This issue brief, the fifth in Stimson’s Letters from the Mekong series, looks at Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake as the heart of the Mekong Basin and introduces alternative development pathways which can optimize trade-offs to the water-energy-food nexus. If utilized, these alternative pathways prevent resource scarcity in Cambodia and promote regional stability in Southeast Asia by among other outcomes, preserving the Tonle Sap’s annual fish catch of 500,000 tons. To put this into perspective, all of North America’s lakes and rivers produce an annual catch of 450,000 tons. Alternative approaches suggested in the report include innovative water-energy planning methods and a deeper incorporation of non-hydropower renewable energy sources into Cambodia’s future power mix.
Brian Eyler, Director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Stimson Center
Courtney Weatherby, Research Analyst for the Southeast Asia Program at the Stimson Center
Followed by a discussion with leading water and energy experts:
Michele Thieme, Lead Water Conservation Scientist at Fresh Water
Clara Gillispie, Senior Director of Trade, Economic and Energy Affairs at The National Bureau of Asian Research
Jack Myint, Associate, US ASEAN Business Council