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Building resilience in South and Southeast Asian mega-deltas

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Richard WaltonORCiD, Dr Tarun Bisht, Professor Andy Large, Professor Andrew HendersonORCiD, Dr Anh Vu


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As well as being riverine landforms where sediment derived from the catchment reaching coastal areas is deposited in vast amounts, tropical mega-deltas in South and Southeast Asia comprise social-ecological systems wherein human populations depend on riverine processes and dynamics for their livelihoods. Human occupants in turn influence the natural ecosystem through their activities. As home for some 250 million people and acting as an important food producer for the region and more globally, it is vital that these social-ecological systems are resilient to climate change effects and rising human influences on the system. We use the transboundary Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta in Bangladesh and India, and the Red River Delta and the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam as case study examples to illustrate these intertwined complexities. We highlight four key questions which need addressing to determine trajectories of change and inform how inclusive governance of these social-ecological systems is best tackled to optimize mega-delta societal resilience[MS1] [MS2] [RW3] . [MS1]This is quite specifically about social inequality, which I was not expecting at all from reading the title and abstract thus far. Is this the main topic of the chapter (I guess I will find out as I read), but if it is I suggest making the inequality framing much clearer in title and throughout abstract. I agree it's a very important part of just and sustainable future deltas, but how does it relate to resilience? Does resilience require equality? Unfortunately, I think there are examples of highly resilient and highly unequal systems... [MS2]After reading on I come back to this. I don't know whether this particular point should be stressed here. You raise several questions, the fourth really gets and this and the second and third are somewhat related. But I think you have equally important points to make about forms of governance for resilience, as well as change and interactions among the many social and environmental components operating in and around deltas across scales. [RW3]I have made a slight edit to not be so specific, but have left largely the same.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Walton RE, Salgado J, Bisht T, Large A, Henderson ACG, Renaud FG, Hensengerth O, Van PDT, Cremin E, Murshed SB, Chowdhury AIA, Le H, Connor J, Vu A, Banerjee S

Editor(s): Thoms, M.; Fuller, I.

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Resilience and Riverine Landscapes

Year: 2023

Pages: 425-444

Online publication date: 01/12/2023

Acceptance date: 19/09/2022

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-323-91716-2.00025-X

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780323917162