Colloquium Theme: The Global South, Common Sustainability Challenges (Causes and Solutions)
The Mekong River is unique among the world’s great rivers in the size of the human population supported by its ecosystem. Approximately 60 million people derive their livelihoods from aquatic life in the river system. Largely unregulated through most of the 20th century, the Mekong River system is undergoing extensive dam construction throughout the basin for hydroelectric generation, with over 140 dams planned, under construction, or built. What will be the cumulative effects of these dams on the geomorphology, ecology, and human populations of the river and its delta? How will these changes interact with other changes such as deforestation in steep uplands, levees and channelization, and accelerated sea level rise?
G. Mathias (Matt) Kondolf is a fluvial geomorphologist and environmental planner, specializing in environmental river management and restoration. As Professor of Environmental Planning at the UC Berkeley, he teaches courses in hydrology, river restoration, and environmental science. His research concerns human-river interactions broadly, with emphasis on management of flood-prone lands, sediment management in reservoirs and regulated river channels, and river restoration. Current research includes various rivers in North America and Europe, the Lower Mekong River, and the degree to which cumulative effects have been analysed for dams on the Upper Yangtze River system.
Colloquium Coordinator: Amir Gohar, PhD Candidate in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning