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  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home3/mekonga1/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
Posts Written by 'Shannon Dugan '
Shannon Dugan
| Posted on
19 March 2015
In the dry season, villagers in Chey Commune and other rural areas of the LMB often face severe food and livelihood insecurity that affects both them and their livestock. (Cr. Shannon Dugan/DAI)

By my third trip to Chey Commune in Cambodia’s Kampong Thom Province, I am now accustomed to the nearly four hour drive. After the asphalt ends about an hour outside of the capital, Phnom Penh, we bump along on a mainly dirt and gravel road for what feels like an eternity. Outside my window, the landscape is flat. The lush rainforest that once stood here was removed long ago and now there are just a few classically tropical palm trees jutting up at random points in the distance.

Shannon Dugan
| Posted on
20 July 2015
Nang Suwannaprateep (right) of Sakon Nakhon's Kok Klang village told us that she loves her pigs ‘like her own children. (Photo by Saowalak J./DAI)

As the USAID Mekong Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change (USAID Mekong ARCC) project guided communities at sites in Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam through a participatory decision making process to identify adaptation activities, what became increasingly clear was the value of livestock to community livelihoods across the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) and the vulnerabilities of those animals to the changing climate. Not only did communities rely on livestock as a means of immediate cash income, but also as financial security and household assets—water buffalo plow the rice fields, chickens lay protein rich eggs to sell and consume, and of course, pigs provide adorable piglets that can grow up to be breeders themselves or are sold at markets.

Shannon Dugan
| Posted on
30 November 2015
The quote of Dr. John Ward, MERFI

An Interview with Dr. Alex Smajgl and Dr. John Ward of the Mekong Region Futures Institute

Rivers help to purify water. Mangroves protect against coastal erosion and storm surge. Forests sequester carbon from the atmosphere and provide a rich variety of edible and medicinal plants. These are just a few examples of the many types of “services” that ecosystems – whether in urban areas such as Bangkok or rural villages in the Lower Mekong Basin – provide to communities on a regular basis. Moreover, many ecosystems have spiritual and cultural significance for local populations. In both urban and rural Thailand, many trees can be found wrapped in colorful swaths of cloth. These are believed to be spirit trees that should not be cut down.