Mekong River Upstream Privileges And Downstream Threat Environmental Sciences Essay

The Mekong River ( Langcang Jiang ) is located in Southeast Asia, and it is considered as the 7th largest river in the universe in footings of discharge and the 10th longest river in footings of length. Its beginning is at Tibet Plateau, Yunnan Province, China, so fluxing 4200 kilometres through Myanmar, Laos PDR, Thailand, Cambodia, and eventually through the extended delta in Vietnam into South China Sea. The Mekong basin contains full of natural resources including fishes and other aquatic diversenesss populating in that part. The organic structure of river is divided into two parts. First, the upstream portion includes its beginning in Tibet Plateau belongs to China and Myanmar and the downstream portion is belonging to Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The survey reported that the Mekong River would profit to hydropower production, enlargement of irrigated land, decrease of the menace of deluging in the delta part, natural resources and the extension of navigability of the river every bit far as northern Laos. The catchment is resource rich and is represented as mostly under-utilized. It besides lies with a geopolitical part that benefit to riparian provinces in footings of politic, economic and environment development. Given this, the Mekong stands out as one of Southeast Asia ‘s most pressure and big graduated table resource and environmental direction concerns. Furthermore, the riparian provinces significantly depend on the Mekong River due to its copiousness of resources ; as a consequence, they finally formed a commission to keep Mekong river government. That is Mekong Committee in 1957. From this clip, the rules, norms, regulations and decision-making process specifically concerns with development of Mekong ‘s resource have been maintained and changed through this government. Inter-state struggle vis-a-vis the usage of the Mekong River ‘s H2O resources emerged for the first clip in the early 1990s. The difference was employed as purchase in a dissension between Thailand and Vietnam over the “ just and just use ” of the Mekong ‘s H2O resources. At a deeper degree, it reflected broader concern sing strategic displacements throughout Southeast Asia and in Thai-Vietnamese relation following the peaceable decision of the cold war. The device of the commission is to organize the lower Mekong basin ( Mekong Committee ) and designed to ease the usage of the Mekong ‘s resource since 1957. In 1995, a new agreement was established that Mekong River Commission ( MRC ) was renewed to cover with the direction or the issues of sovereignty, non-interference and status of interdependent. The Mekong River Commission consists of the lower basin states including Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Furthermore, among the riparian provinces of Mekong basin, China is the most upstream state and a political and economic world power in the part. China has frequently been considered to exhibit one-sided behaviour toward the lower Mekong River riparian. MRC is non the lone establishment in the Mekong Basin, many other mechanisms such as the Greater Mekong Sub-region ( GMS ) which includes China as a major spouse was agreed to set up in 1992. The sub-region is covering 2.30 million square kilometres and provenders around 250 million caput of entire population. There are four international rivers within this sub-region, viz. , the Greater Mekong River, Irrawady River, Yuanjiang-Honghe ( Red ) River and Nujiang-Salween River. All of the four rivers flow from Yunnan Province into several Mainland Southeast Asiatic Countries. Among them, the three rivers of Mekong, Irrawady and Yuanjiang-Honghe are with great potencies for H2O conveyance development. These rivers could go H2O transition and conveyance web linking China ‘s Yunnan Province with the five Mainland Southeast Asiatic states by joint cooperation and development. In following subdivision, I will explicate the chief issue in Mekong River Basin — – Upstream privilege, downstream menace, and some mechanisms to cover with this complex issue.

