THE US AND THE MEKONG REGION: COOPERATION FOR SUSTAINABLE AND INCLUSIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH

By Satu Limaye, East West Center

HONOLULU (29 July 2020)—In recent years, relations with Southeast Asia have emerged as an important pillar of US engagement with the Indo-Pacific region. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is central to US foreign policy in the region, with a growing focus on the five countries bound together by the Mekong River—Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Fishing boats are unloaded on Tonle Sap Lake, which is fed by the Mekong River in Cambodia. Conservationists warn that dam construction on the Mekong could threaten the food supply of more than 40 million people who rely on fish from the river as an important source of protein. Photo: Jason South/Fairfax Media/Getty Images.

As they emerge from a tumultuous history, these countries must confront new elements of great-power competition even as their youthful populations push for economic growth and integration into the wider region and the world. Among other impacts, urbanization, infrastructure expansion, and climate change all affect the Mekong River, the natural resources along its banks, and the 240 million people who live in the region.

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The Unfolding Mekong Development Disaster –

Text Box: Diplomat April 2018 Mekong-Cuulong Blog

By Tom Fawthrop

The Mekong has long cast a mystical spell over adventurers, wildlife experts, and
scientists enchanted by its spectacular rapids and waterfalls, along with its endangered dolphins, giant manta rays, and Siamese crocodiles. The river’s biodiversity is second only to the Amazon.

In recent years, however, this great international river – which flows through six countries – has increasingly grabbed the attention of engineers, technocrats, and energy consultants on a very different kind of mission: to exploit its roaring currents in pursuit of hydropower.

Any idea of environmental protection for the wonders of the Mekong has been marginalized by China’s grand Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with its focus firmly fixed on trade, infrastructure development, and, along the Mekong, dam construction. Tiếp tục đọc “The Unfolding Mekong Development Disaster –”

Review of Configuration of the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Corridors

Asian Development Bank (ADB), 2018.

Free full text https://www.adb.org/documents/review-configuration-gms-corridors.

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Abstract: This review recommends possible extension and/or realignment of economic corridors to enhance their effectiveness and efficiency in advancing economic integration in the Greater Mekong Subregion. The economic corridor approach was adopted by the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries in 1998 to help accelerate subregional development. The development of economic corridors links production, trade, and infrastructure within a specific geographic area. The review of these corridors was conducted to take into account the opening up of Myanmar and ensure that there is a close match between corridor routes and trade flows; GMS capitals and major urban centers are connected to each other; and the corridors are linked with maritime gateways. The review came up with recommendations for possible extension and/or realignment of the corridors, and adoption of a classification system for corridor development. The GMS Ministers endorsed the recommendations of the study at the 21st GMS Ministerial Conference in Thailand in 2016.

 

Powering Up: Mekong Basin Connect

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Powering Up: Mekong Basin Connect

Countries in the Mekong Basin need a strategic, basin-wide approach to efficiently develop the basin’s water and energy resources in ways that protect the natural productivity of the river system. Otherwise, poorly coordinated hydropower planning on the Mekong mainstream and its tributaries will lead this resource rich region into a water and food security crisis.

In 2017, Stimson’s Energy, Water, and Sustainability program launched the Mekong Basin Connect Initiative, led by the Stimson Center, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), UC Berkeley’s Energy Resources Group, and The Nature Conservancy, to identify and promote new and pathways to achieve this ambitious goal. Click on the image below to learn more about Mekong Basin Connect.

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Power stacked against Southeast Asia’s poor as China dams Mekong

channelnewsasia

Communities along the mighty Mekong blame China for their shrinking catches. (Photo: AFP/TANG CHHIN SOTHY)

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/power-stacked-against-southeast-asia-s-poor-as-china-dams-mekong-9841686

KANDAL, Cambodia: Cambodian fisherman Sles Hiet lives at the mercy of the Mekong: A massive river that feeds tens of millions but is under threat from the Chinese dams cementing Beijing’s physical – and diplomatic – control over its Southeast Asian neighbours.

The 32-year-old, whose ethnic Cham Muslim community live on rickety house boats that bob along a river bend in Kandal province, says the size of his daily catch has been shrinking by the year. Tiếp tục đọc “Power stacked against Southeast Asia’s poor as China dams Mekong”

Is Mekong River set to become the new South China Sea for regional disputes?

The Beijing-led Lancang-Mekong Cooperation mechanism was set up to help ease tensions over development projects, but environmental groups are yet to be convinced

 South China Morning Post PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 January, 2018, 9:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 January, 2018, 12:09am

Foreign ministers from the six countries through which the Mekong flows met in southwestern China last month to approve a draft of a five-year development plan for the river. But as state leaders prepare to finalise the proposal at a meeting in Cambodia later this month, environmental groups have expressed concern over what it could mean for Southeast Asia’s longest waterway.

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Sixty-five new species discovered in Vietnamese forests

Last update 17:51 | 20/12/2017

Scientists have discovered 115 new stranger species in the Greater Mekong region, one of Asia’s biodiversity hotspots, in which 65 species have been found in Vietnam, while 33 others have been discovered in Thailand, Myanmar five, Laos 15 and Cambodia has seven species.

Sixty-five new species discovered in Vietnamese forests, Vietnam environment, climate change in Vietnam, Vietnam weather, Vietnam climate, pollution in Vietnam, environmental news, sci-tech news, vietnamnet bridge, english news, Vietnam news, news Vietnam

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Letters from the Mekong: Mekong Power Shift – Emerging Trends in the GMS Power Sector

Report

This issue brief, the fourth in Stimson’s “Letters from the Mekong” series, explores the shifting terrain for power sector development in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), analyzing hydropower within the context of a broader range of emerging factors and opportunities that could lead to a transformation in the way that Mekong countries approach energy security, regional electricity trade, and sustainable development. This transition, if effectively implemented, could lead to substantive economic gains and significantly reduce ecological, socioeconomic, and political risks in the Mekong Basin. Tiếp tục đọc “Letters from the Mekong: Mekong Power Shift – Emerging Trends in the GMS Power Sector”