MAEW 2020

Mekong-ASEAN Environmental Week (end) 2020

Environment, Democracy, Livelihood, and the Regional Interconnection

25th - 27th September 2020

Friend of BACC Room, 6th Floor, Bangkok Art and Culture Center, Bangkok, Thailand


Southeast Asia countries are facing drastic changes in environment and livelihood especially. The changes that come mainly from the development policies and the large-scale projects have many impacts on people, especially in the region where local communities rely on the river, land, and forest for their subsistence livelihood. The Mekong Region, the major part of mainland Southeast Asia, especially, seems to be in the most challenging situation, as it is the target region for many natural resource extraction projects.

Despite the urgent situation of the region losing its resources and the original way of life that people used to have. There is very limited public space for the affected people and civil society groups that work with them to tell stories, share opinions, and express their needs and demands towards the policies and influential actors in the region.

Mekong- ASEAN Environmental Week (MAEW), initiated in 2019, aims to be the regional platform/public space for local communities, civil society groups, academia, and the public in the Mekong and Southeast Asia region to come together to reflect their opinions with hope to strengthen the networking and to seek for solutions and a better future for the region. MAEW 2020 happens during the time of COVID-19 and also amidst the pro-democracy movement in Thailand and around the region. The theme of the event, therefore, is “Environment, Democracy, Livelihood, and the Regional Interconnection”

The co-organizers of MAEW2020 are Project SEVANA South-East Asia, the Thai Society of Environmental Journalists (TSEJ), the Extra-Territorial Obligation Watch Coalitions (ETO Watch), Focus on the Global South, and Thai Public Broadcast Service (Thai PBS), with collaboration and support from many organizations and local communities in the Mekong and Southeast Asia region.


Friday 25th September 2020   

Opening Panel “The Look Back on Environment, Democracy, and Struggling livelihoods in the Mekong and Southeast Asia region”   

10.30   Background and analytical ideas that create MAEW by Premrudee Daoroung – Coordinator, Project SEVANA South-East Asia (Project SEVANA)

 10.45 - 12.30   Opening Panel “The Look Back on Environment, Democracy, and Struggling livelihoods in the Mekong and Southeast Asia region” 

  • Environmental governance, corporate interests and democracy in Southeast Asia by Neth Dano - Co-executive Director, etc GROUP, The Philippines

**Watch her presentation here 

**Watch his presentation here 

  • Industry, cross-border pollution and the needed democracy by Penchom Saetang - Director, Ecological Alert and Recovery Thailand (EARTH)
  • Climate Justice in Mekong and ASEAN by Tara Buakhamsri - Thailand’s Director, Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Moderator: Premrudee Daoroung - Project SEVANA South-East Asia (Project SEVANA)

Watch the video of this panel here:

Panel Discussion “In the eyes of Environmental journalists”

13.30 - 15.30   Panel Discussion “In the eyes of Environmental journalists” Hosted by the Thai Society of Environmental Journalists (TSEJ)


  • Anchalee Kongrut, Bangkok Post
  • Yodsaphol Kerdviboon, The Isaarn Record
  • Pipop Panichapak, Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)
  • Dr. Mana Treeayapiwat, The Thai Chamber University / Post journalist at The Manager / Thai Environmental News Award Committee

Moderator:  Udomdetch Khetkeaw, Phetphum Newspaper

Watch the video of this panel here:  

Panel “Meet the creators of the photo exhibitions and films”

15.30 - 16.30   Panel “Meet the creators of the photo exhibitions and films”

**Watch his presentation here 

  • The short film “The wish of Sin” Award-wining short film from the 1st Mekong River International Film festival and Art of Rivers 2018, Thailand by Thiwthat Narasaen, Director

**Watch his presentation here 

  • The documentary film “Hoo Sahong, a Fish Corridor Threatened by Dam Development by Yuka Kiguchi - Director, Mekong Watch 

**Watch her presentation here 

 Chanang Amparak, The Mekong Butterfly

Watch the live-stream video of this panel here:


Films screening “The Mekong’s documentary”  

16.30 - 17.30  

“Hoo Sahong, a Fish Corridor Threatened by Dam Development” 
by Mekong Watch

“The wish of Sin” by Khon Khan Film

“Migration from Tonle Sap Lake”  by Austin Meyer, a video and photojournalist

“Tonle Sap: On the day that fishes had disappeared” by Pale Blue Dot Group screened by Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

Saturday 26th September 2020

Panel “From Foreign Direct Investment to large scale destructive projects: what and whom we are facing: Part 1”   

10.30 - 12.30        

  • The ongoing struggle on land, forest, and livelihood in Southeast Asia  by Yaya Nur Hidayati, Chairperson, Walhi (Friends of the Earth Indonesia)