Upstream Menace

The upstream states are considered as China, Myanmar and Lao PDR in Mekong River Basin. They claim resources and development in their occupied countries in upper Mekong Basin. As a affair of fact, most of the riparian provinces try to pull out every bit much as benefits as they can such as dike development, hydro power program, energy undertaking and pilotage or passageway since the Mekong River is regarded as one of the mainly rich in resources for those intents. Therefore, the state put much attending on development in Mekong Region. Of class, among the upstream provinces and all the riparian states, China emerges as the most powerful province, and it is besides the ace power in the universe in term of economic system and more likely in the hereafter the military ace power. The industrialisation of China ‘s economic system from agriculture base, it needs many factors to better its economic system such as electricity as the chief portion, natural stuffs, transit, tradeaˆ¦ Furthermore, as a strong economic system in Mekong part, China acts one-sidedly in relation to development of dike. China adopted two attacks to ASEAN states particularly in Mekong River Basin. Beside this, it projected many programs for dike development to reassign energy to Chinese industries ‘ ingestion and pilotage. The first attack is non-cooperation, intending it develops its ain programs by itself without dialogue with other autonomous states in Mekong River part. However, the downstream see it as a menace because the development might alter the natural flow of river. Sometimes, it may do the serious inundation in rainy season and drouth in dry season in the lower states such as Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Therefore, the downstream states try to acquire China in dialogue in order to do better usage of Mekong River resource and sustainable development in that country. In 1970, Chinese contrivers began be aftering a strategy of the mainstream of upper Mekong in Yunnan affecting 7-8 dikes which can bring forth the capacity of 15,550 KW or 17 % of China ‘s undertaking on power demands ( Pech Sokhem & A ; Kengo Sunada, 2008 ) .

The 2nd attack is that China has implemented the ‘active battle ‘ with Mekong river stockholders every bit good as the ASEAN members. It sees the advantages of collaborating with ASEAN states peculiarly the downstream states including Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. In November 2001, Chinese Premier Zhu Rong Ji provided $ 5 millon for major shoals, rapids, and reefs along the 331 Km Mekong River stretch from China-Myanmar boundary line to Luang Prabang. In add-on, China provided fund every bit good as the proficient aid to downstream for dike development or hydro power program. Therefore, China plays an active function in investing in regional energy trade in downstream states. In 2005, Chinese Premier, Wen Jia Bao, promised at 2nd GMS acme, China would wish to collaborate with other Mekong members for future energy development and dike programs, and he besides laid out China ‘s program for ‘Common prosperity ‘ with each other in Mekong part. It tries to further common trust, dainty each other with earnestness to quiet down the downstream states ‘ perceptual experience to China.

All in all, even though China has hand in glove with other upstream and downstream states, it still serves as China involvement in term economic system and power. The chief menaces to downstream are as following ( one ) dredging of river bed in the upper Langcang Mekong for bettering the commercial pilotage ; ( two ) big graduated table dike programs in Yunnan, China and ambitious dike development ; ( three ) Cambodia ‘s concern over implosion therapy from the inundation control measures along Vietnam -Cambodia boundary line ; and ( four ) Vietnam ‘s grave concern over implosion therapy and dry season low flow in the Mekong Delta due to the upstream development and so on.

Downstream Impact

Previous subdivision, I have mentioned the China ‘s playing in international relation with ASEAN provinces particularly in Mekong River Basin. China normally use it exclusive power to develop many dam undertakings in order to develop its economic system since it now needs much electricity for mills and H2O to link from Yunnan state to South East Asia states. Therefore, China makes change the natural flow of H2O in Mekong river basin. On the other side, downstream states including Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam are affected by hydropower works in Mekong basin. Particularly the most affected 1s are Cambodia and Vietnam for they are located in lowest portion of Mekong River. However, I would wish to concentrate on overall menace to downstream provinces and consequence of H2O direction in Cambodia as a consequence of upstream one-sidedly adopted undertaking on those countries in their state. Actually, states in downstream provinces are populating in the complex ecosystem. As the Mekong River serves H2O resources and natural resources and benefit to approximately 60 million people, the people are consequently affected by eight big dikes in Yunnan state, China. More significantly, most of the dam undertakings of China do non hold environmental impact appraisal. Sometimes, the negative impacts do non necessitate hundred old ages to see the environmental impairment. For case, hydropower undertaking, Xiaowan, was started in December 2001 and expected to complete in 2012. This dike development is at 292 metre tallness and considered as the highest dike undertaking in the universe ; nevertheless, the impact on Lao PDR is that it will run into inundation in the dry season. Another instance in Vietnam, it will do the serious implosion therapy in Southern portion of state. Furthermore, the big dike undertaking non merely causes the implosion therapy in downstream states, but besides they many incur other crises including ecosystem, aquatic diversenesss, clime alteration, unmanageable implosion therapy, nutrient scarceness, prolong inundations and drouths, lessening deposit biodiversities, deforestation, land clearance. Now let ‘s expression at some peculiar impact as followers:

