Solar-powered vessel scoops plastics out of rivers

ECNS – Plastics have long been a problem in the world's oceans. A Dutch foundation now claims to have a solution. It tackles the menace at one of the major sources of plastic pollution – rivers. The Ocean Cleanup, an NGO that focused its efforts in clearing the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch', has unveiled a solar-powered barge that stops plastics floating in rivers from reaching open Read More…

New Mekong dam in Laos opens to protests, dried-out downstream

WKZO – The first hydropower dam on the lower Mekong River began commercial operations in Laos on Tuesday amid protests from villagers in Thailand who say the Xayaburi Dam and several others in the works will destroy their livelihoods. The 1,285-megawatt Xayaburi Dam's debut coincides with parts of the Mekong drying to a trickle even at the end of the rainy season, though its builders and Read More…

Cambodia Faces Possible Food Crisis: ‘Water But No Fish’

VOA – For centuries, Cambodians have looked to Tonle Sap, both a river and a lake, for dinner. But a repast of grilled river fish, sprinkled with salt and stuffed with lemongrass, may soon be a very special event. Today, “there is only water but no fish,” said Nan Sok, 60, gazing at Tonle Sap Lake from his house on the outskirts of the capital city of Phnom Penh. A Cambodian Muslim Read More…

Village Fishermen Near Laos’ Don Sahong Dam Report Smaller Catches

Radio Free Asia – Villagers near Don Sahong Dam, a major dam on the Mekong River in Laos, have reported smaller fish catches as it nears completion. The dam, slated to conduct its final testing phase by early next month, will be operational by the end of the year. Don Sahong is one of five planned Lao dams on the Mekong’s main stream, integral to Laos’ strategy of becoming Read More…

Cambodia sees success in conserving rare Mekong river dolphins:…

Xin Hua Net – Cambodia has seen success in conserving the Mekong's critically endangered river dolphins, said a World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Cambodia's statement on Thursday. A last year's joint survey by the country's Fisheries Administration and WWF-Cambodia found that the number of Mekong River Irrawaddy dolphins in Cambodia had increased from 80 individuals in 2015 to 92 in 2017 and is Read More…

MRC takes note of challenges facing Mekong basin

Khmer Times – The Mekong River Commission has urged member countries and stakeholders to urgently step up measures to better manage the Mekong river to protect remaining wetlands and riverine habitats. Mr Hatda said other challenges include a growing pressure on Capture Fisheries, which refers to all kinds of harvesting of naturally occurring living resources in both marine and freshwater Read More…

Threat to the Mekong River is Critical, Critics Say

Asia Sentinel – It is starting to appear that nothing can save the 800,000 sq. km Mekong River basin, which provides vital sustenance for as many as 100 million people, from environmental depredation from dams all along the 4,350 km length of the mighty river that feeds it. Over the objections of the Mekong River Commission, the Laotian government in July committed to the construction of Read More…

No land, no fish: Mekong community in northeast Thailand struggles…

Global Voices – Ubon Ratchathani locals in northeast Thailand are wondering why they are being prosecuted for farming on land passed on to them by their parents. “If I lost my land, I would want to die. I wouldn’t want to live,” said 50-year-old Rit Chansuk, his voice quivering with emotion as he looks over the two-rai plot of land (0.32 hectare) he is about to lose. Rit is one Read More…

At a Cambodian Lake, a Climate Crisis Unfolds

The New York Times – When I first met Ly Heng in May 2016, the forest behind his house was still smoldering — the remnants of the worst drought to hit Southeast Asia in decades. Heng lived along a small river at the top of Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake, in a protected area known for its rich biodiversity. At 45, he had never seen wildfires, and never seen the water level of the lake dip so Read More…

Freshwater dolphins in the Mekong are benefitting from better…

Sustainability Times – Irrawaddy dolphins are curious creatures… in more ways than one. They are curious by nature and look curious too. Instead of having long bottle-like nostrums like their relatives living in the seas, these freshwater mammals sport snub noses with bulging foreheads. They look a bit cartoonish but delightfully so. Not surprisingly, the winsome appearance of these Read More…