[Mekong Eye News Digest] To dig or not to dig: The controversy surrounding Thailand's mega canal - Mekong Eye

2020-06-25 251 Mekong Eye

[Mekong Eye News Digest] For centuries promoters of maritime commerce have proposed a canal across the Kra Isthmus in Southern Thailand. The proposal has gained renewed interest of late as growing congestion within the Straits of Malacca is creating a bottleneck for regional and global shipping. A Thai Canal would not only provide relief, but reduce sailing time through Southeast Asia by two-three days. The proposed canal’s route, however, is feared to generate considerable environmental and social devastation, especially to critical habitat for endangered wildlife on both coasts and in protected areas within one of the world’s biological diversity hotspots. With the help of Chinese interests in Thailand, the project has gained sufficient traction for Thailand’s Parliament to form a committee to evaluate the canal's feasibility.