Mekong Watch


Photo Library

Nature and Livelihoods in Laos

Documentary films

You can watch our documentary films on YouTube. Click the title and choose the language.

Language: Thai, Lao with English subtitles
Language: Vietnamese
Language: Khmer

People in the Mekong basin depend on the river for food and livelihood. The Mekong sustains 60 million people living in its basin. The Mun River has the largest basin area of all the Mekong's tributaries in Thailand. The Pak Mun Dam was 5.5 km from the mouth of the Mun River. Fish disappeared from the Mun River after the dam was built.

This documentary film was produced to share with the people living in the Mekong Basin the impacts on nature and livelihood brought by dam construction. We hope the film will help our audience to have prior knowledge on how dams may alter natural environment and people's lives. By understanding dams' impacts through this film, we hope people will be able to see different aspects of development projects, consider both positive and negative changes beforehand and choose the environment and livelihood best for each community.

Language: Lao with English subtitles

The Oy people of Attapeu Province in southern Laos migrated from the mountains to the lowlands and began to cultivate paddy fields from about 50 years ago. The people dig out holes similar to wells in the rice fields. These are called "lum pa". The people use various techniques to have large numbers of fish come into the lum pa, where they live and grow. Lum pa are a product of local wisdom for ensuring supplies of protein in the community environment during the dry season, when fish are not readily available.

Language: English, Vietnamese with English subtitles

We human beings have collected seeds by our own hands, which have been inherited as assets of our families and communities beyond many centuries. Today, however, corporations and governmental institutions sell mass-produced artificial seeds all over the world.

The Muong people in the hilly region of Viet Nam have started a challenge. Instead of buying seeds, they are trying to collect native seeds by themselves and pass them down to the future generation.

Language: Lao with English subtitles

Forests have supported human life. People have lived in harmony with the forests, respecting the spirits of the land. But changes in Laos are beginning to change people's relationships with the forest.

Language: Lao with English subtitles

The Kmhmu' are a group of people living primarily by shifting cultivation in the mountainous region of northern Laos. Their life is full of knowledge relating to natural resource management. This documentary film, produced by Mekong Watch, introduces Kmhmu people's life and the actual situation surrounding the practice of shifting cultivation.

Language: Lao

Mushrooms collected at forests are important for the people in Laos. Various kinds of mushrooms are eaten. Attapue Provincial TV, 2005. (Lao, non-subtitle)

Language: Lao

"Where does the garbage come from?". Urbanization in Laos is creating waste problems. The cause of the problem is ourselves.

Language: Lao with English subtitles

The Bolaven Plateau in Laos is an important area. Many of the rivers of southern Laos start flowing from here. The area is thickly forested, providing people with rich natural resources. People often think of coffee as a unique characteristic of this area. Lao coffee has diversity, specific characteristics, and a traditional inheritance. Here, a traditional wisdom called "suan yian" for planting coffee is still practiced locally.

Language: Lao with English subtitles
Language: Lao with Japanese subtitles

Cultivation of bananas as an export crop under contract with Chinese companies is spreading rapidly in northern Laos. Many companies have adopted the so-called "1+4 system", where local villagers contribute land ("1"), and investors provide the funds, labor, market and technique ("4"). For the villagers, while they obtain cash income from the rent of the land, risks such as water and soil pollution, as well as health effects, are on the rise.


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