The Geopolitics of Dam Construction and Operation Along the Mekong River: Implications for Food Security in the Region


Rivers cater to the needs of the people, especially in terms of food, agriculture and energy. Rivers are important to human survival because they can provide food, irrigation, and energy source. However, these benefits to humans are threatened by dam constructions and operations along the rivers. While recognizing the importance of hydropower technology as an alternative source of energy, however, food security is challenged. In order to analyze how dam construction and operation can affect food security, a case study of the Mekong River will be done. The Mekong River is selected as the case to be studied because there are geopolitical implications as well as far as this region is concerned. One action from a state within the river can affect other states sharing boundaries along the river. In this paper, the author will attempt to discuss the development of dams in the river, its implications for food security in the region, and how geopolitics play a role in the issue. This paper argues that due to the geography of the Mekong River, the construction and operation of one state of its dams in the river will have serious repercussions on food security of other states along the Mekong River.

Author Information
Nathaniel Candelaria

Paper Information
Conference: APSec2016
Stream: Human & Environmental Security

This paper is part of the APSec2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon