The catchment area of the Mekong River and its tributaries extends from China, through Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and to Vietnam. The water resources of the Mekong region - from the Irrawaddy and Nu-Salween in the west, across the Chao Phraya to the Lancang-Mekong and Red River in the east- are increasingly contested. Governments, companies, and banks are driving new investments in roads, dams, diversions, irrigation schemes, navigation facilities, power plants and other emblems of conventional 'development'. Their plans and interventions should provide some benefits, but also pose multiple burdens and risks to millions of people dependent on wetlands, floodplains and aquatic resources, in particular, the wild capture fisheries of rivers and lakes. This book examines how large-scale projects are being proposed, justified, and built. How are such projects contested and how do specific governance regimes influence decision making? The book also highlights the emergence of new actors, rights and trade-off debates, and the social and environmental consequences of 'water resources development'. This book shows how diverse, and often antagonistic, ideologies and interests are contesting for legitimacy. It argues that the distribution of decision-making, political, and discursive power influences how the waterscapes of the region will ultimately look and how benefits, costs and risks will be distributed. These issues are crucial for the transformation of waterscapes and the prospects for democratizing water governance in the Mekong region. The book is part of the action-research of the M-POWER (Mekong Program on Water, Environment and Resilience) knowledge network. Published with IFAD, CG|AR Challenge Program on Water & Food, M-POWER, Project ECHEL-EAU and HEINRICH BOLL STIFTUNG
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 794 g
Dimensions: 235 x 159 x 25 mm
'With a diverse set of authors from assorted countries and mixed walks of life, this book brings a grounded, radical and refreshing perspective to the study of water in the Mekong region, a field of research which too often descends into technological simplifications.' Jonathan Rigg, University of Durham, UK and author of Southeast Asia: The Human Landscape of Modernisation and Development. 'This important book is overdue now that ill-advised mainstream dams are back on the development agenda The authors' 'alternate water futures' based on 'improved water governance' are essential. Any hydro dams built on tributaries should be multi-purpose with affected riparian communities first among beneficiaries.' Thayer Scudder, Professor Emeritus, California Institute of Technology and author of The Future of Large Dams. 'Contested Waterscapses is an impressive array of approaches and topics that reflect the breadth and depth of a fascinating river basin. The volume probes whether the drives for hydropower and large-scale irrigation may be reconciled with livelihoods, and suggests that political agendas backed by constructed knowledge will be the determining factor. It is particularly relevant to policy-makers and students of the Mekong at a time when uncoordinated national 'development' at every drop in the river appears destined to lead to the inequitable outcomes the agendas have created elsewhere in the world.' Mark Zeitoun, Centre for the Study of Global Governance, London School of Economics and Political Science 'I found this book fascinating from a number of perspectives. First, it is very informative on a range of issues. It includes a great deal of information on the politics of dam development for both hydropower and irrigation. Second, there are a useful set of maps and tables locating and defining both completed and planned dam projects. Third, the fifteen chapters are conspicuously well written. Given the fact that thirty-seven co-authors contributed to Contested Waterscapes, we must give credit to the editors for their fine work. Even a reader well versed in various aspects of water resource development and management will find this book a valuable reference.' Randolph Barker, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics, New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University 'Contested Waterscapes is an impressive contribution to the ltierature. Written in a scholarly yet accessible style, the book presents a coherent analysis of the links between livelihoods, governance, and hydropower - one of the most contested development issues in the region.' Mountain Research Development
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