Gender and Hydropower in the Mekong River Basin

  • tracking change Local and Traditional Knowledge in Watershed Governance

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  • The Mekong River, flowing 4909 KM through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Cambodia and Vietnam, is one of the greatest river systems in the world. It has great productivity and seasonal variation that provides rich biodiversity for over 60 million people living in the basin.

    The Mekong Basin is primarily rural, and the livelihood sources of the majority of people living in the basin are related to different kinds of use of natural resources, including fish, other aquatic life, plants, rapids, tributaries, streams and more. Additionally, many villagers believe in animism, the belief that all natural phenomena has a spirit, is associated with nature, both land and water. However, the value of these natural resources to people’s livelihoods appears to be frequently underestimated.

    Over the past 15 years, a series of hydropower dams were constructed in China and several of them are being constructed and planned to be built in the Mekong mainstream. Hydropower dams pose a significant threat to the river’s ecology and the ways of life of communities in the basin.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International