Food Security and Social Welfare: The Effects of Hydropower Dams on the Lower Mekong River in Laos

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Ann Hyett, Student (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site:
Surain Subramaniam

Abstract: Winding 4,800 milometers down into the South China Sea, the Mekong River connects China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia, making up an area known as the Greater Mekong Sub region. The Mekong River is home to 1,100 different species of fish but due to the recent surge in building hydroelectric dams on the river, these species, along with the livelihood of 300 million inhabitants are in grave danger. In Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, 80% of the local population relies on the daily productivity of the river. The new changes brought forth by the dams will alter fish migration patterns as well as the amount of available soil nutrients and will ultimatelyhave devastating effects on fisheries in the area as well as agricultural production. This paper will focus on the likely destruction which will be created by the 11 newly proposed dams, and how this change in the environmental norms will negatively effect the food production in some of the world's most food rich countries.

Additional Information

UNC Asheville - Journal of Undergraduate Research
Language: English
Date: 2013
Mekong River, hydroelectric dams, fish migration

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