OPINION: Reasons for Water Scarcity in Hakha [In Chin language]

By Van Bawi Lian

This Opinion Piece, titled "Reasons for Water Scarcity in Hakha: Urban Planning and Water Scarcity in Hakha Researched by a Thai University" was published in the Chinland Post by CSDS researcher Mr. Van Bawi Lian. The article, written in Chin language, can be read here.

Further details on CSDS's research in Hakha town can be found here.

POLICY BRIEF: Water Governance and Access to Water in Hakha Town, Chin State, Myanmar: Towards Addressing Water Insecurity

Hakha thumbnail.jpg

Publication date:
July 2017

Publication:
CSDS Policy Brief

Author:
Carl Middleton, Naruemon Thabchumpon, Van Bawi Lian, and Orapan Pratomlek

Download the policy brief here.

Summary

Hakha town is the capital of Chin State, Myanmar, located in the mountainous Northwest of the country. In recent years, the town’s population has faced growing water insecurity. Meanwhile, a major landslide in June 2015 compounded these challenges, when thousands of people had to be resettled. In this policy brief, we present our research that reveals how water insecurity is the product of both physical and social processes that are often inter-related, including: rising water demand due to a growing population without systematic town planning; deforestation of the surrounding watershed which has reduced water supply; and underinvestment in water supply infrastructure. Water security can be improved through improved town planning, watershed management, and creative approaches to urban water governance that would combine existing community-led water supply practices with plans now underway for a municipal system. Also important is greater transparency on existing plans, and public participation within them, to ensure equitable and reliable water access for all of Hakha’s residents.

CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS: “Mekong, Salween and Red Rivers: Sharing Knowledge and Perspectives Across Borders"

CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS: “Mekong, Salween and Red Rivers: Sharing Knowledge and Perspectives Across Borders"

Water resources are inextricably linked to local livelihoods and wellbeing, agricultural production and food security, and local, national and the regional economies across the Mekong region. The Mekong, Red and Salween Rivers are all transboundary rivers that are subject to the dynamics of rapid change as the region increasingly integrates economically and socially. Whether development is inclusive, informed and accountable, and the rights and entitlements of marginalized communities recognized, remains a key challenge.

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BOOK CHAPTER: “Water and Rivers" in the Handbook of the Environment in Southeast Asia

BOOK CHAPTER: “Water and Rivers" in the Handbook of the Environment in Southeast Asia

By Carl Middleton

This chapter examines the transition from state-led hydrocracies to increasingly liberalized modes of water resources development in mainland Southeast Asia, with a focus on large hydropower dams on transboundary rivers. Access to, use of and control over water is highly politicized, and an increasingly diverse assemblage of public, private and civil society actors are involved in water governance.

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BOOK CHAPTER: “Social Movement Resistance to Accumulation by Dispossession in Myanmar: A Case Study of the Ka Lone Htar Dam near the Dawei Special Economic Zone"

BOOK CHAPTER: “Social Movement Resistance to Accumulation by Dispossession in Myanmar: A Case Study of the Ka Lone Htar Dam near the Dawei Special Economic Zone"

By Dr. Carl Middleton and Zaw Aung

The focus of this chapter is a water storage dam proposed at Ka Lone Htar village, located outside of the Dawei SEZ itself, intended to supply freshwater to the SEZ’s industries. If built, the dam would fully submerge the village consisting of 182 households, along with several thousand acres of plantations and natural forest. In response to the threat of dispossession and relocation, the Ka Lone Htar community members successfully mobilized and resisted the dam.

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BOOK CHAPTER: “Arenas of Water Justice on Transboundary Rivers: A Case Study of the Xayaburi Dam, Laos"

BOOK CHAPTER: “Arenas of Water Justice on Transboundary Rivers: A Case Study of the Xayaburi Dam, Laos"

By Carl Middleton and Ashley Pritchard

In Southeast Asia, major transboundary rivers such as the Mekong River are central to the food security, livelihoods and culture of millions of people. An increasingly extensive program of large hydropower dam construction is underway in Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar to meet domestic electricity demand and for power export to neighboring Thailand, Vietnam and China. 

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JOURNAL ARTICLE: “Watershed or Powershed?: A Critical Hydropolitics of the ‘Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Framework’"

JOURNAL ARTICLE: “Watershed or Powershed?: A Critical Hydropolitics of the ‘Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Framework’"

By Dr. Carl Middleton and Dr. Jeremy Allouche

The countries sharing the Lancang-Mekong River are entering a new era of hydropolitics with a growing number of hydropower dams throughout the basin. Three ‘powersheds’, conceptualised as physical, institutional and political constructs that connect dams to major power markets in China, Thailand and Vietnam, are transforming the nature-society relations of the watershed. 

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CONFERENCE PAPER: Private Dams, Public Interest in mainland Southeast Asia

Private Dams, Public Interest in mainland Southeast Asia: Hydropower Governance in a Beyond-Aid Political Economy

By Carl Middleton

Presented at Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia (TRaNS) Conference on: Exploring 'beyond aid' agenda through Southeast Asia's rapidly changing development landscape, Sogang Institute for East Asian Studies, 27-28 May 2016

The paper shows how whilst Build Operate Transfer (BOT) hydropower dams, framed under the concept of Public Private Partnerships (PPP), were first introduced into mainland Southeast Asia by the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and Western donors, as geopolitical and domestic politics of the region has shifted, the model is now utilized by new or “non-traditional” aid providers, including from China, Thailand and Vietnam. However, the concept of BOT is not transferred wholesale. The paper argues that in contrast to the earlier claims of the IFIs and Western donors that BOT hydropower projects could also be vehicles of direct poverty reduction and ‘development’, the “non-traditional” aid providers view these projects principally as economic infrastructure; if a claim for poverty reduction exists at all, then it is enfolded within broader objectives of national or regional economic growth. Thus, it will be argued that the “public interest” has largely been reduced to the interest of the private developers.

Download full paper click here.

Cite this article as: Middleton, C. (2016) “Private Dams, Public Interest in mainland Southeast Asia: Hydropower Governance in a Beyond-Aid Political Economy” Paper presented at Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia (TRaNS) Conference on: Exploring 'beyond aid' agenda through Southeast Asia's rapidly changing development landscape, Sogang Institute for East Asian Studies, 27-28 May 2016

 

JOURNAL ARTICLE: Improvements To Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements To Control International Shipments of Chemicals And Wastes

JOURNAL ARTICLE: Improvements To Enforcement of Multilateral Environmental Agreements To Control International Shipments of Chemicals And Wastes

By Liu Ning, Vira Somboon, Surichai Wun’gaeo, Carl Middleton, Charit Tingsabadh and Sangchan Limjirakan.

This article discusses how and why law enforcement operations can help countries to implement chemical and waste-related multilateral environmental agreements in a more efficient and effective way. The research explores key barriers and factors for organising law enforcement operations, and recommends methods to improve law enforcement operations to address illegal trade in hazardous waste and harmful chemicals.

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OPINION: How About Accountability Beyond Borders?

OPINION: How About Accountability Beyond Borders?

By Carl Middleton

The arrival of the ASEAN Economic Community in December 2015 marked a major milestone in the ambition of the countries of the region to become closer to one another through economic cooperation. It anticipates economic growth, and with it a growing role for large transnational and domestic corporations, as well as for smaller businesses.

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JOURNAL ARTICLE: "Monopolization Strengthens: Thailand’s Asian Democracy Index in 2015"

JOURNAL ARTICLE: "Monopolization Strengthens: Thailand’s Asian Democracy Index in 2015"

On May 22, 2014, Thailand underwent its most recent military coup that prompted the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to govern the country. This research demonstrates that Thailand under military rule has entered a period of re-monopolization of political, economic and civil society power, that is in contrast with the measures of democracy as understood through the lens of Asian Democracy Index (ADI).

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CONFERENCE PAPER: Arenas of Water Justice on Transboundary Rivers

CONFERENCE PAPER: Arenas of Water Justice on Transboundary Rivers

By Carl Middleton

This paper examines how processes of transboundary river resource dispossession by large hydropower dams have been challenged within “arenas of water justice” in Southeast Asia, conceptualized as politicized spaces of water governance in which a process for claiming and/or defending the Right to Water takes place.

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JOURNAL ARTICLE: Technical Veil, Hidden Politics: Interrogating the Power Linkages Behind the Nexus

JOURNAL ARTICLE: Technical Veil, Hidden Politics: Interrogating the Power Linkages Behind the Nexus

By Jeremy Allouche, Carl Middleton (International Researcher, CSDS), and Dipak Gyawali.

The nexus is still very much an immature concept. Although it is difficult to disagree with a vision of integration between water, food and energy systems, there are fewer consensuses about what it means in reality. While some consider its framing to be too restrictive (excluding climate change and nature), particular actors see it as linked to green economy and poverty reduction, while others emphasise global scarcity and value chain management. The nexus debates, however, mask a bigger debate on resource inequality and access, contributing to social instability.

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JOURNAL ARTICLE: The Rise And Implications of the Water-energy-food Nexus In Southeast Asia Through An Environmental Justice Lens

JOURNAL ARTICLE: The Rise And Implications of the Water-energy-food Nexus In Southeast Asia Through An Environmental Justice Lens

By Carl Middleton (International Researcher, CSDS), Jeremy Allouche, Dipak Gyawali and Sarah Allen.

This article maps the rise of the water-energy-food 'nexus' as a research, policy and project agenda in mainland Southeast Asia. We argue that introducing the concept of environmental justice into the nexus, especially where narratives, trade-offs and outcomes are contested, could make better use of how the nexus is framed, understood and acted upon.

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JOURNAL ARTICLE: Transboundary Water and Electricity Governance in Mainland Southeast Asia: Linkages, Disjunctures and Implications.

JOURNAL ARTICLE: Transboundary Water and Electricity Governance in Mainland Southeast Asia: Linkages, Disjunctures and Implications.

By Carl Middleton and John Dore

In mainland Southeast Asia, plans for extensive hydropower development and regional power trade are increasingly underway with implications for transboundary water governance. This paper maps out the context, drivers, tools and arenas of water and electricity decision making, and examines the linkages and disjunctures between regional electricity and water governance frameworks.

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