Environmental Justice articles

Cambodia’s Areng indigenous community fight for land and identity

Cambodia’s Areng indigenous community fight for land and identity

To protect their forest and river, the Areng Valley’s Chong indigenous community keeps on fighting to stop the hydropower dam project, and to fight for their identity to be recognized by the Cambodian officials.

Paying for forest protection: A boon for forests, but not so much for their protectors

Vietnam’s Payment for Forest Environmental Services (PFES) restores deteriorating forests through charging users of its services and paying villagers to help protect them. It yields positive results for forests, but low payment to forest protectors keep younger people away and threaten to derail the program.

Special Economic Zone plan for Trat province raises concerns of pollution, loss of coastal livelihoods

A province in eastern Thailand that once housed 100,000 Cambodian refugees during the Vietnam War era is eyed as a “Special Economic Zone” to promote tourism, food production and international trade. But concerns arise as to whether it will come at a cost to residents’ livelihoods and local business opportunities.

Salinity intrusion is leading to freshwater troubles in coastal Vietnam

Salinity intrusion not only impacts farming but also freshwater supply for households. In Rach Gia city in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, urban residents are being affected as saltwater has contaminated ponds and wells, and freshwater supplies are becoming scarce. The poorer residents are bearing the brunt of the freshwater shortages.

The iconic lotus fields of Thap Muoi in the Mekong Delta are shrinking

The lotus fields of Dong Thap province in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta are a famous tourist destination. The lotus fields bloom during the flood season from July to October. But in recent years, the lotus farmers are facing difficulties from a combination of climate change, declining water levels, salinity and falling prices for the lotus seeds.

Local communities voice their frustrations on the Hoi Xuan dam in Vietnam

Dams are touted as bringing “development”. But in Vietnam, they often end up bringing hardship and frustration for local people especially in mountain areas. In many cases, dams are built without the full participation of affected communities, and fail to offer fair compensation or adequate resettlement programs.

Massive Sambo Dam will destroy livelihoods and Mekong fisheries, but better energy options exist

If built, the Sambo dam will displace more than 20,000 people, affect livelihoods of many thousands more, and disrupt fish migrations including critical deep pool fish habitats. It is time to rethink hydropower as an energy generation source. Why do we need dams that destroy people’s lives and rivers when there are cleaner and safer renewable energy options for Cambodia?

Blackening the Mekong Delta

Up to 14 coal fired-power plants are set to be built in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta as part of Vietnam’s Power Development Plan (PDP). Nguyen Thi Ha looks at how the coal plants already operating in the delta area are affecting the health, salt and fish farms, and local livelihoods of thousands of communities living in the delta.