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  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: This report explores the trade, investment, business, diplomacy, security, education,and people-to-people connections between the United States and the five countries of mainland Southeast Asia referred to as the Mekong region. Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam are bound together and geographically defined by the Mekong River, which has historically provided a rich, natural bounty of fish, agricultural productivity, physical connectivity, and key environmental services to more than 60 million people living in the river basin. The Mekong’s importance has only grown as the region’s social, economic, and diplomatic ties export the river’s bounty to the rest of the world. As the region develops, urbanization, infrastructure development, and climate change—among other changes—are all impacting the river, its resources, and the millions who depend on the mighty Mekong. This publication was produced in partnership with the Stimson Center Southeast Asia Program.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Environment, Natural Resources, Infrastructure, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Southeast Asia, Laos, Myanmar, United States of America
  • Author: John Dore
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Australia is a federation of 25 million people and a pre-Covid-19 GDP of $1.4 trillion. In practice, state and federal governments have to work together. Australia also has a highly variable climate and hydrology. Increasingly irregular rainfall and high rates of evaporation result in the lowest run-off among inhabited continents. The Murray Darling Basin (MDB) covers nearly 400,000 square miles of south-eastern Australia, twice the land area of Thailand. It contains the largest and most complex river system in Australia, with 50,000 miles of rivers, many of which are connected. The MDB includes 16 internationally significant wetlands, 35 endangered species and 98 different species of waterbirds. First Nations people have lived in what we now call the MDB for over 50,000 years and the basin contains many sacred and spiritually significant sites. The MDB has been the site of most Australian transboundary water governance experiences, with 6 governments involved: Federal, four states, and one territory—the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). For about 160 years there have been agreements and plans about how much water can be used from the River Murray and the Basin as a whole. Over the decades more and more water was being extracted. The health of the Murray Darling system was in decline.
  • Topic: Environment, Natural Resources, Governance
  • Political Geography: Australia, Thailand