China’s Hydro Dam Ambitions on the Verge of Killing the Mekong River

China’s Hydro Dam Ambitions on the Verge of Killing the Mekong River

CHIANG RAI – A report published by the Lowy Institute says that biodiversity and precious resources of the Mekong are increasingly under danger because of the rush to construct hydro-electric dams on one of the world’s great rivers. The Mekong River is the lifeblood of Southeast Asia and offers a glimpse into the long history […]

Environmentalists Take on China’s Infrastructure Projects in Southeast Asia

Environmentalists Take on China’s Infrastructure Projects in Southeast Asia

CHIANG RAI – Rural communities in Thailand have been challenging Chinese companies with street protests, court petitions, and occasionally sorcery, to block environmentally-damaging projects in their back yards — and their call to action is being taken up across mainland Southeast Asia. Grassroots activists in the northern province of Chiang Rai have successfully lobbied the […]

Mekong River Bird Species Being Threatened By China’s Dam Discharges

Mekong River Bird Species Being Threatened By China’s Dam Discharges

– CHIANG RAI – An environmental activist from Chiang Rai’s Rak Chiang Khong, Jirasak Inthayot, said yesterday that the Mekong River ecosystem has been devastated from rising water levels during the dry season, as upstream dams in China discharge water to facilitate navigation in the river. Activist Jirasak Inthayot, talked to the Nation over concerns […]

Chiang Rai’s Ethnic Minorities Quit Opium Poppies for Coffee

Chiang Rai’s Ethnic Minorities Quit Opium Poppies for Coffee

– CHIANG RAI -Ethnic minorities on Mount Doi Tung in northern Thailand have seen their lives transformed after replacing illicit opium poppy fields with profitable coffee plantations. From the sky, Mount Doi Tung looks like a thick carpet of dark green forest. Huge trees sprawl across its misty hills, towering over coffee plantations and brilliantly […]

Researchers Funded by NASA Seek Ways to Improve Dams on Mekong River

Researchers Funded by NASA Seek Ways to Improve Dams on Mekong River

– CHIANG RAI – Researchers backed by multi-million-dollar grants from NASA are heading to Southeast Asia’s Mekong River region to find ways to improve dams so they are less harmful to people and the environment. Researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) will spend three years analysing sites in the lower Mekong River basin in Thailand, […]

China Defends Dam Building on Mekong River as Activists Head to Court

China Defends Dam Building on Mekong River as Activists Head to Court

  – BEIJING – Officials from southwest China’s Yunnan province have defended a plan to build a dam in the region as “fully legally compliant”, after an environment group took developers of the project to court last month for violating laws. The Beijing-based Friends of Nature had filed a suit against the 113-megawatt Huilong Mountain […]

Cross-Border Collaboration: The Antidote to Censorship and Press Intimidation in Thailand

Cross-Border Collaboration: The Antidote to Censorship and Press Intimidation in Thailand

  BANGKOK – The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) collaborates with journalists all around the world to break stories such as the Paradise Papers, Panama Papers, Evicted and Abandoned, Fatal Extraction and more. This series gives you the inside story of what it’s like being an investigative reporter and explores some of the challenges […]

Sheltering Teen Moms: Emergency Home Offers Crisis Care in Thailand

Sheltering Teen Moms: Emergency Home Offers Crisis Care in Thailand

– BANGKOK – Mon began dating her boyfriend when she was 14 years old. They met online. A few months in, “he wanted to have sex,” she recalled. “He did not use any protection. I was scared at first, but he said he would take all responsibility.” Soon after, Mon learned she was pregnant. But […]

Are China’s Investment Taking over the Mekong?

Are China’s Investment Taking over the Mekong?

– BEIJING – China is shoring up its sphere of influence in Southeast Asia through aid and investment. By funding infrastructure and development, China can increase its economic and strategic leverage over poorer neighbors. Last week, China and Cambodia signed 19 agreements during Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s meeting in Phnom Penh with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun […]