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Earth, air, fire and water: multiple natural resource issues in multiple dimensions

The mekong river

20th century economists, not to mention other social scientists and many natural scientists, rarely recognized and understood critical interactions between major societal issues and problems, even when they may have understood how each of these problems individually could overlap many nations at once.

Such is the case with the Mekong River in Southeast Asia. Here we find sustainability problems and potential solutions interacting to a remarkable degree along the 3,600 miles of the river. Serious water issues are of course involved. To complicate matters, there are 7 nations along the 313,000 square miles drainage area of the Mekong, which begins in South China and goes through Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, boarders Thailand and ends up flowing through Vietnam into the South China Sea.

Improbably, the formerly hermit Kingdom of Myanmar (formerly Burma) was the first (in 2012) to seriously challenge the threat to the Mekong’s water, forest and fisheries caused by plans for over 30 dams for hydropower along the Mekong, including 3 very large Chinese-financed dams. The search for alternative energy (hydropower) threatens to have ominous impact on fisheries in Southeast Asia.

Of the world’s rivers only the Amazon has more species of fish than the Mekong. No one really knows what the impact of three dams on Mekong might have on fisheries. The country most at risk from planned Chinese dams along the Mekong is Cambodia and the resource most endangered is fish. This is a serious matter, considering that 70% of the protein intake by Cambodians comes from fish caught in the Mekong and its great lake.

In 2014 some dams on the Mekong appear to be going ahead. Will all planned dams be built? Vietnam strongly opposes the largest dam (Vietnam will be far downstream of the dam). And Myanmar is now speaking out, but Cambodia and Laos have not opposed the dams, perhaps owing to China’s political influences in these nations.

Possible solutions to freshwater fish problems

Freshwater fisheries in China, Vietnam, Laos, Peru, and Sub-Saharan Africa- are most at risk. This is one reason why all countries must be very, very selective about hydroelectric dam projects on rivers that are important sources of protein.

Any solution to the kinds of problems facing the Mekong will require tight regulations and what is even more difficult, coordination of regulation across seven nations. Can regulation work under these circumstances? It has worked in the Alaska Halibut fishery, the Iceland fishery and the New Zealand fishery. But the outlook for effective regulation on the Mekong River or Lake Victoria in Africa is not good.

The reasons are traceable to Institutional problems, especially weak governance, corruption and rent-seeking activities of the kinds considered in chapter ___.

Consider how the Alaskan system has operated both in salt and fresh water (rivers).

Alaska commercial fisheries are the most productive and valuable in the U.S., with a value of over $3 billion including Halibut, Salmon and Herring. When combined with sport fishing, the industry contributes an estimated $7.4 billion and nearly 90,000 full-time equivalent jobs to the Alaskan economy. In 2010, Alaska produced 53% of the fish harvested in the United States “Alaska Economic Trends”, Alaska Department of Labor, November 11, Vol. 31(11), p.3. . This is the leading fishing state in the U.S. in one of the largest fishing nations worldwide. According to the FAO, the USA had the 4th highest catch in 2007. Alaska introduced ITQs in the late 20th century. How relevant to the Alaska experience for emerging nations fisheries? Between 1980 and 1995, the Alaska Halibut fisheries experienced severe strain, as the number of fishing vessels expanded rapidly.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Economic development for the 21st century. OpenStax CNX. Jun 05, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11747/1.12
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