The third edition of the Journal of the Greater Mekong Studies (JGMS) was launched this week during a Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (CICP) video event.
Pou Sothirak who served as Cambodia’s ambassador to Japan between 2005 and 2009, emphasised that the new volume of JGMS examines the immediate and long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Covering a wide range of topics, the contributing authors analysed how the Coronavirus has already affected the region and the diverse ways in which the pandemic will serve as a critical juncture that will affect the future of multilateral and bilateral relationships, the development of Asean, the future of various sub-regional cooperation institutions, the dynamics of human development and economic growth throughout Southeast Asia.
US Mission Cambodia spoke earlier this year about the fast-paced urbanisation and industrialisation that has led to environmental degradation along the Mekong and the risks to food security and economic livelihoods.
Very credible reports have revealed water levels along the Mekong are not consistent. Dams along the rivers in the north may be hoarding water.
These issues affect multiple countries and must be addressed through regional collaboration transparently with the interests of all countries in mind, it said.
Now there have been some encouraging signs in Cambodia. Recently the Ministry of Mines and Energy announced a 10-year moratorium on Mekong dam building. This gives Cambodia an opportunity to explore energy options to avoid serious human and environmental effects.
The JGMS is playing an important role in raising awareness. It says it is only by discussing and debating issues across borders that progress can be made.
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