The conference described changes underway in many aspects of the Tonle Sap, from the food web, to the fish catch, to human activities. Such changes underscore the important decisions facing Cambodia about the future of the lake, and how to address various needs of power generation, food security, and conservation in a sustainable way. One keynote speaker set the stage by describing how ecosystems with strong pulses of nutrients like the Tonle Sap typically have higher productivity and greater resilience to human disturbance than less variable systems. However, such resiliency appears to have its limits, as many researchers reported major shifts in the Tonle Sap fishery that suggests the lake may be in or past a tipping point. Change is coming quickly in the Tonle Sap from both climate change and development spurred by rapid population growth.
New understanding of Mekong River incision
Spirit Of Mekong
The Mekong River is one of the largest rivers and the second richest in biodiversity in the world. Because of the demand in electricity for social economics development, the lower Mekong riparian countries have constructed and proposed more than one hundred dams. These will lead to a decline in fish recruitment and food security. The dams will also risk the extinction of the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphin and the Mekong Giant catfish. Consequently, it is important to have an international standard of social and environmental impact assessment before building the dams. Governments should avoid building dams which are located in biodiversity hotspots. Small dam projects should be considered reducing the impact on fish migration by introducing with fishways.
Beside the large Mekong Tourism Forum which is hosted every year in a member country of the Greater Mekong Sub-region, a smaller shorter edition has been hosted for the last three years in Berlin during [Read More…]. Thailand wants to further boost arrivals to the Kingdom to counter the current slowdown. A new initiative would be to allow expatriate to come and go from the Kingdom without to be requested to present [Read More…].
The lower Mekong region is a fascinating zone from the perspective of human geography and ethnography. Divided between Cambodia and Vietnam, until the past few centuries it was, in fact, part of the broader Khmer world, and historically part of successive Cambodian polities. Heavily Sinicized culturally, the Vietnamese nevertheless retained their ethnic identity.