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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

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
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
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?
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
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit 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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