The Mekong River is the lifeblood of some 60 million people. It provides the conditions necessary for rice cultivation and a rich supply of freshwater fish. But Laos has identified its potential as a provider of energy. The country wants to become the "powerhouse" of Southeast Asia and is planning to build six hydropower plants on the river.
But environmentalists and neighboring countries object to the plans, fearing the ecological consequences of the project, as well as the effect on the people living by the river. The Mekong River is home to some 700 species of fish, whose downriver passage will be disrupted by the construction of the dams. Critics say both the fishing and the tourist industries will suffer as a result of the project.
AFP (Aug. 4, 2013) The waters of the mighty Mekong have sustained generations of families but nowadays its fishermen often find their nets empty and fear hydropower mega-dams will destroy their ... watch video
Xinhua News Agency (Sep. 7, 2012) China's 4th largest hydropower station has gone into operation.
The station is on the Lancang River in southwestern Yunnan Province, also known as the Mekong River in southeast Asia.
By churning ... watch video
AFP (Mar. 29, 2015) Vietnam's drive to become the world's leading rice exporter is pushing farmers in the fertile Mekong Delta to the brink, say experts, with mounting costs to the environment. Duration: 02:35
Video ... watch video
National Geographic (Mar. 18, 2012) China’s Yangtze River is home to some of the world’s most spectacular whitewater, but plans to dam the river for hydropower threatens to alter the river’s natural landscape. ... watch video
AFP (Aug. 27, 2013) Firefighters report progress battling a huge blaze on the edge of Yosemite National Park, but warn it remains an "extreme" threat as it nears the top US tourist destination and San Francisco's water ... watch video
Xinhua News Agency (Feb. 2, 2012) The probe into an incident which resulted in cadmium polluting a south China river is making progress. Local police have detained eight people from two companies that are suspected of dumping waste ... watch video
Feb. 8, 2016 From paper towels to cups to plastic bottles, products made from recycled materials permeate our lives. One notable exception is building materials. Why can’t we recycle concrete from our ... read more
Feb. 8, 2016 The variable nature of the summer monsoon season makes Southern Asia one of the most vulnerable regions to natural disasters associated with climate change, such as droughts and floods. A recent ... read more
Feb. 8, 2016 Efforts to 'rewild' the landscape have become increasingly popular in some corners, but researchers say that scientific evidence supporting the potential benefits of this form of restoration is ... read more
Feb. 8, 2016 Researchers say that a better understanding of a bacterium could lead to cheaper production of cellulosic ethanol and other advanced biofuels. Their discovery was made during an investigation into ... read more
Feb. 8, 2016 A large scale study that included women from Germany and China has demonstrated a link between levels of traffic-related air pollution and air pollution-associated gases with the formation of dark ... read more
Feb. 8, 2016 A dendroclimatologist and his fellow researchers were able for the first time to precisely reconstruct the summer temperatures in central Asia for the past 2,000 years. This ... read more
Jan. 7, 2016 Advocates of huge hydroelectric dam projects on the Amazon, Congo, and Mekong river basins often overestimate economic benefits and underestimate far-reaching effects on biodiversity, according to a ... read more
Apr. 14, 2014 The pressure changes that many fish experience when they travel through the turbulent waters near a dam can seriously injure or kill the fish. Scientists from around the world, including areas like ... read more
May 22, 2013 Large-river specialist fishes -- from giant species like paddlefish and blue catfish, to tiny crystal darters and silver chub -- are in danger, but researchers say there is greater hope to save them ... read more