give up fishing as a livelihood due to the damming of the Mekong river in China is now turning to growing Cavendish bananas for export to China.