Water Governance Dynamics in The Mekong Region

Editors: David J.H. Blake & Lisa Robins
Format: Paperback 322 pp.
Subjects: Development, Environment & Ecology, Southeast Asia
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
ISBN: 9789670960449
Price: RM50.00


The Mekong Program on Water, Environment and Resilience (M-POWER) is a network of organizations and individuals collaborating to democratize water governance in the Mekong Region. Since 2006, M-POWER has developed and implemented a wide range of activities across Cambodia, southern China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Younger and older scholars, practitioners and ex-officials have probed water resources decision-making, prodded policy actors on their positions, and proposed ways for more inclusive, deliberative and adaptive water governance. Water Governance Dynamics in the Mekong Region is the fifth and final book in this series. A decade on and it is far from obvious that the promises of democratization and improved public accountability are inevitable. The need for multi-disciplinary scholarship and constructive contestation remains.


1. Introduction: A Backdrop to Water Governance Dynamics in the Mekong Region
David J.H. Blake and Lisa Robins

2. Iron Triangles, Rectangles or Golden Pentagons? Understanding Power Relations in Irrigation Development Paradigms of Northeast Thailand and Northern Cambodia
David J.H. Blake

3. Arenas of Water Justice on Transboundary Rivers: A Case Study of the Xayaburi Dam, Laos
Carl Middleton and Ashley Pritchard

4. Diverted Justice: The Lower Sesan 2 Dam and the Role of Law in Cambodian Hydropower Development
Maureen Harris

5. China’s Dam Diplomacy in the Mekong Region: Three Game Changers
Pichamon Yeophantong

6. Hydropower Decision-making in Myanmar: Insights from Myitsone Dam
Zhu Xianghui, Tira Foran and David Fullbrook

7. Social Movement Resistance to “Accumulation by Dispossession” in Myanmar: A Case Study of the Ka Lone Htar Dam near the Dawei Special Economic Zone
Zaw Aung and Carl Middleton

8. “Fishing–Farming” Communities around Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia: Fisheries Reforms, Natural Resource Management and Changing Livelihood Patterns
Borin Un

9. Water Governance in a Changing Era: Perspectives on Vietnam
Tien L.T. Du, Duong D. Bui, Xuan T. Quach and Lisa Robins

10. Dike Compartments in the Mekong Delta: Case Studies in Water Governance, Farming Systems and Adaptation to Water-Regime Changes in An Giang Province, Vietnam
Nguyen Van Kien, David Dumaresq and Charles Howie

Posted in Books, Environment, Social Studies

Gila Balak: Menelusur jejak-jejak mafia kayu balak Asia

Author: Lukas Straumann
Format: Paperback 323 pp.
Subjects: Environment & Ecology, Malaysia
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
ISBN: 9789670960494
Price: RM40.00


Gila Balak menyiasat apa yang telah disebut oleh Gordon Brown sebagai “jenayah alam sekitar terbesar masa kini”: kerosakan hutan hujan secara besar-besaran oleh pembalak-pembalak Malaysia. Sejarahwan dan aktivis, Lukas Straumann bukan sahaja “mencari semula” hutan hujan yang telah “hilang” dan orang-orang yang pernah suatu ketika dahulunya tinggal menetap di situ, malah beliau juga menelusur setiap jaringan penjenayah yang telah mengaut keuntungan ribuan juta melalui rasuah dan jualan kayu balak haram.

Straumann telah menamakan Abdul Taib Mahmud, Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak sebagai kepala mafia kayu balak Asia. Pada masa yang sama, Straumann juga menunjukkan betapa keluarga Taib dengan bantuan rakan subahat utama iaitu institusi-institusi kewangan telah berjaya meraih laba keuntungan sebanyak USD 15 ribu juta. Gila Balak ialah kisah sekelompok masyarakat yang kehilangan warisan “syurgaloka” turun-temurun yang telah digalang ganti dengan ladang-ladang kelapa sawit, pencemaran dan rasuah. Dan kini, mereka berjuang menuntut kembali “kehilangan” itu.

Posted in Books, Environment, Malay Books

Death of the Dragon God Lake

Author: Isabel Crabtree Parker, Jonathan Crabtree Parker, Miranda Crabtree Parker & Sara Ashencaen Crabtree
Format: Paperback 269 pp.
Subject: Environment & Ecology, Ethnic Studies, Malaysia
ISBN:  9789670960241
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2016
Price: RM35.00

Death of the Dragon God Lake is a family ethnography focusing on the Jakun of Tasik Chini, Malaysia, and their contemporary struggles. The Orang Asli West Malaysia’s indigenous people – comprise only 0.6 percent of the country’s total population, and within this group, the Jakun of Tasik Chini number around 500. While recent decades have seen efforts to ‘modernise’ them, this official spin cloaks the denial of Orang Asli self-determination and the concurrent damage being done to their traditional land. As part of their condensed ethnography, the authors conducted interviews and field discussion groups, observed the adults and children living around Tasik Chini, and gathered information about their lives today and how they compare with the recent past. The lake is polluted, the children unable to swim in it as their parents did, and the natural beauty of the surroundings has been eroded, having an impact on tourism as well. With awareness of their positionality as foreign anthropologists, the authors examine the contradiction between the authorities’ and indigenous narratives, and reveal the efforts made by Tasik Chini community members to improve their situation on their own terms.

Posted in Books, English Books, Environment

Rainforest Hero : The Life and Death of Bruno Manser

Author/Editor: Ruedi Suter
Format: Paperback 330 pp.
Subjects: Environment & Ecology, History & Biography, Social Studies

ISBN: 9783905252866
Publisher: Bergli Books & SIRD
Published: 2015
Price: RM55

In 1984 Swiss shepherd Bruno Manser trekked through the virgin rainforests of Borneo to live among the jungle’s last nomads. In six years among the Penan people, Manser witnessed the wholesale destruction of one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems through rapid deforestation. He swore to do everything he could to stop it.
Manser’s globetrotting campaign brought the world’s attention to tropical ­deforestation. It also made him an enemy of Asia’s timber barons. In 2000 he disappeared without a trace.
Ruedi Suter’s engrossing biography – the first in English – charts Manser’s ­extraordinary journey from a young man who sought to escape civilization for the peace of the jungle to a campaigner who would stand up to oligarchs, lead protests around the globe, and, ultimately, give his life for the forests that he loved.  
Bruno Manser waged a passionate war to protect Borneo’s rainforests from loggers, [then] he mysteriously disappeared. 
    — Time Magazine, Asia Edition
Bruno Manser was ready to pay the highest price for the protection of the world’s rainforests – and the empowerment of those who live in them.
    — Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland
Ruedi Suter 
was born in the Belgian Congo in 1951 and writes about the environment and human rights from Basel, Switzerland. He closely followed the work of Bruno Manser for many years, and was involved in one of the final searches for the missing campaigner. 
Posted in Biography & Memoir, Environment, Social Studies

Voices from the Rainforest: Testimonies of a Threatened People

Author/Editor: Bruno Manser
Format: Paperback 294 pp.
Subjects: Environment & Ecology, Social Studies
ISBN: 9789670960012
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2015
Price: RM50

  “The inhabitants of the rainforest must be allowed to speak for themselves,” wrote Bruno Manser in 1992. At first glance, a European living with the Penan of Sarawak may have seemed like a quaint curiosity, but Manser was careful to redirect public attention to where it was most needed – the plight of his adopted people, beleaguered by human rights abuses and the destruction of their home. 

Voices from the Rainforest tells the story of logging in Sarawak, its devastating effects on indigenous people, and government collusion with their suffering. It’s a chronicle of injustice, brutality and resistance, recounted by Penan themselves, while Manser’s illustrations bring the rainforest to life. This book is an essential record of the injustices suffered by the Penan in the 1980s and 1990s, and a reminder that the struggle is not over yet.
“Bruno Manser did more than anyone else to bring tropical deforestation to the world’s attention – until he mysteriously disappeared in Malaysian Borneo. Twenty years after its release, this book remains a must-read for everyone interested in the plight of the Penan and the world’s indigenous peoples.”
           — Lukas Straumann, Author of Money Logging
Posted in Biography & Memoir, Environment, Social Studies

Critical States: Environmental Challenges to Development in Monsoon Southeast Asia

Editors: Anond Snidvongs, Chen-Tung Arthur Chen, Louis Lebel, Rajesh Daniel
Format: Paperback, 473 pages
Subjects: Environment & Ecology, Social Studies, Southeast Asia
ISBN: 9789833782628
Publisher: SIRD
Published: 2009
Price: RM65.00


Extraordinarily rapid economic development has radically transformed urban-industrial, agrarian and marine environments throughout Southeast Asia. Future development is now being constrained, however, by the consequences of decades of largely unregulated exploitation of the region’s rich natural resources and biodiversity. It has also increased or altered the vulnerabilities of Southeast Asian populations to climatic variables, flooding and global economic shifts.

Critical States provides transboundary “state-of-the-science” reviews, case studies, and assessments of issues in the environmental change-development nexus, including: governance and institutional challenges, urbanization, climate change, poverty, as well as land, energy, and water use.

Posted in English Books, Environment, Social Studies