In Vietnam, many forests are being effectively managed by the most active guardians - the local communities - thanks to their cultural norms: the forest left by their ancestors is also the place where the forest god resides. It’s the traditional regulations and laws imprinted through the traditional practice of worshiping the sacredness of the gods that guide the community to manage and protect these forests for hundreds and thousands of years. However, there are challenges ahead that hinder them from playing their role.
Currently, in the Mekong basin, in addition to hundreds of dam in tributaries, there are six mainstream dams in operation in China’s part. Meanwhile, there are closer risks to the Mekong Delta from the 11 mainstream dams planned to be built in the lower Mekong in Laos and Cambodia.
Mekong Delta in Vietnam is one of the most affected areas by climate change in the world. In the future, when hydropower dams add up these impacts, local life will certainly be harder and harder.
Eventually, those farmers and fishermen like Mr. Sau Dung will be most vulnerable when the river is no longer the Mekong that used to nurture them in the past.
The story is produced by PanNature with support from the McArthur Foundation and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF).