In his 2007 best-seller, The World Without Us, Alan Weisman explored what would happen to the planet if the human race suddenly vanished – the gradual deterioration of the built environment, the geologic fossilization of our everyday stuff, and the ecological processes that would rebound and thrive without continual and growing human pressure. [Video Below]
›September 25, 2014 // By Wilson Center Staff
Conflict over environmental resources endangers rural people’s livelihoods and can increase the risk of broader social conflict. Yet joint action to sustain shared resources can also be a powerful means for community building. The Strengthening Aquatic Resource Governance (STARGO) project demonstrated this in three ecoregions: Lake Victoria, with a focus on Uganda; Lake Kariba, with a focus on Zambia; and Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia. The results of the project were released at an event in Berlin in early July 2014.
›March 10, 2014 // By Wilson Center Staff
I meet Keo Mao, 42, in the floating fishing village of Akol on Cambodia’s Lake Tonle Sap. The houses here move seasonally with the lake, which expands by a factor of five during the monsoon rains and recedes again in the dry months. Fish supply about 80 percent of the animal protein eaten by Cambodians, and about 60 percent of the inland catch comes from the Tonle Sap.
›February 20, 2014 // By Wilson Center Staff
In the sleepy northern Thai border town of Huay Luk, a community leader, Pornsawan Boontun, still remembers the day when villagers netted a Mekong giant catfish more than a decade ago. The fish weighed 615 pounds, and it surprised everyone since the elusive species has never been common in this stretch of river.
›February 14, 2014 // By Wilson Center Staff
What do melting Himalayan glaciers have to do with food security in Cambodia? Not much, thought an aid practitioner trying to boost food security along the lower reaches of the Mekong River – until she heard a colleague working on the Tibetan Plateau describe the downstream implications of climate change in the Himalayas. Everything she was working on, she suddenly realized, could be literally washed away.
What does Himalayan ice melt have to do with food security in Cambodia? A lot, when they both significantly affect the flow of the Mekong River. But when it comes to long-term planning across topical and regional lines, development agencies aren’t always as collaborative as they could be – both externally and internally.
The past three years – and more pointedly the past 12 months – have laid witness to monumental, if not heartbreaking, incidents of gender-based violence. The gang rape of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi last December; the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl left for dead in a pit latrine in Western Kenya last June; the mass sexual assault of women in Tahrir Square during the 2011 revolution in Egypt and since; all were high profile atrocities that ignited outrage around the world.
Dark Forests: Interview With Bopha Phorn on Investigating Land Deals, Logging, Gender Issues in Cambodia›
Cambodia is a young democracy in transition. It has the highest rate of urbanization in Southeast Asia, but the lowest percentage of current urban dwellers and widespread poverty. The Mekong River, on which millions of rural Cambodians rely, is being dammed at a rapid pace, both upstream, beyond the country’s borders, and within. Aided by weak land laws, both foreign and domestic industrial forces have staked claim to large swaths of the country for logging and rubber plantations, displacing thousands.
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