Thai naturalist embarks on a 1,000km trip to save Mekong River

The Mekong River, a lifeline for millions, is currently in a state of distress. Naturalist Paramin Wannakornbancha, known as Bass, embarked on a 1,000-kilometre journey on foot to raise awareness about the river’s plight. His journey, which started yesterday, January 15, has been warmly welcomed by local fishermen who are heartened by the younger generation’s concern for the river.

In a post on his page, Mekong Walk, Bass explained his initiative. He stated he was currently in Chiang Khan district, Loei Province, from where he would start his long journey to Khong Chiam district, Ubon Ratchathani Province.

“I’ve been following the Mekong’s situation and health, and I understand many things are ailing. I wanted to contribute to the care of the Mekong, so I did what I could; I used my two feet to start walking.”

Bass, who is undertaking this journey alone, invited others to join him in various ways, either by following his updates or joining him physically on his walk along the Mekong. Despite setting off alone, he has been joined by friends and locals who are enthusiastically participating in his creative endeavour.

Previously, Bass had initiated the Ari Ecowalk project in Bangkok’s Ari area, aiming to provide urban dwellers with a space to learn about the natural environment around them, and to realise that the city is not just about tall buildings, houses, or huge shopping malls, but also includes hidden natural spaces.

After walking for more than a day, Bass is currently heading towards Kaeng Khut Khu in Chiang Khan. On his journey, he has been warmly welcomed, which has pleasantly surprised him. Channarong Wongwongla coordinator of the Chiang Khan Fisheries Group and local fisheries in Chiang Khan, Loei Province, expressed his happiness that the younger generation is taking an interest in the Mekong.

As a local, he hopes the story of the Mekong becomes everyone’s concern, as the river has drastically changed over the years, particularly its ecosystem due to development projects, especially dams.

Community Networks

Channarong mentioned that the number of fish in the Mekong has significantly decreased since the construction of the dams.

“When a fisheries delegation of around 200 people from Chiang Khan came to learn about our work, we couldn’t find enough fish to prepare a meal for them. We had to order fish from Nakhon Phanom. The Mekong is truly sick.”

He stressed that state agencies have not yet addressed the problem, leaving citizens and community networks to try to solve it themselves, reported Khasod.

Environment NewsThailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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