IN THE NEWS: แม่น้ำโขงที่ผันผวน และกลไกรับวิกฤต

[BangkokBizNews, 1 September 2019]

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ดร.คาร์ล มิดเดิลตัน นักวิชาการผู้ติดตามภูมิศาสตร์การเมืองของแม่น้ำโขงมาอย่างยาวนานจากศูนย์ศึกษาการพัฒนาสังคม (Center for Social Development Studies) คณะรัฐศาสตร์ จุฬาลงกรณ์มหาวิทยาลัย กล่าวว่า สถานการณ์ความแห้งแล้งและความผันผวนของแม่น้ำโขงปีนี้ และข้อกล่าวหาที่พุ่งตรงไปที่บทบาทของเขื่อนของจีน ทำให้รัฐบาลและสาธารณะที่เกี่ยวข้องให้ความสนใจกับความสำคัญของแม่น้ำโขงในมุมของความร่วมมือและสันติภาพมากเป็นพิเศษ

นอกจากนี้ กรอบความร่วมมือแม่โขง-ล้านช้าง ซึ่งริ่เริ่มโดยจีนเองในช่วงสองสามปีที่ผ่านมา ก็ยิ่งขับเน้นบทบาทของจีนในภูมิศาสตร์การเมือง (Geo-politics) ของภูมิภาคมากยิ่งขึ้น ดร.คาร์ล กล่าว

เป็นความจริงที่ว่าหลากหลายรัฐบาลไม่ว่าจะเป็นจากญี่ปุ่น เกาหลี หรืออินเดีย ต่างก็พยายามโปรโมทความร่วมมือในระดับภูมิภาค แต่ ข้อริเริ่มลุ่มน้ำโขงตอนล่างของสหรัฐฯ (Lower Mekong Initiative) ซึ่งไม่ได้รวมจีนเข้าไว้ด้วยนี่เอง ที่ดูเหมือนจะกลายมาเป็นยุทธศาสตร์ที่ถูกตั้งใจให้มาช่วยคานอำนาจให้สมดุลย์ในภูมิภาคนี้ เมื่อพิจารณาถึงอิทธิพลทางการเมืองของสหรัฐฯ และการเผชิญหน้าอย่างเปิดเผยกับจีน ดร.คาร์ล กล่าว

ดร.คาร์ล กล่าวว่า เมื่อพิจารณาถึงกลไกในภูมิภาคที่มีอยู่อย่าง MRC, การได้ข้อมูลเกี่ยวกับสภาพน้ำจากจีนที่สมบูรณ์มากกว่านี้ รวมทั้งข้อมูลเกี่ยวกับระดับน้ำของแต่ละเขื่อนตลอดทั้งปี จะช่วยลดปัญหาและการตั้งข้อความสงสัยเกี่ยวกับเขื่อนของจีนลงไปได้มาก

ในช่วงสองสามปีที่ผ่านมา ดร.คาร์ล กล่าวว่า เขาเห็นพัฒนาการการทำงานของ MRC ในการติดต่อประสานงานกับจีนเกี่ยวกับการแลกเปลี่ยนข้อมูลข่าวสารเกี่ยวกับสภาพน้ำได้ครบถ้วนขึ้น ซึ่งงานด้านนี้ควรเป็นสิ่งที่องค์กรดำเนินการอย่างต่อเนื่องต่อไปเป็นส่วนหนึ่งของภาระกิจหลัก

ดร. คาร์ล ยังกล่าวอีกว่า มันเป็นเรื่องที่สำคัญที่ประเทศต้นน้ำอย่างจีนและประเทศปลายน้ำของแม่น้ำโขงจะช่วยกันผลักดันกฎระเบียบที่ “ชัดเจนและเป็นธรรม” (Clear and Fair) ในการใช้ประโยชน์ร่วมกันของแม่น้ำโขง-ล้านช้าง รวมทั้งการแลกเปลี่ยนข่าวสารข้อมูลเกี่ยวกับสภาพน้ำ โดยเฉพาะในช่วงหน้าแล้ง และการดำเนินการของเขื่อนจีน

