Tag Archive for 'fisheries'

A Damming Assessment Of Mekong Development

Photo retrieved from: www.nature.com

“With a watershed of 800,000 square kilometres, the Mekong River basin supports the world’s largest inland fishery and is home to 65 million people in six countries: China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. “Most of the people are poor and get 81% of their protein from subsistence fisheries,” says Ziv.

The steep topography of the region makes the Mekong an attractive place for hydropower development. Driven by increasing demand for electricity and a desire for economic development, 11 dams are being planned on the main river, with 41 on the tributaries expected to be completed within the next 4 years. Another 10–37 tributary dams are likely to be built between 2015 and 2030.

Using a fish migration model, Ziv and his colleagues found that if all of the proposed dams were constructed, they would reduce fish productivity by 51% and endanger 100 migratory fish species.

The steep topography of the region makes the Mekong an attractive place for hydropower development. Driven by increasing demand for electricity and a desire for economic development, 11 dams are being planned on the main river, with 41 on the tributaries expected to be completed within the next 4 years. Another 10–37 tributary dams are likely to be built between 2015 and 2030.”

Read more: Nature

 

Controversial Chinese projects in Cambodia bow to public pressure

Thousands of families near the Phnom Penh lake face eviction. Retrieved from: www.scmp.com

“CSG, a state-owned company established in 2002 to transmit and distribute electrical power in China’s southern provinces, has quit all its potential power projects in Cambodia, said the company’s spokesman Rambo Niu Feng.

The power utility had conducted feasibility studies for at least six proposed dams in Cambodia with a total power output of more than 3,300 megawatts, according to 3S Rivers Protection Network (3SPN), a Cambodian civil society organisation that works to support hydropower-dam-affected communities living along the Sesan, Srepok and Sekong rivers in northeastern Cambodia.

China has become the biggest builder of dams and roads in Cambodia and, according to 3SPN Co-ordinator Meach Mean, the projected output of the CSG schemes is far above Cambodia’s power consumption of 500MW.

The company’s involvement in several dams in Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos threaten local populations and ecosystems, said International Rivers, an international NGO. In a letter to CSG chief executive Zhao Jianguo on 22 June 2009, International Rivers expressed its concerns with some of the Chinese firm’s projects in Southeast Asia, including the Sambor and Stung Cheay Areng hydropower projects in Cambodia.

The Sambor project would have “unacceptable impact on fisheries”, while the Stung Cheay Areng project would flood nine villages, the letter from International Rivers said.”

Read more: South China Morning Post

Africa’s Flourishing Niger Delta Is Threatened by a Libyan Water Grab

Niger Delta. Photo retrieved from: www.unitedijawstates.com

“The floods in what geographers call the inner Niger delta nurture abundant fish for the Bozo people, who lay their nets in every waterway and across the lakes. As the waters recede, they leave wet soils in which the Bambara people plant millet and rice, and they expose vast aquatic pastures of bourgou (or hippo grass) that sustain cattle and goats brought by nomadic Fulani herders from as far away as Mauritania and Burkina Faso. This inland delta is Africa’s second-largest floodplain and one of its most unique wetlands. Seen from space, it is an immense smudge of green and blue on the edge of the Sahara.

But this rare and magnificently productive ecosystem is now facing an unprecedented threat, as a Libyan-backed enterprise has begun construction of a project inside Mali that will divert large amounts of Niger River water for extensive irrigation upstream.

This is all part of a grand plan by Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi to make his desert nation self-sufficient in food through long-term deals with nearby countries to grow food for Libya. Mali’s president has agreed to the scheme, which numerous experts say will enhance Libyan food security at the expense of Malian food security by sucking dry the river that feeds the inland delta, diminishing the seasonal floods that support rich biodiversity — and thriving agriculture and fisheries vital to a million of Mali’s poorest citizens — on the edge of the Sahara desert.”

Read more: AlterNet