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Avoiding Crisis in the Mekong River Basin

Friday, April 30, 2010

Earlier this month, the leaders of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and host country Thailand gathered for the first-ever Mekong River Commission (MRC) summit to discuss the future of the Mekong, one of the world's longest and most resource-rich rivers.

There was much to discuss. The Mekong -- which flows through China, Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand, and provides food, water, and transport for about 65 million people -- is now at its lowest level in two decades due to a prolonged drought. Its future is also in peril due to a host of natural and man-made threats. Unless riparian states make a concerted, joint effort to manage the river's resources prudently and sustainably, their actions risk threatening food security, destroying livelihoods, and heightening regional tensions. ...

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