The Mekong: the good, bad and ugly sides to the ‘Danube of the…

Post Magazine – To Tibetans, it’s known as Dza Chu, or the River of Rocks, and to the Chinese it’s the Lancang Jiang, the Turbulent River. The Lao refer to it as the Mother of Waters, in Cambodia it’s the Great Water and by the time it reaches Vietnam, at the end of a 4,350km journey, it’s referred to as the River of Nine Dragons. The Mekong, as it is best known, is the world’s Read More…

Microplastics are turning up everywhere

Physics World – Tiny plastic particles are showing up in all sorts of places and have become a worldwide problem. Scientists are in the early stages of determining how microplastics, defined as particles smaller than 5 mm, enter the environment and are transported – often up to hundreds of kilometres – into previously pristine ecosystems. Researchers presented several observations on Read More…

Dolphin death rate spikes

Phnom Penh Post – Conservationists have expressed alarm over the increase in the mortality rate of Irrawaddy dolphins in Cambodia’s Mekong River last year, compared to previously. The director of the Fisheries Conservation Department, Ouk Vibol, said on Wednesday: “Though we are happy at the birth of 13 dolphins last year, we are also concerned with the spike in the death rate Read More…

The Mekong Delta: an unsettling portrait of coastal collapse

Financial Times – Some environmental disasters present themselves over years; others come with a bang — or a splash. The latter happened one day in August, when residents of Binh My, a commune in Vietnam’s lush Mekong Delta, heard a loud cracking sound. They went outside to watch a 30-metre-long chunk of the highway that runs alongside their houses collapse into the river as the Read More…

Saving the Mekong With Floating Solar Power

Asia Sentinel – For two decades or more, alarms have been sounding for the Mekong Delta. It is being hammered by climate change, by a proliferation of upstream dams, by unsustainable and inappropriate farming practices, by greed and political expediency. The punishment the Delta’s taking has been well reported, first in scholarly papers, then in specialized publications and appeals by Read More…

Experts say Mekong River’s new color a worrying sign

The Sacramento Bee – The Mekong River has recently acquired an aquamarine color that may beguile tourists but also indicates a problem caused by upstream dams, experts in Thailand say. The river usually has a yellowish-brown shade due to the sediment it normally carries downstream. But lately it has been running clear, taking on a blue-green hue that is a reflection of the sky. The water Read More…

Deteriorating Mekong ecosystem alarms activists

Bangkok Post – Environment advocates are voicing concerns over the Mekong River's deteriorating ecosystem, especially with more projects set to affect the waterway in the pipeline. "If these so-called development projects continue, especially the construction of more dams, the Mekong will face a crisis," said Niwat Roi-kaeo, president of the Rak Chiang Khong Group, an environmental Read More…

Officials to meet on Mekong crisis as fishing communities suffer

Al Jazeera – On Cambodia's Tonle Sap, record low water levels have plunged fishing communities into crisis but with warnings of "severe drought", there are concerns the situation will get even worse. "Every day we can only find about one or two kilogrammes (two or four pounds) of fish, and you can see there are many people in the family," fisherman Lay Non said, explaining that just last year Read More…

The Lake That Feeds The Mekong Basin Is Facing A Shortage Of Fish

NPR – In the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, where the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers meet, workers are putting the final touches on the grandstand for Bon Om Touk, the annual water festival which begins this weekend. It's a huge party—the country pretty much shuts down for the three-day holiday, with dragon boat races and plenty of drink and dance. It's a celebration of the water's bounty. Read More…

Lao Citizen Scientists Manage Wetlands Sustainably

The Asia Foundation – There were no fish in the Nong Tham Hee wetland in the 2017 dry season. There were none in the 2018 dry season. The people of Nyangkham village, who once fished here year around, saw only cracked, parched earth. Over the years, the water had slowly dwindled, as farmers in the village expanded their rice paddies into the wetlands and disrupted their natural hydrology. It Read More…