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Livelihood impacts of water policy changes: Evidence from a coastal area of the Mekong river delta

Lookup NU author(s): Katherine Gallop, John Gowing


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The coastal zone of the Mekong river delta has experienced rapid economic and environmental changes during the last decade. Given the nature of the environment and the level of dependence on the natural resources base, policies for land and water were very influential in this process. The emphasis on rice created an imperative to control saline intrusion, which was realized through the construction of major engineering works over an extended period (1994-2000). The inertia built up by this process led to a divergence between policy and practice, and adversely affected the livelihoods of fishers and of those farmers who live on aquaculture. This prompted the government to rethink the rice-focus policy, in favor of a land and water policy for balanced rice and aquaculture production. This paper describes an analytical process, which was adopted to explore the feasibility of adopting the new policy for the balanced development of both rice and shrimp production and discusses the impact of the new policy on farmers' livelihoods.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hoanh CT, Tuong TP, Gallop KM, Gowing JW, Kam SP, Khiem NT, Phong ND

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Water Policy

Year: 2003

Volume: 5

Issue: 5-6

Pages: 475-488

Print publication date: 01/01/2003

ISSN (print): 1366-7017

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: IWA Publishing