The Mekong: Biophysical Environment of an International River Basin (Aquatic Ecology)

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9780123740267: The Mekong: Biophysical Environment of an International River Basin (Aquatic Ecology)
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The Mekong is the most controversial river in Southeast Asia, and increasingly the focus of international attention. It flows through 6 counties, China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Viet Nam. The 4 downstream countries have formed the Mekong River Commission to promote sustainable development of the river and many of their people depend on it for their subsistence. It is possibly the largest freshwater fishery in the world, and the Mekong waters support rice agriculture in the delta in Viet Nam (which produces about 40 per cent of that country's food) as well as in Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. China is now building the first large mainstream dam on the river, and has proposals for several more. These dams are likely to affect the downstream countries. Several of the downstream countries also have plans for large scale hydropower and irrigation development which could also impact the river. This book will provide a solid overview of the biophysical environment of the Mekong together with a discussion of the possible impacts, biophysical, economic and social, of some possible development scenarios. It is intended to provide a technical basis which can inform the growing political and conservation debate about the future of the Mekong River, and those who depend on it. It is aimed at river ecologists, geographers, environmentalists and development specialists both in the basin and (especially) outside for whom access to this material is most difficult. This book will be the first comprehensive treatment of the Mekong system. This title presents the first comprehensive overview of all aspects of the Mekong River system. It deals with a regionally critical ecosystem and one under threat. The Mekong supports the world's largest freshwater fishery and provides water underpinning a major regional rice paddy system. This work presents the authoritative findings of the Mekong River Commission's research for a wider audience for the first time outside of limited distribution reports.

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