Whether it is for power generation or irrigation, all upstream developments on the Mekong River put Vi?t Nam at risk as the last downstream country, experts said yesterday. Hence all countries in the Mekong River basin should rethink their approaches and adopt measures to minimise impacts on communities and the ecosystem, said Tr?nh Lê Nguyên, director of People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature), a Vietnamese non-governmental organisation.
On November 4, PanNature along with the Henry L. Stimson Center and International Union for Conservation for Nature (IUCN) – hosted a panel discussion entitled, “Opportunities for Efficient Water Use in the Mekong Basin and Implications for Vietnam.” The panel discussion brought together participants from domestic and international civil society organizations, government and ministry representatives, as well as foreign diplomats to share their perspectives and opinions related to hydropower development in Laos, a landlocked country who’s ambition to become the “battery of Asia” brings concerns about the environmental sustainability of the entire region.
Located at the end of the Mekong River basin, the Mekong Delta in Vietnam is currently experiencing the most severe drought and salinity intrusion in 100 years. According to experts, the principal reason is development activities in Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries related to the use of the Mekong River’s water resources, including the operation and construction of mega-dams along the river as well as water diversion for agricultural purposes. Thus far, after months of struggling in a record-breaking drought, millions of farmers in the Mekong Delta have succumbed to exhaustion, due to significant losses of crops, fruits and aquaculture. Part Two of the series examines the impacts of dam construction and other projects on the Mekong Delta.
Addressing the Industrial Waste: Weaknesses in Management and Policy Recommendations workshop organised by PanNature, former Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Prof. ??ng Hùng Võ, cited the case related to the Formosa Hà T?nh Steel Corporation (FHS) in the V?ng Áng Economic Zone in the central Hà T?nh Provinc