Water resources development -- Cost effectiveness, Natural resource management, Environmental policy
Governments in the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) face decisions that involve trade-offs between, for example, the economic benefits from hydropower generation and potentially irreversible negative impacts on the ecosystems that provide livelihoods and food security to the rural poor. These decisions involve complex problems that are both poorly understood in scientific terms and subject to rapid, potentially catastrophic change over time. A comprehensive, whole systems approach that adequately addresses the risks and uncertainties involved is necessary, but this is a daunting challenge for researchers, decision makers, and managers. They must develop the capacity to plan, coordinate, and implement a program that improves sustainable societal well-being across national boundaries in the face of these uncertainties, which include impacts on native capture fisheries, biodiversity, wetlands and other biological resources, ecosystem services (i.e., the ecological characteristics, functions, or processes that directly or indirectly contribute to human well-being), and indigenous cultures and ways of life.
Costanza, R., I. Kubiszewski, P. Paquet, J. King, S. Halimi, H. Sanguanngoi, N.L. Bach, R. Frankel, J. Ganaseni, A. Intralawan, and D. Morell. 2011. Planning Approaches for Hydropower Development in the Lower Mekong Basin. Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Portland State University, Portland, OR. http://www.pdx.edu/sustainability/lower-mekong-report