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Increased agriculture and aquaculture production in the Mekong Delta during the last two decades has improved farmers' income, national export earnings and reduced poverty, but has also impacted on the environment and ecosystem services (ES) of importance to peoples' livelihoods and well-being. Through group discussions, interviews and questionnaires, this study assesses stakeholders' perceptions of the status and trends of ES in the Mekong Delta and how these have been influenced by agriculture development. 15 of 24 ES were assessed to be impacted negatively by agriculture intensification, and especially supporting and regulating ES (SRES). Only a few provisioning ES (PrES), related to farming, were assessed to be in a good and stable supply, because of human interventions to create favorable conditions for these ES. Among the ten highest ranked ES, eight belonged to PrES and two belonged to SRES. There was a positive correlation between rank and awareness of ES. The supply of most SRES was perceived to be in a low and declining status and assessed to be in a high need for improved management. Some ES, such as pest-control had been complemented with human-made substitutes, such as pesticides, which however sometimes weakened rather than strengthened the ES. Cultural ES (CES) were often ranked lower and of less management concern than the other groups of ES. It is concluded that future agriculture strategies need a more balanced management of ES for a long-term production of healthy food and increased resilience of the Mekong Delta to cope with future challenges, such as climate change and upstream dams. Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.


Håkan Berg, Thai Huynh Phuong Lan, Chau Thi Da, Nguyen Thanh Tam. Stakeholders assessment of status and trends of ecosystem services in the Mekong Delta for improved management of multifunctional wetlands. Journal of environmental management. 2023 Jul 15;338:117807

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PMID: 37037143

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