July 29, 2020
Civil engineer Yadu Pokhrel helps MSU foster environmental justice
A Michigan State University interdisciplinary team of faculty and staff is working to foster environmental justice in Southeast Asia. The Henry Luce Foundation’s Initiative on Southeast Asia, or LuceSEA, is providing $1 million in funding to help create the Mekong Culture WELL project.
Yadu Pokhrel, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, is a co-investigator on the project. He will conduct hydrological simulations to understand the effects of climate change and dam construction on the livelihood of local communities.
“We have generated enormous scientific information in our other ongoing projects in the Mekong, but we have not yet been able to use that information to understand how the ongoing changes in region would affect local communities,” Pokhrel said. “The Luce project will fill this gap by providing insights on of how climate change and trans-boundary water management, especially large-scale hydropower development, are reshaping the livelihood of local communities in the downstream of the dams.”
The Lower Mekong River Basin in mainland Southeast Asia is home to 60 million people in five countries — Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam — with globally significant and diverse cultures, environments and economies. Political volatility, climate change and development pressures such as hydropower damming are challenging WELL (water, ecology, land and livelihoods) security in the region.
Read more on MSU’s efforts in the Mekong region on MSUToday.