The Wetland Book pp 1801-1812 | Cite as

Transboundary Mekong River Delta (Cambodia and Vietnam)

Reference work entry

Abstract

With 5.5 million hectares of land area, the Mekong River Delta is one of the largest river deltas in the world. Mangrove forests, Melaleuca freshwater swamps and seasonally inundated marshes are the three main wetland vegetation types. Wetlands of the Mekong River Delta support a rich biodiversity, especially of fishes and birds. Ecosystem products and services provided by wetlands of the Mekong River Delta are enormous, supporting the livelihood of more than 18 million people in Cambodia and Vietnam. Rapid economic development during the past decades, however, have resulted in large-scale wetland loss. As of 2016, there are 14 protected wetlands, covering 84,000 ha, approximately 1.5% of the total land area of the Mekong River Delta. Climate change and upstream hydropower development are the two most important threats to wetlands of the Mekong River Delta. The projected rates of sea level rise are among the highest of those of major world river deltas. There are as many as 130 hydropower projects, either existing, under construction or planned on the Mekong River main stem and its tributaries. The cumulative impacts of climate change and hydropower development to wetlands and people of the Mekong River Delta are still poorly understood.

Keywords

Climate change Hydropower development Mekong River Delta Sea level rise Wetland 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Crane FoundationBarabooUSA
  2. 2.University of Natural Science, Vietnam National UniversityHo Chi Minh CityVietnam

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