• Mart A. StewartEmail author
  • Peter A. Coclanis
Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 45)


The Mekong Delta of Vietnam is one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world. The Mekong River fans out over an area of about 40,000 km2, and over the course of many millennia has produced a region of fertile alluvial soils and constant flows of energy. Today, about a fourth of the Delta is under rice cultivation, making this area one of the premier rice granaries in the world. The Delta has always proven a difficult environment to manipulate, however, and because of population pressures, increasing acidification of soils, and changes in the Mekong’s flow, environmental problems have intensified. The confluence of agriculture and economy in the region with larger flows of commodities and capital over time has also had an impact on the region: For example, its reemergence in recent decades as a major rice-exporting area has linked it inextricably to global markets and their vicissitudes. And most recently, the potential for sea level increases because of global warming has added a new threat, one that makes the Delta a place where local, regional, and global environmental changes are dramatically converging.


Rice Cultivation Global Environmental Change Mekong Delta Flooding Pattern Difficult Environment 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryWestern Washington UniversityBellinghamUSA
  2. 2.Department of HistoryUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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