**Watch her presentation here 

  • Chinese investment, some facts and concerns on environment and livelihood impacts   by Zhang Jingjing - Director, The Center for Transnational Environmental Accountability (CTEA), and lecturer in law at the University of Maryland School of Law

**Watch her presentation here 

  • The missing mechanism in transboundary investment by Sor.Rattamanee Polkla - Community Resource Centre (CRC)/Extra Territorial Obligation Watch Coalitions (ETO Watch)
  • Special Economic Zone in five Mekong countries: Regional growth or a common threat by Pornpana Kuaycharoen - Director, Land Watch Thai
  • Food security for local communities in the region in the time of resources destructions by Ubon Yoowah - Senior Advisor, Thailand’s Alternative Agriculture Network

Moderator: Pratch Rujivanarom - Editor, GreenNews

Watch the video of this panel here:

Panel “From Foreign Direct Investment to large
scale destructive projects: what and whom we are facing: Part 2”

13.30 - 16.00    Panel “From Foreign Direct Investment to large scale destructive projects: what and whom we are facing: Part 2”

  • Myitsone Dam campaign and the concerns over Chinese Investment in Myanmar by Myint Zaw, Journalist, and activist and 2015 recipient of Goldman Environment Prize for Asia

**Watch his presentation here 

  • Lives, Environment and a better politics by Yingcheep Atchanont - Manager, ILaw
  • The missing food from the Mekong River by Ormbun Thipsuna – Mekong Network, Northeastern Thailand
  • The politics of Regional Energy, impact and trend by Witoon Permpongsacharoen - Director, Mekong Energy and Ecological Network (MEENet)

Moderator: Ass. Prof. Dr. Naruemon Thabchumpon - Deputy Director for Research Affairs, Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University

Watch the video of this panel here:

Panel  Discussion “On Luang Prabang”

16.00 - 17.00  

  • On the documentary film “A River Screams For Mercy”  and the concerns on Luang Prabang Dam, a Short presentation by Tom Fawthrop of Eureka Film
  • The importance of Luang Prabang as the cultural World Heritage         by Montira Unakul, the Cultural Division, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Thailand
  • Presentation and discussion “Earthquakes and active faults in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR”  by Prof. Panya Charusiri - Senior Advisor to the Earthquake and tectonic Geology Research Unit (EATGRU), Chulalongkorn University and Advisor to Thailand’s Department of Mineral Resources, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
  • Film Screening “A River Screams For Mercy” by A Eureka Films, Direct by Tom Fawthrop

Moderator:  Kamol Sukin - Independent Environmental Journalist

Watch the video of this panel here:

Sunday 27th September 2020

Panel “The way out: Local voices from the Mekong and Southeast Asia countries”  

10.30 - 12.30   

**Watch the whole presentation with English Translation here 

  • Life after the land grabbing and cross-border investment situation in Cambodia  by Hoy Mai - O Bat Muan Village, Oddor Meanchey Province and Teng Kao - Sre Ambel community, Koh Kong Province, Cambodia 

**Watch their presentations here (Khmer and Thai version) and (English version)

  • The struggle of Orang Asli people to protect their land and forestby Shaq Koyok, Malaysia’s Artist and Orang Asli Indigenous activist

**Watch his presentation here 

  • The old wound and the new pain of Road Link to Dawei by Saw Keh doh: Thabyu Chaung villager, Dawei, Myanmar

**Watch his presentation here 

  • Resources, livelihood and sustainable agriculture for Laos peopleby Phouvong Phetphayvanh - Laos farmer and filmmaker

**Watch his presentation here:

  • Community-owned management on forest, water and energy in Danu Land, Myanmar by Kyi Phyo - Foundation Renewable Energy and Ecology (FREE)

**Watch his presentation here

  • Mekong and beyond – the hope and the movement together

by Niwat Roikaew - Rak Chiang Khong Group, Chiang Rai Province

Moderator: Premrudee Daoroung, Coordinator, Project SEVANA South-East Asia

Watch the video of this panel here: 

Film/Discussion “Years has gone by, the lead ghost still exists” 

13.30 - 14.30    Film/Discussion “Years has gone by, the lead ghost still exists” on the    lead poisoning in Klity Karen village, Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand


  • Chalalai Nasuansuwan - a representative from Lower Klity Community Youth Group
  • Sanitsuda Ekachai - Senior Journalist, Bangkok Post
  • Vorapoj Osathapiratana - Dinsorsee Creative Group
  • Chayawee Wangcharoenrung - Director of Domestic Wastewater Section, Pollution Control Department

Moderator: Nicha Wachpanich, GreenNews

Wrap-Up Session by Thitipan Pattanamongkol – President, Thai Society of Environmental Journalists (TSEJ)  

Watch the video of this panel here:  

14.30 - 16.00  Film Screening “By the River”, Locarno International Film Festival award-winning documentary about Klity case by Nontawat Numbenchapol

Watch all the 8 panels of MAEW 2020 here:

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