Literature Analysis Challenges to Sustainable Development in the Mekong Delta: Regional and national policy issues and research needs

The purpose of this Report on conditions in the Mekong Delta, consisting of four detailed chapters that address flooding and salinity management, livelihoods and resource use strategies, fisheries policy, and competition for water use, is to set out the background to how a transition to sustainable development in the Mekong region might be achieved.  Indeed, it is the purpose of the Sumernet Programme, under which these studies have been conducted, to catalyse this transition. The chapters presented here review the current state of knowledge on key challenges to sustainable development in this dynamic and productive, yet vulnerable, region of the Mekong Delta. From a national perspective the Mekong Delta is crucial to the economic development of Vietnam, in terms of rice, fruit and aquatic products, and for other natural resource-based livelihoods. From a regional perspective the delta is often perceived as vulnerable to the transboundary impacts of wider developments in the Mekong Basin. Livelihoods in the delta are strongly influenced by regional environmental processes, especially those concerning water resources, and are integrated into regional economies through trade relations. This report brings together an analysis of how livelihoods, economic development and natural resources management in the delta have been influenced by national policy changes, integration into the international market economy and concomitant regional processes to understand the current state of knowledge on key challenges for sustainable development.

Whilst the focus of the chapters is on the Vietnamese Mekong Delta, many of the issues analysed in this report are pertinent to other parts of the Mekong Region that confront similar sustainability challenges associated with intensification of resource use, competition over scarce resources, resource degradation, international commodity chains, trade networks, cooperation for natural resources use at multiple levels, decentralization, and vulnerability to natural hazards and environmental change.
Be, T. T.; Sinh, B. T.; Miller, F. (Eds.). Challenges to sustainable development in the Mekong Delta: Regional and national policy issues and research needs: Literature analysis. Bangkok, Thailand: The Sustainable Mekong Research Network (Sumernet).