The Mekong River is one of the world’s great rivers. From its source in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau it snakes down through southern China and then borders or runs through all the countries of mainland Southeast Asia: Myanmar, Thailand, Lao, Cambodia and Vietnam. Almost 70 million people depend either directly or indirectly on the Mekong for their livelihoods. It is the world’s largest inland freshwater fishery. It’s also a place of great ecological and human diversity. Until recently, the Mekong was one of the world’s least tamed rivers, but that has rapidly changed. In Last Days of the Mighty Mekong
(Zed Book, 2019),
Eyler documents the huge disruption, both to the Mekong’s ecosystem and to the lives of the people who depend on it, caused by rampant dam construction, tourism development, pollution, not to mention climate change.