EVENT [RESOURCES]: The Mekong Drought: Impact and Solutions [Bangkok, 2 August 2019]

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On August 2, 2019, Center for Social Development Studies co-organized a panel discussion on “The Mekong Drought: Impact and Solutions". The discussion is organized as part of the 8th Chula ASEAN Week and 5th Parliementaty ASEAN Community Forum.

The discussion explored how the Lancang-Mekong basin is currently facing a severe drought, with serious consequences for communities living within the basin. The drought takes place in the context of increasingly extensive hydropower dam construction in the basin on the mainstream and tributaries. These projects have expanded water storage capacity that could potentially alleviate drought, but have also impacted the natural hydrology and ecology of the river with a range of negative consequences for existing riparian livelihoods. Meanwhile, intergovernmental cooperation towards the Lancang-Mekong River is evolving with the launch of the Lancang Mekong Cooperation in 2016 alongside the existing Mekong River Commission. The panel discussed the impact of the drought currently affecting the Mekong River basin, including on rural farming and fishing communities, its causes, and the immediate and long-term solutions.

Chaiwat Parakhun as representative of the Thai Mekong Network shared some pictures to illustrate the severity of the droughts:

He also shared some pictures of the area before the drought, to provide contrast:

Other three speakers participated in the event; Niwat Roykaew from Rak Chiang Khong, Suphakit Nuntavorakarn from Healthy Public Policy Foundation and Dr. Carl Middleton from Center for Social Development Studies, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University. Also joining as chair was Emeritus Professor Surichai Wun’gaeo from Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, Chulalongkorn University.

If you missed the event, you can get some of the presentations below:

You can also access the Facebook Live feed of the event below:

EVENT [RESOURCES]: Mega dams, sand mining and renewable energy: Navigating a new course for the mighty rivers of Southeast Asia [Bangkok, 12 June 2019]

Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand

Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand

On Wednesday, 12th June 2019, Carl Middleton from Center for Social Development Studies, was one of presenters on the panel discussion held in Foreign Correspondent Club of Thailand (FCCT), titled “Mega dams, sand mining and renewable energy: Navigating a new course for the mighty rivers of Southeast Asia”. Carl talked about the future relationship between the Mekong River Commission (MRC) and the Lancang Mekong Cooperation (LMC)

Other panelists on the event include:

  • Dr. Leonie Pearson, senior research fellow, Water for Stockholm Environment Institute: A renowned ecological economist and expert in sustainable development, landscape water management, livelihood policy and urban-rural integrated assessments.

  • Marc Goichot, WWF-Greater Mekong Water Lead, who has spent two decades in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos working on water stewardship, hydropower, disaster risk reduction and climate change.

  • Rina Chandran, land and property rights correspondent, Thomson Reuters Foundation and a former business journalist in India, Singapore and New York with Reuters News, Bloomberg and the Financial Times.

You can watch the video of the event below.

EVENT [RESOURCES]: CU Graduate Student Seminar Series 'The Water-Food-Energy Nexus' [Bangkok, 21 May 2019]

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The inaugural interdisciplinary seminar highlighted ongoing graduate student research related to the water-food-energy nexus. Students presented cross-cutting research in the areas of political ecology of water, bioenergy, agriculture, and the politics of water allocation in Southeast Asia.

Presentation:

  • "A political ecology of Bangkok waters: the institutional interplay between subsidence, floods and water infrastructures" by Thanawat Bremard, ABIES, AgroParisTech, France

    Bangkok’s position in the Chao Phraya River delta confronts it to the risks of flooding from three fronts: local rainfall, the tidal cycle of the Gulf of Thailand and the cumulated waters from upstream during rainy season. As the urbanisation of the capital progressed, the city left its aquatic nature to adopt a terrestrial paradigm of development focusing on roads, polderisation and infrastructures that keep the city dry from the floods. The flooding vulnerability of Bangkok is further enhanced by the subsidence caused by groundwater over-extraction and building weight. The research, at the confluence of urban political ecology, historical geography and institutional analysis, aims to study the leeway, conflicts and interests between varying organisations dealing with flooding and subsidence risks. The thesis will focus on the underlying trade-offs and the fragmentation of policies and institutions regarding the management of the various waters of Bangkok by looking into how the situation evolved since the 2011 great floods and the efforts to limit subsidence by controlling the usage of groundwater within Bangkok and its vicinity.

    Download the presentation here.

  • "Alternative approaches toward agriculture and energy nexus thinking: historical, geographical and political processes of socio-‘techno’-nature interactions" by Hiromi Inagaki, Department of Geography, National University of Singapore

  • "The politics of water policy making process in Indonesia" by Tanaporn Nithiprit, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

  • "Industrialization and water quality in Rayong Province, Thailand: are international, national and local water management strategies complimentary or contesting?" by Wipawadee Panyangnoi, GRID Program, Chulalongkorn University

    How is water allocated, who benefits, and who is impacted by the cycle of Thailand’s industrialization?

    Download the presentation here.

Discussants:

  • Dipak Gyawali, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology

  • Dr. Takeshi Ito, Graduate Program in Global Studies, Sophia University, Japan

Join your fellow graduate students for an engaging exchange of ideas in a relaxed atmosphere! To be updated about the next events, you can follow the CU Graduate Student Seminar Series Facebook Page here.

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EVENT [RESOURCES]: Book Launch 'The Water-Food-Energy Nexus' [Bangkok, 21 May 2019]

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Presentation can be accessed here. For more information about the book, as well as open access chapter and where to get it, please visit the link here.

Speakers:

  • Dipak Gyawali, Nepal Academy of Science and Technology

  • Jeremy Allouche, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex (by Skype)

  • Carl Middleton, Center for Social Development Studies, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

Discussants:

  • Dr. Takeshi Ito, Graduate Program in Global Studies, Sophia University

  • Dr. Supawan Visetnoi, Chulalongkorn University School of Agricultural Resources (CUSAR)

Chair:

  • Dr. Kasira Cheeppensook, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University

Video feed from the discussion: