The Mekong River: energy demand, economic development, environmental protection

On Monday, 30 November, the CoP21 talks started in Paris. The expectation is that at its conclusion there would be a legally binding action plan agreed. A quandary for many developing countries has been the trade-off with generating energy for economic development and minimising damage to the ecology and living standards in the process.

Many countries have used their rivers and other water resources to generate electricity or to build dams to provide potable water. Doing so has entailed many risks and costs, with attempts at minimisation: ecological damage, population displacement and, at times, severe unintended consequences. Vietnam is one of the countries dependent on the many benefits of the Mekong River. Laos and Cambodia are others.And to be considered in the decision to exploit the benefits of the river, is how decisions by one can affect the others. A range of challenges, and benefits, is examined in a recent article in the Guardian, Mekong: a river rising

With an artful combination of audio-visual devices, the  presentation seeks to, and succeeds in, simplifying to a great extent a complex issue.

Again, another highly informative, yet conversational, read from the Guardian.

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