Destruction of fish and piscaries: flooded in dry season will earnestly damage the fish-feeding.

Impact on agribusiness: 80 % of rice production in lower Mekong basin depends on H2O, silt, food provided by seasonal implosion therapy of Mekong. Flood in dry season will gnaw and diminish deposit and it affects long-run agricultural output.

IV. Cambodia Challenge: Water Management in Cambodia

After acquiring familiar with upstream and downstream job, I will lucubrate more on Cambodia instance. Cambodia is located in downstream states among riparian provinces in Mekong River Basin. This location can either give chances for Cambodia or endanger the H2O direction in Cambodia. In fact, 85 % of agricultural activities in Cambodia, depends on Mekong River fluxing from upper watercourse states. The benefits which Cambodia can acquire are that due to possible state of affairs it can absorb many resources such as fish and other aquatic biodiversities that move from upper watercourse because of changing of H2O direction in those states. Prior to explicating the H2O system and challenges that Cambodia face, I would wish to depict about brief background of Cambodia.

Cambodia is state of affairs in South East Asia and located in latitude between 10o and 15o in North and Longitude between 102o and 108o in East. It covers approximately 181,035 km2 in district and has entire population around 14 million people dispersed in 24 state and 4 metropoliss. The people largely gather in metropolis of Phnom Penh due to the fact that it is the economic, politic, cultural metropolis of Cambodia. Among entire population, 71 % are husbandmans, 21 % are employed in service sector and 8 % plants for industrial sector. Since most of population are making agricultural activities ; hence, it needs high and systematic H2O supply to run this field. The inquiry is that where can Cambodia entree the H2O for providing its agricultural activities. In fact, Cambodia can entree the H2O from two chief beginnings such as from Mekong River and Great Lake ( Tonle Sap ) located in centre of the state. During the moisture season, H2O will deluge the environing countries and particularly the H2O supply from Mekong River Delta and Tonle Sap all in all will direct to Great Lake ; as a consequence, it will take to the inundation. Whenever there is a inundation, it will convey the joust and nutrition to the dirt which was inundation ; hence, it is utile for agribusiness and cultivation. In add-on, due to the fact that Cambodia extremely depends on H2O supply from Mekong River ; the alterations in H2O flow in Mekong River Basin will consequently damage the agricultural and cultivating country in Lower Mekong River particularly in Cambodia since the 85 % of the flow of river is situated in Cambodia. Furthermore, there are many causes that can damage to the H2O supply in Cambodia.

First of wholly, the upper watercourse states such as China, Myanmar and Lao PDR developed 14 hydropower programs which can acquire bring forth the capacity of 222,600 MW. Since the Upper watercourse states developing their dike undertaking peculiarly in China, it may barricade the flow the H2O to run the engine to bring forth the fulfill the dike procedure ; there will incur irregular flow of H2O ; as a consequence, the fish resources will diminish due to alternation of ecosystem. Furthermore, people will normally depend on piscaries will miss of fish, hence, their income will consequently take down. Furthermore, in mid-2006 downstream provinces agreed to develop 11 dam undertakings consisting of 2 in Lao PDR, 2 for Thailand, and 2 for Cambodia. As a consequence of the developing the programs for dike undertakings for hydropower programs to bring forth the electricity for local ingestion, it is earnestly affects the support in Mekong river. That can cut down the measure of fish supply peculiar in Cambodia. All in all, due to the program of dam undertakings in both of upper and lower watercourse in Mekong River Basin, the suffer will probably impact the support and species.

