SUMERNET regional work recognized as Mekong Environment Ministers meet to approve action plan in Chiang Mai

As the Environment Ministers of Mekong Region countries met in Chiang Mai, Thailand in early February, to approve the Asian Development Bank Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) Core Environmental Program Strategic Framework and Action Plan 2018-2022, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) of Thailand has emphasized the importance of balancing development with the environment.


The proposed Pak Beng dam in Lao PDR: Is the “transboundary impact assessment” adequate?

The 1st Regional Stakeholder Forum on the Pak Beng Hydropower Project organized by the Mekong River Commission (MRC) last month debated whether the transboundary social and environmental impact assessment done for the proposed Pak Beng dam is adequate given the serious environmental and social concerns surrounding this mainstream Mekong dam.


Improving transboundary governance between China and the Lower Mekong

Lower Mekong countries are seeking better cooperation with China amidst increased environmental concerns about upstream Mekong dams. A recent policy forum on Environment, Agriculture, and Livelihoods in Cambodia discussed ways forward for the relationship between the Lower Mekong countries and China.


Rubber concessions in the Mekong Region: A gender perspective

In Cambodia and Lao PDR, rubber and cash crop plantations have expanded into farmlands posing difficulties for local people, and in particular, women farmers. In Cambodia’s northeastern province of Rattanakiri, farmers practice rotational cultivation that eeds to maintain certain fallow periods without farming. However, the government does not recognise these farming practices so that land left fallow is treated as unoccupied land and given out for “economic concessions” mainly to agribusiness companies for planting cash crops like rubber. In Lao PDR, as land becomes a scarce commodity in a patriarchal society, women are further put at a disadvantage since women are the ones who are responsible for upland rice cultivation for home consumption.


Transboundary fish trade in the Lower Mekong Basin: Impacts on fisheries and rural employment in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Thailand

This research project will analyze changes in the transboundary trade in fish between Stung Treng, Champassak and Ubon Ratchathani. By following the fish market chain, this study will seek to understand changes in catch figures, fishing techniques, fish stocks, species composition, trading channels, consumer preferences, fisheries regulatory frameworks and enforcement over time.