By Francois Molle, Tira Foran, Mira Kakonen
The catchment region of the Mekong River and its tributaries extends from China, via Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and to Vietnam. The water assets of the Mekong quarter - from the Irrawaddy and Nu-Salween within the west, around the Chao Phraya to the Lancang-Mekong and purple River within the east- are more and more contested. Governments, businesses, and banks are riding new investments in roads, dams, diversions, irrigation schemes, navigation amenities, strength vegetation and different trademarks of traditional 'development'. Their plans and interventions may still offer a few advantages, but in addition pose a number of burdens and hazards to hundreds of thousands of individuals depending on wetlands, floodplains and aquatic assets, specifically, the wild trap fisheries of rivers and lakes. This e-book examines how large-scale initiatives are being proposed, justified, and equipped. How are such initiatives contested and the way do particular governance regimes impact determination making? The booklet additionally highlights the emergence of latest actors, rights and trade-off debates, and the social and environmental results of 'water assets development'. This booklet indicates how different, and sometimes adversarial, ideologies and pursuits are contesting for legitimacy. It argues that the distribution of decision-making, political, and discursive energy affects how the waterscapes of the quarter will finally glance and the way merits, expenditures and dangers could be allotted. those concerns are an important for the transformation of waterscapes and the customers for democratizing water governance within the Mekong quarter. The publication is a part of the action-research of the M-POWER (Mekong application on Water, setting and Resilience) wisdom community. released with IFAD, CG|AR problem application on Water & foodstuff, M-POWER, venture ECHEL-EAU and HEINRICH BOLL STIFTUNG
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Extra info for Contested Waterscapes in the Mekong Region: Hydropower, Livelihoods and Governance
This allowed the ADB to focus unhindered on regional economic development, while leaving the potentially contentious management of the Mekong River to the MRC (see Chapter 14). CURRENT CHALLENGES AND DYNAMICS The Mekong region’s economic dynamism is associated with social, economic and environmental transformations that include deforestation and environmental degradation; growing commercialization of agriculture and increasingly multisectoral rural livelihoods; urbanization and industrialization; increased migration and the spread of diseases such as HIV; and population growth in the Mekong Basin that rose from 35 million in 1970 to 65 million at present (Parnwell and Bryant, 1996; Rigg, 1997; de Koninck, 2003).
The authors explain how hydropower development changes the natural flood pulse and the hydrograph, directly undermining the productivity of the system by reducing inundated habitats, delaying the onset of flooding and shortening growth periods for aquatic organisms, with negative impacts upon fisheries productivity, nutritional security INTRODUCTION 15 and economic activity for a significant portion of Cambodians, as well as other populations in the basin. Quantification of fisheries productivity is difficult because of the complex floodplain ecosystem and the diffuse fisheries.
In the eyes of water engineers and power planners, the limited exploitation of the Mekong River system’s hydropower potential – in a region undergoing rapid economic growth – seems a global anomaly (Ratner, 2003). Thailand, which has already developed much of its domestic hydropower potential and faces civil society opposition to further projects at home, plans to import at least 14,000MW of hydroelectricity from Myanmar, Laos and China’s Yunnan Province over the coming 15 years (EGAT, 2008). 1 History of World Bank financing in Mekong countries Source: World Bank projects portfolio online database China and Laos (EVN, 2006).