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
Oct. 6, 2015 Scientists investigating how to control take-all, a fungus that lives in soil and infects wheat roots to cause disease, have discovered that different varieties of wheat have ... read more
Oct. 5, 2015 A simple model of permafrost carbon based on direct observations has been developed by a team of scientists. Their approach could help climate scientists evaluate how well permafrost dynamics are ... read more
Oct. 5, 2015 The more ice is melted of the Antarctic Filchner-Ronne shelf, the more ice flows into the ocean, and the more the region contributes to global sea-level rise. Unlike some some other parts of ... read more
Oct. 2, 2015 Scientists working off west Africa in the Cape Verde Islands have found evidence that the sudden collapse of a volcano there tens of thousands of years ago generated an ocean ... read more
Oct. 24, 2014 An unprecedented boom in hydropower dam construction is underway, primarily in developing countries and emerging economies. While this is expected to double the global electricity production from ... 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
Jan. 16, 2013 Major hydropower dams in the northeastern United States, constructed with state-of-the-art features designed to allow migratory fish to pass through them on their way to spawn upstream, have failed ... read more