Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/29555
Title: (MIS)Managing contested trans-boundary resources along the Se San river, lower Mekong basin
Authors: UFFE RAUNSHOLT POULSEN
Keywords: Sesan, MRC, Mekong, Cambodia, Vietnam, Trans-border
Issue Date: 11-Jun-2005
Citation: UFFE RAUNSHOLT POULSEN (2005-06-11). (MIS)Managing contested trans-boundary resources along the Se San river, lower Mekong basin. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The thesis discusses the issues related to (mis)management of the Se San River in Ratanakiri Province in Northeast Cambodia, as part of the Mekong River Basin. Dam construction on the Vietnamese side of the border of this trans-boundary river (and other rivers in the same basin) has been a contributing factor to infrequent water levels on both sides of the river, resulting in a loss of food security and lacking both environmental and social assessments, especially in Cambodia and Laos. The rivers of the Mekong Basin are truly borderless in nature and therefore the thesis also examines the geopolitical issues between the countries of the Mekong Basin and in particular the issues between the countries of Cambodia and Vietnam. The historical events in the Mekong Basin since colonial times for which especially the French but also the British to a large extent were responsible have in many ways defined what the Basin is today. Subsequent upheaval and war in Cambodia set this country back many years and it did not receive much help from its neighbours in getting back on its feet. Only in recent years has the country benefited from strong economic growth and discovery of mineral resources off-shore. However the country itself is abundant in natural resources and should be counted among the largest potential producers of rice (in the Mekong plains) and also its forests? give life to fish and rivers in the region. I became most interested in the issues related to Cambodia, The Mekong Basin and in particular the Se San River through my internships with UNESCAP in Bangkok (Water Security Section) and the MRC Secretariat in Phnom Penh and they helped me define the contents of this thesis. Being a microcosm of the Mekong Basin as such, the Se San River Basin is affected by multi-scale politics, sovereignty issues and mis-management of valuable environmental resources. Simultaneously, the thesis argues that questions of race and ethnicity (related to the people living in the highlands) are deeply implicated in issues related to social and environmental issues in river (highland) areas of the Mekong Basin. The people of Ratanakiri province are to a great extent indigenous and did originally not receive great attention from the central government in Phnom Penh, which was a contributing factor to the lack of focus on the issues of the Se San River. However in recent years UNDP and other UN agencies and a wide range of NGOs have been working with the government on the issues challenging the indigenous communities of North-East Cambodia, both in terms of natural resources management and good governance as well as human protection. Food security in the region was earlier a serious issue after the fish had almost disappeared from dammed rivers, but fortunately small streams gave opportunity for growing vegetables and the remaining forests also offered a good source of food after logging, which happened with great force in the last decade, had slowly subsided.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/29555
Appears in Collections:Ph.D Theses (Open)

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