2016 will be a decisive year for hydropower projects on the mainstream Mekong. Southeast-Asia based journalist, Tom Fawthrop, looks at the notion of ‘nice dams’ that supposedly don’t inflict too much damage on their surrounding environments and their opposite reality: the hidden costs of hydropower and the irreversible destruction of unique ecosystems.
Beijing’s revisionist approach to the status quo in Southeast Asia is nowhere more evident than its “land grab” in the South China Sea and “water grab” in the upper reaches of the Mekong River, says renowned Thai commentator Thitinan Pongsudhirak.
Among the conflicting opinions over hydroelectric development of the Mekong River Basin, one voice seems to be missing, writes longtime development worker and researcher JeeRung: the local communities of Laos directly affected. She breaks down why.