Sustainable development in the Lower Mekong Basin Cambodia
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- Department of Geography 
Dette er en model som simulerer sosiale, økologiske og økonomiske konsekvenser av vannkraft utbygging i Mekong regionen i Kambodsja. Modellen er basert på Systemdynamikk og er bygget i programvaren Vensim fra Ventana Systems. Oppgave teksten som følger ved beskriver modellen, metoden og simuleringsresulteter, og drøfting av forskjellige policy alternativ.Across the entire globe energy demand is rising, and more specifically demand for electricity, as more and more developing countries are going through a process of modernization and industrialization. This is placing an increased pressure on our ecosystems and natural resources. If this development is not managed properly it can cause ecological collapse and inflict severe costs on both nature and society. In the case of Cambodia, it is a country that is currently undergoing such a development. With regards to hydropower the Mekong-river still represents a largely untapped resource. Currently there are several hydropower dams under construction or undergoing plans for construction in Cambodia (Open Development 2016). With the construction of new electricity generating capacity comes both opportunities and challenges. The Mekong-river basin is home to the largest inland fishery in the world and it supports about 10 million people in the region living of subsistence. The building of hydropower dams along the river represents a threat to the fish stock since it blocks fish migration. Dams along the river also slows down the sediment flow and contributes to land erosion. Crop yield will also be effected by the trapping of sediments since less nutrients will be carried to fields down-stream. However, increased supply of affordable electricity can also promote welfare and economic growth within the country. Access to electricity is beneficial to health and education, by providing a substitute to firewood, coal and kerosene for cocking and lighting. It also helps to improve the information flow, further supporting educational purposes. There are several tradeoffs that must be considered. First is the tradeoff between the natural capital that is already there in force of the ecosystem, represented through the fish-stock, transportation along rivers and the forest, and the building up of physical capital such as dams and roads. Another tradeoff to consider is the tradeoff between different technologies for electricity generation, as they all come with different costs and benefits. Given this context I will build a model using system dynamics methodology to give a better understanding of the tradeoffs and how we can achieve sustainable growth and prevent ecological collapse.