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Photo contest celebrates the Mekong River as a shared resource

A fisherman in Laos' Khon Phapheng Falls risks his life to catch fish. Photo courtesy of: Anouphon Phomhacsar/MRC
A fisherman in Laos' Khon Phapheng Falls risks his life to catch fish. Photo courtesy of: Anouphon Phomhacsar/MRC

Photo contest celebrates the Mekong River as a shared resource

A selection of 30 winning photographs submitted to the Mekong River Commission as a part of their first photo contest are now online, depicting scenes from the mighty river and the communities that depend on it.

The MRC is an international research body that periodically reports on the condition of the Mekong River and its dependent ecosystems, providing data on pollution, fisheries, droughts, floods, agriculture and socio-economic indicators.

Read more: Cambodia's fisheries at risk, MRC warns

The contest was “organised to celebrate the diversity of the Mekong river and raise awareness of the importance of transboundary water cooperation among the lower Mekong countries,” the MRC said. Those countries are Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and China.

Below is a selection of the winners.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian fishermen along the Mekong River prepare their nets. Photo courtesy of: Serey Kith/MRC

Fishermen across the lower Mekong basin, such as in Cambodia, face declining fish catches due to over-fishing and climate change.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Ethnic Cham people in Cambodia’s Kampong Cham province are known to live on boats and their livelihoods depend on the river. Photo courtesy of: Phearith Phan/MRC

Dam construction on the Mekong and its tributaries further threatens to wipe out the freshwater fisheries by as much as 70 percent in coming decades.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Free range duck farming is a long-standing tradition of people in Vietnam’s Cuu Long Delta. Photo courtesy of: Hieu Minh Vu/MRC

Subsistence fishermen, especially from minority populations are more than often marginalised from making policies to sustainable manage the Mekong river.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
River worship is celebrated every year on April 14 on an island in Luang Prabang, Laos. Photo courtesy of: Anouphon Phomhacsar/MRC

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People gather to cheer on the Ngo boat races in Vietnam's Soc Trang city. Photo courtesy of: Dinh Cong Tam/MRC

Effects on fishing and agriculture due to changes in flow and flood patterns due to dam construction and climate change are felt strongly by populations living downstream.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cow racing attracts many people in Vietnam's An Giang province situated in the Mekong delta. Photo courtesy of Tran Van Truong/MRC

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Trees grow naturally in the Mekong river in Cambodia's Stung Treng province, a reminder of the delicate and unique ecosystems the waterway sustains. Photo courtesy of: Sokratana Hou/MRC

Flooded forests are defining feature of the lower Mekong river in Cambodia as well as the Tonle Sap Lake, which is subjected to its annual flood pulse. The forests are structural habitats for wildlife, including fish, which provide income and nourishment to millions.

Read more: A wetland laid to waste.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A local fisherman in Bac Lieu, Vietnam catches fish at the crack of dawn. Photo courtesy of: Tran Van Truong/MRC

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The chalky and limy stones in Koh Han island in Cambodia's Stung Treng province. Photo Courtesy of: Willy Leang/MRC

To see all the winners click here.

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