The Mekong River is the 12th longest river in the world and the third most biodiverse river in terms of fish next to the Amazon and the Congo. It boasts the world’s largest inland fishery, providing food and livelihood for millions of people. It is a transboundary river that runs through six countries: China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, and supports hundreds of extraordinary species –- from birds to mammals, reptiles, and fish. It is also important habitat and the last remaining stronghold for species at the brink of extinction, including the giant freshwater stingray, giant ibis, Siamese crocodile, and the Mekong giant catfish. Since it is a transboundary river, there is a need for people to work together for the effective conservation and management of the river ecosystem.
As part of National Geographic’s Mentorship Program, I had the chance to participate in a Workshop on Saving Species on the Edge of Extinction, co-organized by my mentor, Dr. Zeb Hogan. The workshop was part of the USAID-funded Wonders of the Mekong project, a joint initiative that seeks to understand and share the value of the Mekong River ecosystem….