Write a brief summary of the environmental issues affecting the Mekong region at the large-scale
It has been proposed that 12 mainstream hydropower dams will be built on the Mekong River. However, these dams are likely to create a barrier that will severely impact the flow and hydrology of the river. Some potential impacts include the impact on the region’s natural monsoonal flood/drought cycles, blocking sediment and nutrient transfer, affecting fish and aquatic life of the river and wetlands, requiring tens of thousands of people to relocate because their homes and land will be flooded, and more due to changes to habitat, farmlands and wetlands.
Write brief summary of the need for different countries to work together to address the problems of the Mekong River. Why do they need to work together? What are the benefits of them working together?
The Mekong River runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. In order for any issues to be resolved it is essential that all these countries work together. One of the reasons for this is because, if one of the countries does something that impacts the river, the impact will carry through to the rest of the river. For example, if China were to build a dam, the flow and hydrology of the entire river would be affected. In order for any effective action to take place, the countries need to plan together instead of acting individually, and potentially endangering the river further.
Write a brief summary of the large- scale strategies to solve the environmental issues
In order to address issues facing the river, the Mekong River Commission was created involving governments of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. In 2009, the commission released a report in response to the proposed building of the 12 dams, ensuring that any decisions were made with full knowledge of potential costs and benefits.
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