Conflict resolution and policy making in the Mekong River Basin

Buxton, M, Martin, J and Kelly, M 2006, 'Conflict resolution and policy making in the Mekong River Basin', Just Policy, vol. 41, pp. 26-32.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Conflict resolution and policy making in the Mekong River Basin
Author(s) Buxton, M
Martin, J
Kelly, M
Year 2006
Journal name Just Policy
Volume number 41
Start page 26
End page 32
Total pages 6
Publisher Victorian Council of Social Service
Abstract The countries that have one third of the world's population share one river, the Mekong. The Mekong River commences in Yunnan Province in China and flows through eastern Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. From its source in China to Vietnam and the South China Sea, the Greater Mekong River basin encompasses an expansive network of waterways covering an area of approximately 795,000 square kilometres (Laohasiriwong 2002, p.5). Large populations in each of these countries depend upon the river and its tributaries for their sustenance and livelihood with the wealth of these nations closely linked to the river. The Mekong River basin is a delicate eco-system rich in natural resources and bio-diversity. Over the centuries these countries in the basin managed to share the resources of this mighty river. However increasingly concerns have been raised about overuse and the health of the river and how it is to be shared amongst neighbouring nations and those whose lives depend on it. This is due to [ncreases in population, the altering of the river's natural flow and,course through dams and waterways, increased industrialisation and tourism and changes to traditional land and water use. In this paper it is argued that policy making mediation is a useful process for conflict prevention, resolution and management in the Mekong River basin. First is background information on the Mekong River region. Second are lessons from other river basins; the Murray Darling and the Nile. Third, legal and policy responses are considered including the Mekong River Agreement and the role of the Mekong River Commission. Finally the potential for conflict is explored and the suitability of policy making mediation as an effective process for conflict resolution in the Mekong River basin.
Subject Social Policy
Keyword(s) conflict
social justice
ISSN 1323-2266
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