ในการดำเนินการของเขื่อน สมควรที่จะให้คล้ายสภาพธรรมชาติมากที่สุดเพื่อให้ประเทศท้ายน้ำได้รักษาสมดุลย์ของระบบนิเวศและวิถีชีวิตที่ต้องพึ่งพาวงจรธรรมชาติเหล่านั้น ดร. คาร์ล แนะนำ

ที่สำคัญ กฎเกณฑ์ต่างๆ เหล่านี้ควรต้องให้ประชาชนได้มีส่วนร่วมออกแบบ และเป็นที่ยอมรับของชุมชนในลุ่มน้ำ ถึงจะเป็นแนวทางที่จะช่วยแก้ปัญหาความขัดแย้งที่มีอยู่ของลุ่มน้ำได้ ดร. คาร์ล สรุป

Read more at this link here.

IN THE NEWS: Panel Discussion on "The Mekong Drought: Impact and Solutions"

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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.

Below are some articles referencing the event:

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แนะอาเซียนหยิบยกประเด็นวิกฤตแม่น้ำโขงหารือจีน “ครูตี๋”ชี้วิธีคิดรัฐบาลแดนมังกรสวนทางวิถีชุมชน เผยปริมาณไฟฟ้าสำรองไทยเหลือเฟือแต่ถูกล็อคให้รับซื้อ-โยนภาระให้ผู้บริโภคแบกรับ

แนะอาเซียนหยิบยกประเด็นวิกฤตแม่น้ำโขงหารือจีน “ครูตี๋”ชี้วิธีคิดรัฐบาลแดนมังกรสวนทางวิถีชุมชน เผยปริมาณไฟฟ้าสำรองไทยเหลือเฟือแต่ถูกล็อคให้รับซื้อ-โยนภาระให้ผู้บริโภคแบกรับ 0 BY ADMIN ON 2 สิงหาคม 2019 ในประเทศ เมื่อวันที่ 2 สิงหาคม 2562 ที่อาคารเฉลิมราชกุมารี 60 พรรษา จุฬาลงกรณ์มหาวิทยาลัย ได้มีเวทีอภิปราย “สถานการณ์ภัยแล้งน้ำโขง: ผลกระทบและทางออก” โดยผู้ร่วมอภิปรายประกอบด้วย ศ.สุริชัย หวันแก้ว ผู้อำนวยการ ศูนย์สันติภาพและความขัดแย้งแห่งจุฬาลงกรณ์มหาวิทยาลัย นายนิวัฒน์ ร้อย-แก้ว หรือ “ครูตี๋” ประธานกลุ่มรักษ์เชียงของ ดร.คาร์ล มิดเดิลตัน นักวิชาการศูนย์ศึกษาการพัฒนาสังคม คณะรัฐศาสตร์ จุฬาฯ นายชัยวัฒน์ พาระคุณ ผู้แทนเครือข่ายประชาชนลุ่มน้ำโขง และนายศุภกิจ นันทะวรการ ผู้แทนมูลนิธินโยบายสุขภาวะ ทั้งนี้ทางผู้จัดได้เชิญผู้แทนกระทรวงต่างประเทศไทยและผู้แทนสถานเอกอัครราชทูตจีนประจำประเทศไทย เข้าร่วมด้วย แต่ทั้ง 2 หน่วยงานไม่ได้ส่งตัวแทนเข้าร่วม

Read more at http://transbordernews.in.th/home/?p=23362 .

 
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'แล้ง-ท่วม'วิกฤติ'แม่น้ำโขง'เขื่อนสร้างพลังงาน..ชาวบ้านระทม

เมื่อช่วงกลางเดือน ก.ค. 2562 ที่ผ่านมา เกิดปรากฏการณ์ "น้ำโขงแห้ง" ซึ่งหลายคนที่อยู่ในพื้นที่ถึงกับออกปาก "เกิดมาเป็นสิบๆ ปีไม่เคยเห็นแบบนี้มาก่อน" แน่นอนว่าข้อสันนิษฐานหลักคงหนีไม่พ้น "สารพัดโครงการเขื่อน" ที่หลายชาติทำขึ้นทั้งในเขตประเทศตนเองและไปลงทุนในประเทศเพื่อนบ้านโดยยกเหตุความจำเป็นด้านพลังงาน ล่าสุดเมื่อต้นเดือน ส.ค. 2562 มีการจัดเวทีอภิปราย "สถานการณ์ภัยแล้งลุ่มน้ำโขง : ผลกระทบและทางออก" ที่จุฬาลงกรณ์มหาวิทยาลัย วิกฤติแม่น้ำโขง ก็ถูกหยิบยกขึ้นมาพูดถึงอีกครั้ง

