Image © Andy Ball, University of Southampton.
We are pleased to announce our latest online exhibition: Lost lands - hidden stories of sand mining on the Mekong River.
For over a decade, an international team of geographers from the UK, Vietnam and Cambodia have been studying the Mekong River, observing how the river and Tonle Sap lake systems function and the relationships that local people have with these water resources.
The team has seen a huge increase in sand mining (the removal of sand from the bed of the river by mechanical extraction) during this period, driven by a global boom in construction which means that sand is now the world’s second most used natural resource, behind only water.
But Cambodia’s appetite for sand to feed a construction boom has come at a cost for the communities that live on and around the Mekong. These are already vulnerable communities who have been subject to the compounding effects of climate change and upstream hydro dams.
Research by the team has shown how, locally, sand mining lowers the riverbed and increases riverbank instability, leading to bank collapse. Studies have also shown impacts further afield, resulting in reduced sediment supply to the delta and a shrinking of the Tonle Sap lake, which supplies an estimated 70% of Cambodia’s protein through fish.
This collaboration between the team and a Cambodia-based photographer, seeks to document the nature and scale of sand mining activity and give a voice to some of the individuals who are impacted by it, shining a light on the hidden stories behind the global headlines of sand mining.
View Lost Lands
See our other online exhibitions
The call for papers for our Postgraduate Forum’s Mid-Term Conference, which will take place on Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 April, is now open.
3 March 2022
There are over 250 lost or ruined churches and religious building remains in Norfolk. Illustrating these with his sublime photographs, Clive gives us a tour of these wonderful structures.
9 March 2021
A selection of ideas for creating your own weather instruments in the classroom or at home
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