In Search of Aluminum:..China’s Role in the Mekong Region
This study is part of a research project entitled Understanding China as an Actor in the Mekong Region, jointly implemented by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). The project aims to shed
some light on China’s economic role in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia as a basis for constructive dialogue among decision makers and other stakeholders in China and the Mekong countries.This paper builds on a scoping study commissioned for the project which provides an overview of investment, trade and aid flows from China to the three Mekong countries, with a particular
focus on the agribusiness, hydropower and mining industries...
...Environmental and social impacts of bauxite mining...
...Bauxite does not come without side effects, and transboundary impacts are expected to be
significant, including loss of fisheries and changes to the hydrology of the rivers and water quality, which will affect the livelihoods of indigenous people living in the mining area.
Mining bauxite involves the discharge of toxins that must be stored safely and permanently.There are significant potential impacts beyond the mining site, including contamination of the surrounding and downstream areas. Given the close proximity of the bauxite mining operations in Laos, concerns have already been raised in neighbouring Cambodia, where industrial waste discharge and increased water use of the transboundary Sekong River (part of the 3-S river basins) may cause significant impacts downstream. For example, the generation of large quantities of highly alkaline red mud (and associated contaminants) represents the most significant risk to downstream surface water and groundwater quality. Thousands of people rely on the Sekong River for their local livelihoods and would be adversely affected downstream by contaminated water...