V. Solution to the job: Suggestion to the usage of GMS

As I have mentioned in the old subdivision about the challenges of downstream of Mekong Basin particularly Cambodia which is one of the big interest state in Mekong River Basin, in this subdivision, I will present some proposed solutions which suggested by states in Mekong River every bit good as external world power states call for H2O protection since the universe will be confronting the H2O security in the hereafter if there are non plenty mechanisms to pull off it. Therefore, in order to do sustainable ingestion of Mekong River, every affecting province has duty to hand in glove work with all the members in Greater Mekong River. If there are non suited methods or system to command the effectual usage of Mekong River, it may be in one twenty-four hours damaged, and it will do serious calamity among riparian provinces peculiarly downstream states viz. Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam such as deluging in rain season and black drouth in dry season in low countries of Mekong Basin.

In order to get by with this job, there are many mechanisms to cover with this issue runing from beef uping of the function of Greater Mekong Sub-region ( GMS ) to the freshly established of Lower Mekong Initiative ( LMI ) .

In 1992, the construct of Greater Mekong Sub-region was proposed by Asian development bank ( ADB ) for advancing all engagement of all member provinces in Mekong River including China, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. This regional cooperation is partitioned to advance edifice relationship among riparian provinces of Mekong River for express thought platform, dialogue platform, and sharing information platform. It facilitates the cross-boundary dialogue since every member has to portion the thought when they want to develop the works in Mekong Basin. If there is non information sharing from each province ; hence, the province will do harm of H2O use in Mekong River as the piscaries stock handiness inside the Mekong River. To this case, the cooperation is really utile and necessary because province can have information and take action in prevent the crisis from go oning. That ‘s why it is deemed necessary to beef up the function of GMS. Beside this, the GMS can include all member provinces particularly China which is the most upper watercourse of the basin since China once act one-sidedly on its dike undertakings and power workss in upper watercourse, which can do serious harm to lower watercourse of H2O usage and piscaries stock. Furthermore, the effectual mechanisms are being used for covering with any sorts of issue sing the Mekong River. In brief, we will see the sharing information in regional cooperation will assist beef up the brand usage of H2O every bit good as the resources in Mekong River excessively.

Following the constitution of regional cooperation, Greater Mekong Sub-region, the provinces in low basin besides seek to construct steadfast relationship for effectual usage of the river and assist each other for any necessary accomplishment and ability edifice. In 1995, the provinces such as Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam initiated the Mekong River Commission ( MRC ) for regional economic cooperation. In the MRC, each member tries to work together for better usage in Mekong River. Furthermore, they conduct the meeting every twelvemonth in order to portion the thought and information in term of power works development and other dike undertakings that may impact the H2O flow to lower delta of the river. Furthermore, each member every twelvemonth meet each other to beef up more relationship and survey on dike undertaking from upper degree to lower degree of Mekong River. MRC is really utile in term of regional cooperation since 1995 because the provinces regard as an effectual committee for sharing thought in term of H2O usage in the basin.

Furthermore, in 2009, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for making the Lower Mekong Initiative ( LMI ) in Water ‘s Day. This creative activity aims at advancing more trussed relationship among member provinces. There has been much regional cooperation in order to do better usage and sustainable development of H2O and resource in the Mekong River because if there is no care or concerted work, we will run into the crisis in the hereafter.

In decision, upstream provinces lead to many effects on downstream states in footings of economic, politic, and environment. Therefore, downstream 1s call for regional integrating among riparian provinces along Mekong River. Furthermore, Mekong River Committee plays important function in organizing and advancing cooperation in Mekong River Basin. Many referendums and pacts have been signed in order to guarantee the sustainable usage of resources and benefits. In add-on, Greater Mekong River embraces China to dialogue and cooperation. We will see the function of GMS to work outing the internal struggle in Mekong River.