With an estimated length of 4350 kilometers, the Mekong River is the seventh longest river in Asia. The Mekong basin also boasts the second highest level of biodiversity of any river system in the world, behind the Amazon. The richness of plants and animals in the basin has not even been fully discovered and described yet. The question, however, is whether this wealth can be sustained. The management of the river is in the hands of the Mekong River Commission (MRC). This commission includes representatives from Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. Netherlands supports the MRC and Dutch consultants are doing work commissioned by the MRC.
After a complaint filed by women's groups from Ixquisis, Guatemala, the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) has started an investigation on several policy violations, amongst which the Gender Equality policy. This is a unique chance to create a precedent, because complaints on the IDB's gender policy are very rare. The women from Ixquisis are fighting for their rights with support of the Global Alliance for Green and Gender Action (GAGGA).
Last week the 11th Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil was held in Medan , Indonesia. One of the issues central to the discussions was the increasing conflict over land use, especially in Indonesia, but increasingly elsewhere in Asia, Africa and Latin America . The cause: the poorly controlled production of palm oil, a raw material for a wide range of products such as food and cosmetics, and as biofuel as an alternative to fossil fuels.