In Laos, the lush forests are alive with the whines of drills that pierce the air. On the Mekong, a giant concrete wall rises slowly above the trees. The Don Sahong dam is a strong symbol, not only for a power-hungry Asia but also for what critics fear is a disaster in the making.
The future of food security in the Mekong region lies at a crossroads, as several development ventures, including the Xayaburi Hydropower Project, threaten to alter fish migration routes, disrupt the flow of sediments and nutrients downstream, and endanger millions whose livelihoods depend on the Mekong River basin's resources.
On the outskirts of the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, a group of twelve migrant families lives in a makeshift camp comprised of houses constructed from scrap metal.
In December 2011, 159 governments and major international organisations recognised the central role of civil society in development and promised to create an “enabling” operating environment for the non-profit sector.
The U.S. government is directly cautioning the Laotian government following Monday's announcement that the latter will move forward with contentious construction plans for a massive hydroelectric dam on the Mekong River.
Disarmament activists and former U.S. ambassadors are urging Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to increase U.S. aid to Laos to clear millions of tonnes of unexploded ordinance (UXO) left by U.S. bombers on its territory during the Indochina War during her brief visit to the country Wednesday.