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Understanding the impact of hydropower developments in the context of upstream–downstream relations in the Mekong river basin

Künzer, Claudia and Campbell, Ian and Roch, Marthe and Leinenkugel, Patrick and Quoc, Tuan Vo and Dech, Stefan (2012) Understanding the impact of hydropower developments in the context of upstream–downstream relations in the Mekong river basin. Sustainability Science, pp. 1-20. Springer. DOI: [10.1007/s11625-012-0195-z] ISSN 1862-4065

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Official URL: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11625-012-0195-z

Abstract

Hydropower developments along the main stem of the Mekong River and its tributaries cause transboundary effects within the Mekong Basin Region, which comprises parts of six countries. On the one hand, the provision of hydropower triggers economic development and helps to meet the rising energy demand of the Mekong riparian countries, especially China, Thailand, and Vietnam. On the other hand, the negative impact of dam construction, mainly altered water flow and sediment load, has severe impacts on the environment and the livelihoods of the rural Mekong population. Several discrepancies exist in the needs, demands, and challenges of upstream versus downstream countries. Against the common apprehension that downstream countries are powerlessly exposed to mainly negative impacts whereas upstream countries unilaterally benefit from hydropower, the authors argue that upstream–downstream relations are not really clear-cut. This conclusion is based on a consideration of the complex power play between Mekong riparians, with a focus on recent power trade interactions. The article investigates the consequences of hydropower dams for the Mekong region as well as the role of supranational players, such as the Mekong River Commission and the Greater Mekong Subregion Initiative, on the hydropower debate. It is not nations that are the winners or losers in the hydropower schemes in the Mekong, but rather parts of the riparian population: a few influential and powerful elites versus the large mass of rural poor.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/83185/
Document Type:Article
Title:Understanding the impact of hydropower developments in the context of upstream–downstream relations in the Mekong river basin
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Künzer, ClaudiaClaudia.Kuenzer (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Campbell, IanUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Roch, MartheUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Leinenkugel, Patrickpatrick.leinenkugel (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Quoc, Tuan Votuan.voquoc (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Dech, Stefanstefan.dech (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:November 2012
Journal or Publication Title:Sustainability Science
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :[10.1007/s11625-012-0195-z]
Page Range:pp. 1-20
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1862-4065
Status:Published
Keywords:Mekong river basin; Hydropower development; Dams; River ecology; Mekong River Commission; Greater Mekong Subregion; Riparians Electricity trade Power grid
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Erdbeobachtung
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Fernerkundung der Landoberfläche (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center > Land Surface
Deposited By: Leinenkugel, Patrick
Deposited On:17 Jul 2013 13:57
Last Modified:06 Sep 2019 15:19

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