These are all inter-related and mediated by forest catchments and watersheds, which generate and capture rain, and regulate the timing and flow of water and sediment into the larger river systems, their associated flood plains, and ground water. Sediment, picked up and carried by rivers and their tributaries and re-distributed downstream is a key factor in maintaining the region’s agricultural plains and deltas and its fish ecologies. The dynamics of these various water ecosystems are also critical to supporting the region’s unique biodiversity.
For four of the Lower Mekong countries—with the exception of land-locked Laos—coastal (salt) waters also contribute to economies and food security by supporting local livelihoods, sizeable fishing and seafood processing industries, and tourism.
Source: FAO FIGIS database, downloaded 28 September 2016. View source. Created by ODM, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.