Read more at https://www.ryt9.com/s/nnd/3024148

 
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ภาคปชช.แนะรัฐบาล จัดทำนโยบายพัฒนาแม่น้ำโขง ถ่วงดุลย์โครงการกระทบคนลุ่มน้ำ

โดยตัวแทนภาคประชาชน ผู้เชี่ยวชาญด้านพลังงานและด้านการพัฒนาลุ่มน้ำโขงได้ร่วมเวทีอภิปราย “สถานการณ์ภัยแล้งน้ำโขง:ผลกระทบและทางออก” โดยศูนย์สันติภาพและความขัดแย้งแห่งจุฬาลงกรณ์มหาวิทยาลัย นายนิวัฒน์ ร้อยแก้ว หรือ “ครูตี๋” ประธานกลุ่มรักษ์เชียงของ กล่าวว่า “วิกฤติที่เกิดขึ้นตลอดระยะเวลาที่ผ่านมากำลังสะท้อนว่าภาครัฐไม่ไ้ด้ให้ความสนใจแก้ไขผลกระทบที่เกิดขึ้นจากการพัฒนาแม่น้ำโขงเพราะปัญหาได้เกิดขึ้นมานานแล้วและยังไม่ได้รับการแก้ไขให้ดีขึ้น” นายนิวัฒน์กล่าวว่า “ไม่เคยเห็นรัฐบาลชุดไหนออกมาพูดชัดเจนว่าจะพัฒนาแม่น้ำโขงอย่างไร ซึ่งสะท้อนว่ารัฐไทยไม่เคยมีนโยบายเกี่ยวกับแม่น้ำโขงและไม่ได้ให้ความสำคัญ”

Read more at https://www.bangkokbiznews.com/news/detail/842653



IN THE NEWS: Finding the nexus between water, food and energy

By Kunda Dixit [Nepali Times, 26 July 2019]

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‘Nexus’ has become a word with a negative connotation in Nepal, used in conjunction with collusion or complicity: ‘government-business nexus’, or ‘nexus of politicians with the medical mafia’.

Nexus has a nefarious nuance because of the corrupt conspiracies that are hatched in the corridors of power between the political leadership and the captains of industry, giving democracy itself a bad name. An increasing number of Nepalis are disillusioned not just with politicians, but the system of government itself.

Multi-disciplinary social scientists Jeremy Allouche, Carl Middleton and Dipak Gyawali in their new book, The Water-Food-Energy Nexus: Power, Politics and Justice, try to reinstate the respect that the word ‘nexus’ has lost. They lay out the necessity of a multi-purpose nexus in designing and implementing development. For too long, we have maintained a tunnel vision in which hydropower was seen as only energy, drinking water only as a utility, or water only for urban supply.

Read more at this link here.

IN THE NEWS: #WeStandByOurPlanet

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Taylor & Francis recently launched their 2019 Asia Sustainability Campaign, #WeStandByOurPlanet. For every book sold from the campaign list, they will donate SGD$1 to a local wildlife community.

Two books from CSDS, Living with Floods in a Mobile Southeast Asia and The Water-Food-Energy-Nexus are also included in the campaign listing. Please visit this link here for the catalog of books included in the list.

IN THE NEWS: China winning new Cold War on the Mekong

By Bertil Lintner [Asia Times, 24 June 2019]

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When the state tabloid China Daily ran a paid advertisement in the New York Times extolling the virtues of Beijing’s proliferating dams in Laos, the piece sparked a new cold war controversy.

Entitled “Employment on hydroelectric project in Laos delivers better lives”, the piece stated that a proposed cascade of dams on the Nam Ou River will enable well-paid local workers to buy pickup trucks and provide the poor country with badly needed electricity.

The paid placement also noted the Nam Ou cascade “is a key part of the China-led Belt and Road Initiative and is the first project undertaken by a Chinese-invested company to cover an entire river.”

