Deforested hillsides in Laos.
Photo: J. Ferguson

16.06.2014

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Integrated Watershed Management represents an option for the management of water catchment areas. However, what may sound good in theory often proves to be very difficult when it comes to practical implementation, as an example from the Lower Mekong Region shows.

The rice farmers in the community of Hoa Le, in Vietnam’s central highlands, agree that water scarcity on the one hand and floods on the other are among the greatest challenges that farming in the region has to cope with. However, they realise that they are doing well in comparison to the people elsewhere in the valley. The head of the community, who has to attend the talks for official reasons, is smiling happily, for after all, the government built a dyke in the region some years back in order to prevent flooding. In addition, a reservoir for rice paddy irrigation has been enlarged, and the canals have been refurbished.

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