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Water and Climate Change in the Mekong

On October 4th, 2021, YCAPS invited Brian Eyler, Senior Fellow and the Director for the Southeast Asia Program and the Energy, Water, and Sustainability Program at the Stimson Center. Over 50 people attended Mr. Eyler’s presentation which focused on the environmental issues currently affecting the Mekong River, a river system that runs through 6 countries in Mainland Southeast Asia. In his presentation, Mr. Eyler explained notable examples of environmental issues in the region and how they affect the local populace. Additionally, specific causes of the environmental issues such as the development of dams were provided as case studies. 

Through the presentation, Mr. Eyler emphasized how the environmental issues in the Mekong Delta are not a regional but a global issue that has longstanding consequences for numerous countries including Japan and the United States. One example presented was how a large portion of Vietnam’s food exports are produced near the Mekong Delta and the rise in environmental problems are affecting their supply. In the Q & A session, questions such as the possible influence of environmental issues on security were discussed to consider some of the long-term implications. 

By Leo Yamaguchi for YCAPS