Analysis: How Vietnam came to embrace a new vision of the Mekong Delta’s future

On any list of places menaced by climate change, Vietnam’s broad and fertile Mekong Delta ranks near the top. And yet, as I wrote for Mongabay four years ago, rising seas and changing weather patterns are not the only threats to the delta’s fabled fecundity.

A spasm of dam building upstream in Laos, China and Vietnam’s own Central Highlands has suppressed the annual floods that until recently brought great quantities of nutritious sediments to the delta and flushed out brackish water. And then there’s institutional inertia: Vietnam has been slow to abandon a four-decade policy focus on maximizing rice production.

Keep reading

David Brown