With its rising regional clout and massive state resources, China has recently gained a clear upper hand vis-à-vis the United States and Japan in determining the crucial waterway’s future development and direction.

It’s an economics-over-environment vision that downstream nations have often opposed but without recourse or resources to fight back there is little they can do as US and Japan-backed counter-initiatives for the river wash away into irrelevance.

A cargo boat on the Mekong River near the Pak Ou tributary, Luang Prabang, Laos, February 1, 2017. Photo: Wikimedia/Christian Terrissen

The new cold war on the Mekong is being fought in part on environmental grounds. International Rivers, a nongovernmental organization (NGO), views China’s dam-building differently than as portrayed in the New York Times’ paid advertisement.

The group states on its website that the propaganda piece “paints a rosy picture of a highly destructive set of dams currently under construction in Southeast Asia.”

Rather than benefiting economically from the construction of new dams, International Rivers claims that farmers affected by the project have lost their land and that many never received the compensation they were promised.

The cascade has resulted in the forced relocation of over 4,000 people and undermined livelihoods for tens of thousands more villages in the river’s basin, the NGO says.

It also claims the company, China Power, is developing 350 kilometers of the 450-kilometer-long river and has “rejected offers from the International Finance Corporation and the Mekong River Commission (MRC) to participate in a broader watershed management planning.”

That is hardly surprising. In recent years, China has managed to outmaneuver the MRC, a decades-old initiative which brings together Mekong River countries for development projects, with the creation of its own Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC).

Lancang is the Chinese name for the Mekong River and the forum, which includes all the riparian countries from the river’s headwaters to its exit in the South China Sea, explicitly excludes traditional regional donors like Japan and the UnitStates.

According to Carl Middleton and Jeremy Allouche, two Western scholars writing for the Italian journal the International Spectator, the LMC “proposes programs on both economic and water resource development, and anticipates hydro-diplomacy via China’s dam-engineered control of the headwaters” of the Mekong.

Read more at this link here.

IN THE NEWS: REDISCOVERING THE WATER-FOOD-ENERGY NEXUS

IN THE NEWS

By Jeremy Allouche [STEPS Centre, 10 April 2019]

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A few months ago, I presented the findings of a new book, The Water-Food-Energy Nexus: Power, Politics and Justice, to an International Water Association conference on the same topic at Salerno. To my great surprise, I was the only social scientist out of 200 participants.

Nexus approaches help to bridge the separate domains of water, energy and food to highlight the links and interactions between them. For example, hydroelectric dams are obviously sources of energy, but they need (and use) water for it, with knock-on effects for food – changing the conditions for irrigation, fishing or groundwater – in the areas where they operate. So, anyone responsible for large projects, including in developing countries, can use the Nexus to make decisions and think through what problems or synergies they might create.

So for many engineers and environmental economists, who made up most of the audience, the Nexus is an exciting new idea. It presents them with the practical challenge of modelling ever more complexity and interactions between the resources they work with. In fact, the Nexus is becoming so engineering-dominated that our new book is sold on Amazon under the topic of civil engineering!

Read more at this link here.

Jeremy Allouche, Dipak Gyawali, and Carl Middleton of CSDS are the co-authors of the book “The Water-Food-Energy Nexus”. More information about this book can be read here.

NEW PUBLICATION: "BOOK: The Water-Food-Energy Nexus: Power, Politics and Justice"

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Carl Middleton of CSDS is a co-author of a new book, “The Water-Food-Energy Nexus: Power Politics and Justice”.

The ‘nexus’ of relations between water, food and energy is often seen as a technical matter, addressing issues of risk, security or economics. In a new book in the Pathways to Sustainability series, Jeremy Allouche, Carl Middleton and Dipak Gyawali argue for a political approach to the Nexus.

Read the details of the book here, and download an open access chapter.

