A MEKONG MANIFESTO ENABLING TRANS-BOUNDARY RESILIENCE
Tens of millions embrace the Mekong River Basin for its dynamic fluctuations of bountiful water resources. To maintain abundance, the Mekong’s namesake and its tributaries pulsate – radically – between wet and dry seasons causing extreme variations in water levels. Communities not only embrace floods and droughts, they also rely on them for plentiful returns. Seasonal pulses provide positive, not negative feedback loops – a truly unique precedent for resiliency. But such dynamism is at threat. The Mekong finds itself at a tipping point for 2 fundamental reasons:
1) Climate Change will create major fresh water scarcities.
2) Dam Infrastructure designed to supply energy and irrigation demands, will exacerbate fresh water scarcities.
The alterations to the dynamics of the Mekong River Basin caused by climate change and dam infrastructure threaten to decouple the critical link between the source at the Third Pole (Tibetan Plateau) and to the mouth of the Nine Dragons (Mekong Delta). To survive, all local communities of the Mekong River Basin must be empowered with a pro-active role in designing collective, future resiliencies for their river basin.
“from the Third Pole to the Nine Dragons” outlines a simple, 2-part toolkit for communities to understand their local futures within broader river basin scaled threats and adaptations: