The catchment area of the Mekong River and its tributaries extends from China, through Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and to Vietnam. The water resources of the Mekong region - from the Irrawaddy and Nu-Salween in the west, across the Chao Phraya to the Lancang-Mekong and Red River in the east- are increasingly contested. Governments, companies, and banks are driving new investments in roads, dams, diversions, irrigation schemes, navigation facilities, power plants and other emblems of conventional 'development'. Their plans and interventions should provide some benefits, but also pose multiple burdens and risks to millions of people dependent on wetlands, floodplains and aquatic resources, in particular, the wild capture fisheries of rivers and lakes.
This book examines how large-scale projects are being proposed, justified, and built. How are such projects contested and how do specific governance regimes influence decision making? The book also highlights the emergence of new actors, rights and trade-off debates, and the social and environmental consequences of 'water resources development'.
This book shows how diverse, and often antagonistic, ideologies and interests are contesting for legitimacy. It argues that the distribution of decision-making, political, and discursive power influences how the waterscapes of the region will ultimately look and how benefits, costs and risks will be distributed. These issues are crucial for the transformation of waterscapes and the prospects for democratizing water governance in the Mekong region.
The book is part of the action-research of the M-POWER (Mekong Program on Water, Environment and Resilience) knowledge network.
Published with IFAD, CG|AR Challenge Program on Water & Food, M-POWER, Project ECHEL-EAU and HEINRICH BOLL STIFTUNG
Table of Contents
1: Changing Waterscapes in the Mekong Region: Historical Background and Context
Fran�ois Molle, Tira Foran, Philippe Floch
2: Old and New Hydropower Players in the Mekong Region: Agendas and Strategies
Carl Middleton, Jelson Garcia, Tira Foran
3: Pak Mun Dam: Perpetually Contested?
Tira Foran, Kanokwan Manorom
4: The Nam Theun 2 Controversy and its Lessons for Lao PDR
5: Damming the Salween River
Darrin Magee, Shawn Kelley
6: Irrigation in the Lower Mekong Basin Countries: The Beginning of a New Era?
Chu Thai Hoanh, Thierry Facon, Try Thuon, Ram Bastakoti, Fran�ois Molle, Fongsamuth Phengphaengsy
7: Landscape Transformations and New Approaches to Wetlands Management in the Nam Songkhram River Basin in Northeast Thailand
David Blake, Richard Friend, Buapun Promphakping
8: The Delta Machine: Water Management in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta in Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
David Biggs, Fiona Miller, Chu Thai Hoanh, Fran�ois Molle
9: Hydropower in the Mekong Region: What are the Likely Impacts on Fisheries?
Juha Sarkkula, Marko Keskinen, Jorma Koponen, Matti Kummu, Jeff Richey, Olli Varis
10: The 'Greening of Isaan': Politics, Ideology, and Irrigation Development in the Northeast of Thailand
Fran�ois Molle, Philippe Floch, Buapun Promphakping, David Blake
11: The Promise of Flood Protection: Dykes and Dams, Drains and Diversions
Louis Lebel, Bach Tan Sinh, Po Garden, Suong Seng, Le Anh Tuan, Duong Van Truc
12: Songs of the Doomed: The Continuing Neglect of Capture Fisheries in Hydropower Development in the Mekong
Richard Friend, Robert Arthur, Marko Keskinen
13: The Anti-Politics of Mekong Knowledge Production
Mira K�k�nen, Philip Hirsch
14: Demarginalizing the Mekong River Commission
John Dore, Kate Lazarus
15: Contested Mekong Waterscapes: Where to Next?
Francois Molle, Louis Lebel, Tira Foran