Laos grapples with its own green monsters

The landlocked country of Laos is facing environmental threats of destructive hydropower dams and illegal logging. My story for UCANews.

Fishing in the Mekong in Laos. Photo: Chrissusieking / Flickr

Attapeu, a province in the southeast of Laos, is not a place that draws much attention. But a recent illegal logging scheme, in which a convoy of 27 trucks tried to cross into Vietnam, shone a light on it.

With illegal logging being a major problem in the country for years, the scheme itself was far from unexpected. But the consequences were. First it resulted in the removal of Nam Viyaketh as the governor of Attapeu. Then in late November the new governor assured the public that the people involved will be prosecuted, a possible game-changer in a country where illegal logging often goes unpunished.

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