EVENT May 15
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A Dialogue on China’s Upper Mekong Navigation Improvement Project (Symposium)

Chiang Rai, Thailand
Organization: Asian Research Center for International Development
Event: Symposium
Categories: Environmental Studies, Engineering, Miscellaneous
Event Date: 2020-05-15 Abstract Due: 2019-12-31

The Upper Mekong Navigation Improvement Project (UMNP) is a large-scale engineering project initiated in 1992 by the People’s Republic of China which aims to permanently modify the natural course of the river Mekong, from China’s Yunnan province, into Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos, in order to make it safe for navigation during most of the year by cargo ships larger than the traditional 60-DWT vessels. The project involves blasting or removing reefs, rapids, and shoals that encumber or endanger navigation of large cargo ships, particularly during the dry season, and eventually dredging and building dikes in order to turn the river into a smooth-flowing canal. After an interruption of several years, the project is currently being revived, in spite of opposition by NGOs and policy makers, particularly in Laos and Thailand, on the grounds of its potential negative impacts on environmental and social sustainability. 

The Dialogue on China’s Upper Mekong Navigation Improvement Project will gather selected experts in order to discuss the legal, political, economic, social, security, and environmental impacts of this project on riverine countries.

The Dialogue will take place on 15 May 2020, in Mae Fah Luang University, during half a day. Each speaker will present his/her paper for 30 minutes, followed by questions and answers. The papers will be published in a special issue of the ARCID Working Papers. Copyright will be retained by the author and publication of the working paper with ARCID will not pre-empt him/her from publishing the revised paper elsewhere.

Selected speakers will be offered a compensation package for their participation in the symposium. This package includes:

- Air transportation to Chiang Rai from anywhere in Thailand (or from elsewhere, up to a maximum of 4,000 THB per person for a round trip ticket).
- Local transportation in Chiang Rai during two days.
- Two-night (14 and 15 May) accommodation at the Wanasom Resort, near the venue of the Dialogue (http://www.wanasom.com).
- Honorarium in cash of 2,500 THB.

Interested speakers should submit an abstract of their proposed paper to ignasi.rib@mfu.ac.th as soon as possible, including a short bio, affiliation, and contact information. Acceptance of proposal will be communicated directly by email. Final papers will be due by 1 May 2020.


Ignasi Ribó