The floodplains of the Mekong River support productive fisheries, aquaculture, agricultural and tourism sectors, supporting the livelihoods of local people. Population growth and urban sprawl is resulting in a sharp increase in new infrastructure, including the development of national roads to link large towns and cities. Annual flooding in the wet season and the delicate basin ecosystem need to be considered in order for the Lower Mekong Basin countries to develop sustainably. Often, roads are built on levee systems that negatively impact the hydraulics of the natural flood cycle, such as acting as dam systems by containing flood water.
The numerous wetland areas provide essential economic, social, and cultural benefits to local communities and part of our work aims to ensure sustainable urban development, in order to protect the natural assets of the Mekong Basin.