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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

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
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.
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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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