The Sunshine Coast Natural History Society (SCNHS) presents an evening with Brian Carson tonight (Jan. 6) at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre.
Carson will be on hand to present a talk on natural resource management on the Mekong River in Laos.
As a watershed management consultant, Carson has spent over 11 years living and working in Indonesia, Nepal, Bhutan, China and, more recently, Laos.
He has worked for Ford Foundation, IDRC, CIDA, United Nations, Swiss and Dutch governments and also with non-profit NGOs like World Neighbours. Presently he lives in Roberts Creek and his contracts take him throughout the province.
While he considers himself to be a physical scientist, he is aware that many apparently bright technical solutions have a dark, economic, ecological, social or political underbelly. His presentation will look at the landscape and people of rural Laos with a focus on the Theun Hinboun hydroelectric project. While the hardships to villagers and environmental damage resulting from the project are readily apparent, it is still unwise to issue a blanket condemnation of dams in the Mekong Basin. With increasing population pressure and limited economic opportunity for rural people, building dams may, in the long run, have fewer negative economic, social and environmental consequences than doing nothing. It is hoped that this presentation will spark debate about what, if anything, should be the role of Canadians overseas.
The meeting gets underway at 7:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served; all are welcome to attend.