Bothers with Borders? Natural Resource Management in the Mekong River Basin
This chapter describes the Mekong River Basin and its natural resources and offers a structural approach to natural resource management (NRM). It attempts to highlight the role of borders by examining existing or potential conflicts over natural resources and discusses the way ahead for sustainable development of the Basin. The Basin lies in a northwest-southeast arc, stretching from the Tibetan Plateau to the South China Sea. Two main borders overlay each other in the Basin: the political and the biogeographical. Taking into consideration the multiplicity of jurisdictional and natural boundaries and the diversity of people and their activities in the Basin, the process of NRM will necessarily take a multi-perspective approach. The different political and socio-economic backgrounds of the Mekong riparian nations result in a wide range of perspectives to NRM. The chapter focuses on two sectors, hydropower and forestry, in discussing the importance of the sectoral perspectives for NRM.