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The Mekong River: geopolitics over development, hydropower and the environment

18-11-2019

The Mekong River is a vital source of livelihoods and economic activity in continental South-East Asia and extends from the Tibetan Plateau to the South China Sea. Its length is 4 800 km. More than half circulates in China, but its channel runs through Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. The Mekong has the world's largest inland freshwater fishery industry, vital to the region's food security, representing around USD 3 000 million per year. Its unique and rich biological habitat provides ...

The Mekong River is a vital source of livelihoods and economic activity in continental South-East Asia and extends from the Tibetan Plateau to the South China Sea. Its length is 4 800 km. More than half circulates in China, but its channel runs through Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. The Mekong has the world's largest inland freshwater fishery industry, vital to the region's food security, representing around USD 3 000 million per year. Its unique and rich biological habitat provides diverse livelihoods as well as four fifths of the animal protein for more than 60 million people. At the level of biodiversity, the importance of this river for global nature is vital. The Mekong region is extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and to the degradation of ecosystems. The uncontrolled growth of the population both in China and in Southeast Asia is exerting unsustainable pressure on the Mekong in terms of a massive exploitation of all kinds of resources linked to the River: water, food, wood, energy, especially recent infrastructure and hydropower development, together with deforestation, illegal wildlife trade and habitat fragmentation. Water scarcity leads to reduced agricultural productivity, unemployment and poverty Four countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam) formed an intergovernmental agency in 1950, The Mekong River Commission (MRC), to defend the sustainable development of the Mekong River and to plan its future. The absence of China and Myanmar mitigates and erodes the effective dialogue of the MRC on the management of the River. The lack of implementing mechanisms denatures the organization itself..

River Basins and Water Management in Spain

15-07-2016

This Study was commissioned and supervised by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI committee. It aims to analyze issues related to the petitions from Spanish citizens on the Spanish side of the Tagus and Ebro River Basin Districts. Two main solutions have been brought forward in order to solve the water shortage in Spain: water transfer or desalination. The most widely used approach so far has been the transfer, which ...

This Study was commissioned and supervised by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the PETI committee. It aims to analyze issues related to the petitions from Spanish citizens on the Spanish side of the Tagus and Ebro River Basin Districts. Two main solutions have been brought forward in order to solve the water shortage in Spain: water transfer or desalination. The most widely used approach so far has been the transfer, which has been proposed for both the Tagus and Ebro rivers. As indicated in the Study, in Spain the water-related issues have frequently no political or social dimension but the territorial significance. This Study tries to illuminate problems and issues related to the river basins management in Spain while considering the applicable EU legislation.

Údar seachtarach

Ana de Marcos Fernández (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid - Spain)

The EU Strategy for the Danube Region

21-05-2015

Responding to the objective of achieving territorial cohesion, the macro-regional approach promoted by the European Union has gained momentum since 2009 and has been put into practice, first in the Baltic Sea Region and subsequently in the Danube River Basin and the Adriatic-Ionian Region through the implementation of strategies targeted at each of these areas, the Danube Region Strategy being one such example. Now that these first macro-regional strategies have been in operation for a few years, ...

Responding to the objective of achieving territorial cohesion, the macro-regional approach promoted by the European Union has gained momentum since 2009 and has been put into practice, first in the Baltic Sea Region and subsequently in the Danube River Basin and the Adriatic-Ionian Region through the implementation of strategies targeted at each of these areas, the Danube Region Strategy being one such example. Now that these first macro-regional strategies have been in operation for a few years, efforts have been made to draw initial lessons from them by assessing their results, the added value of the concept, and the suitability of the governance model applied. Reports from the European Commission, while highlighting the strategies' impact in terms of projects, coordination and integration, promotion of multi-level governance and territorial cohesion, underline the need for stronger political backing, commitment and leadership from the participating countries and regions. Stakeholders have called for a more streamlined governance structure, criticised the limited involvement of civil society organisations, local and regional actors in planning and decision-making processes, and pointed to capacity shortcomings impeding their participation. The question of capacities and resources is of critical importance. As macro-regional strategies do not bring additional EU funding, the participating countries or regions are expected to do more with what is available to address the challenges and opportunities requiring their cooperation. Putting this principle into practice is not a smooth process. This is especially true for the Danube macro-region, which is very diverse in membership. It covers 14 countries whose development levels and status in relation to the European Union (including their access to EU funding as a result of the latter) are not the same. The wide disparities between the partners have a significant impact on the operation of the strategy.

Transboundary water management: The Rogun Dam in Tajikistan

21-08-2013

In more than 260 trans­boundary watercourses around the world, the closely linked issues of energy, water and agriculture cause difficulties. Tensions between energy-starved Tajikistan and cotton-producing Uzbekistan over the planned Rogun hydro-electric dam illustrate the continuing 'water versus energy' debate. At the same time, the scarcity of water resources in Central Asia is often caused by mismanagement.

In more than 260 trans­boundary watercourses around the world, the closely linked issues of energy, water and agriculture cause difficulties. Tensions between energy-starved Tajikistan and cotton-producing Uzbekistan over the planned Rogun hydro-electric dam illustrate the continuing 'water versus energy' debate. At the same time, the scarcity of water resources in Central Asia is often caused by mismanagement.

EU strategy for the Danube region

15-02-2011

A new concept is currently being tested in the framework of the EU's cohesion policy: macro-regional strategies.   The EU strategy for the Danube region, based on the Danube river basin, is the second approach of this kind, after that for the Baltic Sea region (2009).  

A new concept is currently being tested in the framework of the EU's cohesion policy: macro-regional strategies.   The EU strategy for the Danube region, based on the Danube river basin, is the second approach of this kind, after that for the Baltic Sea region (2009).  

Imeachtaí atá ar na bacáin

15-03-2021
EPRS online Book Talk with Vivien Schmidt: Legitimacy and power in the EU
Imeacht eile -
EPRS
16-03-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: Inside the New European Bauhaus
Imeacht eile -
EPRS
16-03-2021
Public Hearing on Defence planning and procurement in the EU - a joint approach
Éisteacht -
SEDE

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