With 60 million people depending on its aquatic resources for food and livelihoods, the lower Mekong River Basin is threatened, according to Nevada Today.
To conserve the Mekong and help support the communities who live beside it, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has just awarded a grant for a five-year initiative that will be led by the University of Nevada, Reno’s Global Water Center.
The initiative, “The Wonders of the Mekong: A Foundation for Sustainable Development and Resilience,” aims to preserve a functional, biodiverse and healthy Mekong River.
“Hydropower development on the Mekong is accelerating and could reduce fishery yields by 30 to 40 percent, equaling nearly 1 million tons annually,” said Zeb Hogan, lead researcher on the project and who has conducted research on the river for 20 years.
“This project is a great opportunity for us to share our knowledge and expertise on water and biodiversity issues with other institutions and learn from the experiences of experts in the Mekong River Basin to help protect the basin.”
With the grant from USAID, Hogan will lead a team of scientists from the University’s Global Water Center as well as other universities in the US and abroad.
“USAID is pleased to partner with the University on this important initiative that will help maintain the ecological, cultural, and economic integrity of one of the most important river and delta systems in the world,” Polly Dunford, USAID Cambodia’s Mission Director, said.