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Jinda Thomrongajariyakul
Nuttapon Ruancharoensin


The Mekong River is a major waterway that flows through six countries, namely China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. For the Mekong Nations, this river likens the current of life, is exceptionally rich in natural resources, and is vital in supporting the livelihood of more than 70 million people. There are many cooperation frameworks, such as the Greater Mekong Sub-Region Economic Cooperation Development Program, established to support trade and investment in this sub-region. China's dam building on upstream of the Mekong River has led to reduced water flows downstream, causing severe impacts on fishing communities, the agriculture and transportation sectors. Moreover, it also effects disrupted the migration patterns of fish and other aquatic species. This article studies Conflict Management and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to suggest a solution to the Mekong Nations conflict, which has the Mekong River Commission and Yunnan officials as key factors. The solutions, phase by phase, are as follows: Phase 1: Building trust and cooperation between all parties involved in the conflict including Yunnan officials and other stakeholders. Phase 2: Balancing economic development and environmental protection to ensure that economic development and hydropower development would not affect the environment or downstream communities. Phase 3: Conflict resolution and management by encouraging the adoption of more transparent and participatory decision-making processes and involving downstream communities in water management.

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