From ToxicLeaks

About Biodiversity

Biodiversity, a contraction of "biological diversity," generally refers to the variety and variability of life on Earth. One of the most widely used definitions defines it in terms of the variability within species, between species, and between ecosystems. It is a measure of the variety of organisms present in different ecosystems. This can refer to genetic variation, ecosystem variation, or species variation (number of species) within an area, biome, or planet.

This section looks at the multiple threats human activity poses to the Earth’s biodiversity, such as habitat destruction, genetic pollution, overexploitation, hybridization, climate change, human overpopulation.

Featured article

The Laotian government is killing the life in Mekong river by building the Don Sahong dam. This unilateral decision has been strongly criticized by all the downstream countries, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam that would be severely impacted by the project. They have been joined by local populations and environmental groups. However the construction started in December 2015 and this ecological and social disaster is about to hit the area.

A dam project decided unilaterally by Laos

The project to build this disruptive dam appeared in 2006 when the Government of Laos asked Mega First Corporation Berhad, a construction company from Malaysia, to do a preliminary study on a dam in the Champasak province, at the border between Laos and Cambodia. Why they chose Mega First no one knows, because the Malaysian company had never taken part in a hydropower project before and had no expertise in that field whatsoever. Even worse, Laos didn't even take the trouble to discuss this project with the countries located downstream. In 2013, the Laotian government bluntly informed them that it would start the construction of the dam. This contrasts sharply with the usual procedures for project that have to do with the Mekong River. These projects are supposed to be elaborated through concertation and only begin when a consensus has been reached between the concerned countries. The Laotian government chose to ignore these procedures and the point of view of its neighbors. This is globalisation at its worst. No one says that Laos shouldn't be allowed to build the tools to its development. But here we see that Laos only feels that it can develop through competition with its neighbors, instead of cooperation. There is something deeply twisted in the way our world is organized right now and the Don Sahong dam is a sad example that developing countries are fighting each other in a scramble for natural resources instead of working together. European States and the US are responsible for this world (dis)order, because they have consistently vied for resources and power and have set a disastrous example that is now bringing conflict, environmental disruption and poor living conditions in the Mekong.

(Wildlife and people at threat because of Mekong river dam)


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