REVIEWS:

"Beyond the commonplace recognition that the 'nexus' conceptual basis is not new and that integrative imperatives already featured in IWRM, this book further examines the underbelly of the beast and convincingly exposes the political underpinnings of a concept presented as a-political and 'manageable' through integrative tools, expert modeling, bureaucratic reforms and rational efficiency-driven thinking. It reveals the underlying business imperatives and green economy logics, traces the global diffusion of the concept, and emphasizes that issues of distributional justice, knowledge production and democratization of governance need to take center stage if the concept is to be transformative rather than supporting the status quo. An excellent reading for all water students and scholars interested in deciphering the word of water concepts and the interests and values that undergird them." — Francois Molle, Editor of Water Alternatives [Full review here]

"We frequently hear of the nexus - but what does this mean, what does it entail, and where to begin? To such questions, Allouche offers a critical guide. Careful to consider complexities and uncertainties, the theoretical discussion coupled with multi-sited case studies, offers a compelling treatment. Readers wanting to know more of the concept, including political economic and equity implications, will find reading the book to be time well spent." — Leila M Harris, University of British Columbia, Canada

"Skilfully delving into the nuances of the nexus approach, the authors trace and explain the emergence of the ‘new’ concepts of nexus – between water, food, energy, environment and more. Unravelling the tangle of nexus-invoking discourses, motivations and practices yields a valuable, sense-making analysis." — John Dore, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

IN THE NEWS: "Book Review 'Dead in the Water: Global Lessons from the World Bank’s Model Hydropower Project in Laos' from Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography"

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In 2024, Laos PDR (‘Laos’) is set to move beyond ‘least developed country’ status. This, according to the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, is a significant accomplishment. The Rapporteur, however, also notes that ‘behind this apparent success story lies a more complicated and problematic reality’ (Alston, 2019: 1).

Enter Dead in the Water, a book that is part of a long-standing effort into comprehending key facets of this ‘problematic reality’. 1 The route taken is via one of the highest profile poverty alleviation projects in Laos, and indeed, of the World Bank: the Nam Theun 2 (NT2) hydropower dam.

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Read the full review here.

Carl Middleton of CSDS contributed the chapter “Branding Dams: Nam Theun 2 and its Role in Producing the Discourse of “Sustainable Hydropower”” to the book (see here)

Buy the Book: Dead in the water: global lessons from the World Bank's model hydropower project in Laos (University of Wisconsin Press, 2018)


IN THE NEWS: "Book Review 'Dead in the Water: Global Lessons from the World Bank’s Model Hydropower Project in Laos' from Southeast Asian Studies"

By Keith Barney [Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 8, No. 1, April 2019, pp. 153-157]

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Tens of millions of dollars have been spent on environmental and social mitigation programs for the Nam Theun 2 (NT2) hydropower project in Laos, extending over the full footprint of the project zone from the Vietnam border down to the confluence of the two impacted rivers with the Mekong. What are scholars, development practitioners, and concerned citizens to make of this high-profile infrastructure project? Costing about US$1.45 billion in the end, it made such a significant investment in addressing its socio-environmental externalities, but as the authors of Dead in the Water argue, has still come up short.

. . .

Dead in the Water does not specifically set out to theorize a new framework for understanding the NT2 project or the implications of hydropower development in Laos. Its aims are more applied and grounded, and constitute a basic warning that “supporting high-risk projects—those with the potential for severe social and environmental impacts—in countries with significant governance issues is fundamentally inappropriate and likely to cause more harm than good” (p. 298). The approach is set by some well-crafted chapters by the lead editors: independent researcher/consultant Bruce Shoemaker, and conservation biologist William Robichaud, both whom have long-term experience in the country. While none of the other chapter contributors are Lao nationals, which is a shame but understandable, given the constraints with freedom of speech in the country; almost all of the other writers have spent decades working and researching about Lao resource management issues.

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Read the full review here

Citation: Barney, Keith. Review of Dead in the Water: Global Lessons from the World Bank’s Model Hydropower Project in Laos edited by Bruce Shoemaker and William Robichaud. Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 8, No. 1, April 2019, pp. 153-157

Carl Middleton of CSDS contributed the chapter “Branding Dams: Nam Theun 2 and its Role in Producing the Discourse of “Sustainable Hydropower”” to the book (see here)

Buy the Book: Dead in the water: global lessons from the World Bank's model hydropower project in Laos (University of Wisconsin Press, 2018)

IN THE NEWS: 'Powering Up Sustainable Energy for Asia'

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IN THE NEWS

By Sam Geall [Chatham House, 11 March 2019]

Asia’s cryosphere, the vast stores of frozen water in the high mountains that feed the rivers on which some 1.3 billion people depend, is warming far faster than average, an expert assessment warned recently, adding that two-thirds of Himalayan glaciers could disappear by the end of the century.

