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2 Towards Sustainable Development: A Multidimensional Debate in the Mekong Context

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the major environmental threats to the Mekong region and discusses the consistency and controversy in multiple claims on aqua-environmental protection and climate change. In the respect of the tangled nature of environmental challenges in this region, attention will then be paid to the existing multilevel governance of water resources in the region and the diverse players that are shaping the governance of the Mekong River. Questions are raised on the current approaches used to promote integrated water resources management (IWRM) in the region, in light of the huge difficulties of tipping the scales in this direction and the fact that even if countries managed to transform relevant legislation and institutions, in many cases the reform could only end up as no more than another window-dressing exercise. The chapter answers to the question of how to configure hydrological boundaries into existing political boundaries in the Mekong region.

Keywords: environmental threats; hydrological boundaries; IWRM; Mekong region; Mekong River



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