The rich ecosystem of the Mekong River has supported dense human populations for millennia. Today, traversing six nations, the river underwrites the livelihood of 70 million people. In Cambodia, the river’s watershed, sustained by the unique flood-pulse system of the Mekong’s connection to the Tonle Sap Lake, Southeast Asia's largest fresh water body, provides ecosystem services and rich areas of biodiversity for farming, fishing and other productive activities for nearly two million inhabitants.
Following the collapse of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, Cambodia’s path to modern urbanization began with the repopulation of cities in the early 1980’s and accelerated over the past 30 years from massive rural to urban migration. As regions in Cambodia become more connected to the global economy, employment opportunities in cities have expanded and natural resource-dependent livelihoods in rural areas face new economic, social and environmental challenges.
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