This and other warning signs make clear the need for a sustainable energy transition in Asia, not only given the urgency of mitigating climate change, but also because renewable energy technologies can help to provide cheap and reliable energy to areas where grid-based provision is unreliable or otherwise prohibited by geography or high costs.

A green transformation, if done right, can address poverty reduction goals and improve health and environmental quality. But achieving this requires rethinking many assumptions about the current system that generates and distributes electricity, and its interconnections with a genuinely sustainable society.

Read more at this link here.

This article was produced from the forum we co-organized with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. and Chatham House on “Powering up Sustainable Development for Asia: The Future of Global and Regional Investment in Asia’s Energy Sector”, which was held in Chulalongkorn University, 25 January 2019. For more information about this forum, please visit the link here.

IN THE NEWS: Review of "The water-food-energy nexus. Power, politics and Justice"

By François Molle [Water Alternatives, 2019]

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Although water-food-energy nexus thinking can hardly claim to be new wine, the growth of 'nexus literature' in the past ten years is remarkable. It has gained currency as a buzzword with the potential to convene water experts in global jamborees, to elicit books and special journal issues, and to challenge the long-established Integrated Water Resources Management concept as the new champion of integrative imperatives.

. . .

The book does a great job at showing how a water-energy-food nexus approach emphasises demand-led technological and market solutions, downplays supply-side limits, promotes a technical and supposedly apolitical treatment of trade-offs, and largely ignores the political dimensions that shape control over, and access to, resources. But even in its reductionist form of an optimising tool for cross-sectoral planning or business, the systemic complexity that the nexus seeks to address is baffling, and it is no wonder than in practice empirical work focuses on sub-nexuses using monetary metrics.

***

Carl Middleton of CSDS is the co-author of this book.

Read full article here
Buy the Book (coming soon)

IN THE NEWS: 'Why the Mekong matters'

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IN THE NEWS:

By Sam Geall [The Third Pole, 1 November 2018]

The countries of the Mekong should build a “community of shared future”, said China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in December last year. The Lancang-Mekong Cooperative Framework (LMC) is “practical and highly effective”, he said. “We do not go after a high-profile ‘talk shop’, but a down-to-earth ‘bulldozer’”.

China has managed to cement its influence over the transboundary river in recent years, in a move that has important implications for the riverine environment and the people that rely on its resources. Its primary vehicle, or “bulldozer”, the LMC, will drive dam and development projects, special economic zones and trade.

It also illustrates China’s changing approaches to Southeast Asia – the central topic addressed recently in a policy forum The Third Pole and chinadialogue co-organised with the Centre for Social Development Studies (CSDS) and the Faculty of Political Science at Chulalongkorn University, in Bangkok.

Read more at this link here

IN THE NEWS: "Review of “Dead in the water: global lessons from the World Bank's model hydropower project in Laos”"

By Rajesh Daniel [Water Alternatives, 2018]

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In July 2018, the massive dam break of the Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy dam in Laos killed more than 30 people in Laos and left thousands of people homeless in both Laos and Cambodia. The US$1 billion Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy dam was a "build-operate-transfer" project much like the Nam Theun 2 (NT2) dam.

. . .

This book provides a fascinating account of how, with the NT2, the World Bank and the GoL took the first steps on the dam-building program that has brought us to where we are now: more than 72 new large dams, 12 of which are under construction and 25 in advanced planning stages in Laos, many involving private-public partnerships.

****

Carl Middleton of CSDS contributed the chapter “Branding Dams: Nam Theun 2 and its Role in Producing the Discourse of “Sustainable Hydropower”” to the book (see here)

Buy the Book: Dead in the water: global lessons from the World Bank's model hydropower project in Laos (University of Wisconsin Press, 2018)

Read full article here.

IN THE NEWS: 'Climate disaster looms for SE Asia'

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International and regional researchers at a Panel Discussion organized by SEA Junction in Bangkok have urged governments in Southeast Asia to prioritise creating climate change resilience for their citizens, as the region faces risks of more greater and more intense natural disasters….

