Fallen Forests of The Mekong - Sean Gallagher - Photographer & Filmmaker | Beijing, China

Cambodia – 2020

The Mekong River has always been a waterway in a state of flux. The river constantly oscillates between flood and drought, making life constantly dynamic for those who live along its shores.

In late 2019 and early 2020, floods damaged ecosystems along the river on the Cambodian side of the Cambodia-Laos border. Evidence of this lay in the shallows of the river as hundreds of trees laid uprooted and submerged in the river.

The river originates from the glaciers of the Tibetan Plateau, winding its way downhill through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and finally into the sea in Vietnam. Dams are now ubiquitous along its length and are found in all of the countries it passes. They have been embraced as effective sources of energy production for South East Asia but scientists warn of the continued environmental impacts influencing the ever present droughts and floods which affect the river. and the impacts on aquatic species and loss of forests.

In March 2020, the Cambodian government announced there would be a 10-year hiatus for building new dams along the main Mekong River in the country. According to Open Development Mekong however, “regional governments are considering the construction of 88 more dams in the Lower Mekong River basin by the year 2030.


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