Trees a necessity for future of Lower Mekong

A new working paper by scientists from the World Agroforestry Centre investigates how agroforestry systems and non-forest trees could support ecosystem services in the Lower Mekong Basin.

The Lower Mekong Basin, which spans Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Viet Nam, is an area rich in biodiversity and of great economic importance, providing half of the world’s rice exports. Yet the soil, water and biodiversity of the Lower Mekong are and under threat from intensive agriculture and the impacts of climate change.

The study seeks to determine how agroforestry could support the ecosystem services needed for large-scale agriculture and to protect vulnerable populations who depend on this region for their livelihoods.

The current focus in the region is largely on its commercial prospects rather than sustainable management that can ensure resilience in the future. The study calls for better management of the trade-off between economic, ecological and social aspects of land use.

The authors urge all stakeholders – including governments from the 4 countries, commercial agribusinesses and those who depend on the land for subsistence - to consider trees as a necessity for all future uses of the basin.

Download the working paper: Are trees buffering ecosystems and livelihoods in agricultural landscapes of the Lower Mekong Basin?

Read the story on LPFN blog: Scattered Trees Buffer Ecosystems and Livelihoods in the Lower Mekong River Basin