chapter  8
14 Pages

Environmental change, ecosystem degradation and the value of wetland rehabilitation in the Mekong Delta

ByDUONG VAN NI, ROGER SAFFORD AND EDWARD MALTBY

The Mekong, one of the world’s great rivers, flows from its source on the Tibetan Plateau through, or along the borders of, Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Thailand and Cambodia before reaching the sea via a delta covering five million hectares, 80 per cent of which lies in Vietnam (Le Dien Duc 1989). The rich and relatively accessible natural resources of the Mekong Delta have made it one of the prime target areas for economic (principally agricultural) development in Vietnam during recent decades (Netherlands Engineering Consultants 1993; Vietnam General Statistical Office 1996, 1998). This development has involved land, water and human resources, and so inevitably has altered the delta’s environment.