Mekong Commons is back

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After a hiatus, where we took a much-needed break from producing articles and maintaining the website continuously for over six years since its beginning in December 2013, we are back.

In this intervening period, we saw a global pandemic that resulted in illness and deaths, overwhelming us with fear and anxiety, while lockdowns and health quarantines brought economic misery for many, mainly migrant workers.

Although the worst days of the pandemic now seem to be behind us, humanity is facing an even more urgent, complex challenge that threatens our survival: the warming of the planet.

In the Mekong Region, climate change is combined with various health and environmental threats: large-scale dams; declines in biodiversity, food security, and water resources; rising deforestation; and widening economic disparity and social inequality. The degradation of ecosystems and fragmenting of communities is forcing people, often those who are already marginalized and vulnerable, to lose their lands and livelihoods.

For all of us who work to reshape the arc of the future towards greater sustainability and cooperation, towards a world that is driven less by greed and profit and more by greater equality and social justice, our journey is thus far from over.

In the words of our first editorial in December 2013, Mekong Commons aimed “to explore answers to … difficult questions, share stories, experiences and analysis of the choices and changes, and to build a community that can together imagine and seek alternative and better futures of development.”

It is exciting to be back, where we have taken a break, reflected, and are now ready to continue this journey that we started several years ago with all of you in the region.

The writing workshops for young writers in the Mekong Region are our core activity that feeds articles to the website.

In the past, we held writeshops twice every year with about 20 writers for each writeshop. During the writeshops, we engage for two days with young people from the region who are passionate about environmental issues and want to produce articles and short films.

These writeshops that we organized, the young writers with whom we engaged and mentored, and the articles that emerged from this collaboration that we helped to edit into final pieces for posting on the website have been our primary sources of inspiration to keep us going in our work.

We restarted the writeshop activity in 2023: we mentored nine young writers whose environmental articles will be the first pieces to grace the Mekong Commons website as we pick up from where we left off.

Over these last years, the website has strived to offer topical and critical perspectives on environmental issues in the Mekong Region.

We thank all our contributors for your creativity and enthusiasm and all our readers for your sustained interest and encouragement. We also rely on your continued support in our renewed journey.

We look forward to continuing our work in the coming years, making Mekong Commons a critical source of information, inspiring activism, and building democratic spaces in the Mekong Region.


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