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]

DeadInTheWater.jpg

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.

UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SESSION: "New Regimes of Commodification and State Formation on the Resource Frontier of Southeast Asia" [Helsinki, 17 August 2018]

Session organized for the 4th Annual Conference of the World-Eco­logy Research Net­work in Helsinki, Fin­land

13:00-14:30, 17 August 2018, Fabianinkatu 33, Room 3008, University of Helsinki

 

Conveners: Anu Lounela, Tuomas Tammisto and Mira Kakonen

Discussant: Carl Middleton

This thematic panel is to examine the interplay between the commodification of nature, value production, and state formation especially in Southeast Asia but possibly also in other regions. Southeast Asian countries are experiencing rapid transformations shaped by new dynamics involving investors from China and from the wealthiest ASEAN countries. The pace of change is fast, with high-tech special economic zones, extractive mining and hydropower enclaves, and large-scale agro-industrial land concessions emerging alongside smallholders or forest-dependent communities whose populations in Southeast Asia still number in tens of millions. New boom and bust cycles of industrial crops like rubber and oil palm are constantly re-shaping the rural landscapes. In the Southeast Asian resource frontiers competition over resources and land is high, the presence of the state is fragmented and uneven, and new property systems and legal arrangements are in the making. This panel aims to explore: How does rapid commodification of natural elements constitute or entangle with various processes of state formation in the frontiers of Southeast Asia? How do different actors and groups compete over different values and meanings of resources and with what effects?

Presenters:

  • "New Commodity Regimes in the Making of Frontiers in Indonesia" by Anu Lounela (University of Helsinki)
  • "State Formation on the Oil Palm Frontier of Papua New Guinea" by Tuomas Tammisto (University of Helsinki)
  • "Interplay of Resoruce-Making and State-Making in the Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia" by Mira Kakonen (University of Helsinki)
  • “Resource Politics in Myanmar/Burma through the Lens of Hydrosocial Territories: Implications for the Peace Negotiation Process" by Johanna Gotz and Carl Middleton (Chulalongkorn University)

Conference details are available here.

wern2018_nostokuva_gray.jpg

UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SESSION: Political ecology, water, and the hydrosocial cycle [22 June 2018]

Session organized for the “POLLEN18: Political Ecology, the Green Economy, and Alternative Sustainabilities” conference

8:30-10:00, 22 June 2018, Pilestredet 35, Room 35-PI 556, Oslo Metropolitan University

Presenters:

  • “Dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t? Mixed methods approaches in understanding the links between poverty and inequality and dam construction” by Lucy Goodman (Cambridge University)
  • “How river basins in Thailand and Japan relate: Politicizing virtual water through a hydrosocial lens” by Carl Middleton (Chulalongkorn University) and Takeshi Ito (Sophia University)
  • “Living with floods in a mobile Southeast Asia: A political ecology of vulnerability, migration and environmental change” by Becky Elmhirst (University of Brighton)

Conference details are available here.

POLLEN logo.png