Referring to “Living With Floods in a Mobile Southeast Asia”, a recent publication to which researchers from SEI-Asia and Chulalongkorn University contributed, Torre stressed how policy and disaster responses centering mainly, if not only, on relocation or disaster risk mitigation are likely to fail in the long term.  To be successful in reducing vulnerabilities, these actions must consider, among others, mobility patterns and causes, livelihood strategies as well as historical sources of poverty and inequality.


Read more here

Visit our project webpage on Living with Floods in Southeast Asia here.

NETWORK: CSDS joins POLLEN political ecology network

NETWORK: CSDS joins POLLEN political ecology network

The Political Ecology Network (POLLEN) is an umbrella organization of political ecology researchers, groups, projects, networks and ‘nodes’ across the globe. It aims to provide a platform for the ‘cross fertilization’ of ideas and where the world’s many rich, diverse traditions can come together, discuss, and debate the latest developments in the field of political ecology. It also aims to function as a vehicle to promote, encourage and facilitate political ecological research with other academic fields and disciplines, as well as civil society.

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NETWORK: Advisory Committee member to Platform on Disaster Displacement

NETWORK: Advisory Committee member to Platform on Disaster Displacement

The Center for Social Development Studies is honored to be invited to the Advisory Committee of the Platform on Disaster Displacement. We aim to contribute our research and recommendations on disaster displacement, human rights and development in Southeast Asia, building on our recent studies on political ecologies of mobility.

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COLLABORATION: Disaster and Displacement through a Human Rights Lens in Asia-Pacific

COLLABORATION: Disaster and Displacement through a Human Rights Lens in Asia-Pacific

When a disaster strikes leading to people’s displacement not all are impacted in the same way, and often it is marginalized groups who are affected the hardest. The Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI) has initiated a regional study on the relationship between disaster and people displacement through a human rights lens in the Asia Pacific. The research is underpinned by the recognition that pre-existing patterns of discrimination can exacerbate vulnerability to disaster-related harm. The research is informed by the UN Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights' Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and will examine how state actors fulfill their obligations to prevent displacement, protect people during displacement, and facilitate durable solutions in the aftermath. It is intended to offer recommendations on future policy and implementation across the region.

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VACANCY: Communications Coordinator

VACANCY: Communications Coordinator

Currently seeking a Communications Coordinator. This is a full-time position, to be based in our office within the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University. The position is open to all nationalities. For the selected candidate, if non-Thai, we are able to offer a Thai visa and work permit. Appropriate training will be provided as needed.

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COLLABORATION: Sustainable Governance of the Transboundary Environmental Commons in Southeast Asia

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The Sustainable Governance of the Transboundary Environmental Commons in Southeast Asia (TECSEA) project is a new multi-disciplinary five year project based at the Asia Research Institute (ARI), National University of Singapore (NUS). Led by Professor David Taylor and Professor Jonathan Rigg, it’s goal is to further understanding of key issues in the sustainable development of the ecological commons in Southeast Asia from a transboundary governance perspective, with a focus on air and fresh water.

The research project involves a team spanning the region, including the Center for Social Development Studies as a collaborator in Thailand. We are very excited to contribute to this project, in particular on its fresh water component. With growing pressures on commons ranging from the local to the national and transnational scale, this project will contribute new insights and policy guidance at a critical decision-making juncture.

For further details on the project, visit the project’s website. An introductory article on the project is published in ARI’s March 2018 newsletter (#41) which can be downloaded here.

Contact at CSDS: Dr. Carl Middleton (Carl.Chulalongkorn@gmail.com).

Peatland in Jambi, Indonesia | Photo credit: David Taylor

Peatland in Jambi, Indonesia | Photo credit: David Taylor

IN THE NEWS: 'Salween Stories:' Nujiang, China

IN THE NEWS: 'Salween Stories:' Nujiang, China

Mae Sam Laep is located near to the Salween National Park and the Salween Wildlife Sanctuary, and was once a site of a booming timber industry. A long-time trading site, with the village established at least as early as the 1960s, it is now a place where tourists can start their journey along the Salween River, and for surrounding residents a point of departure to travel up and downstream, to Tha Ta Fang or Sob Moei villages, for instance. 

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