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Story Publication logo May 12, 2023

Cambodia: The Slow Death of the Great River (Italian)


A person paddles a boat through a mangrove forest.

The health of the Mekong River and of the Cambodian rainforest are two sides of the same coin.

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Multiple Authors

The dramatic decline in the amount of fish in the Mekong is just one of the most visible effects of the perfect storm sweeping over Cambodia. To better understand the results of this spiral, we traveled along the Cambodian stretch of the Great River, from the border with Laos to Tonlé Sap Lake, the cradle of ancient Khmer civilization, not far from the famous temples of Angkor Wat.

Climate change, deforestation and dams to produce hydropower have triggered a devastating spiral. Global warming disrupts the alternating dry and monsoon seasons. The looting of trees undermines the balance of the ecosystem. And forced water withdrawal from the river permanently sends Tonlé Sap Lake, Southeast Asia's main freshwater fish reservoir, into a tailspin, affecting the Mekong basin and the geopolitical balance of the entire region.

Listen to the full story in Italian by clicking here (audio by RSI).

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