The development of a framework of ecological importance is envisaged, which maps out the relative contributions of river reaches to a wide range of ecosystem services. This could be a tool for river basin planning and water resource management, baseline information for impact assessment of infrastructure (for example, hydropower and irrigation), and for protecting ecologically important areas. The authors asked a diverse group of 109 river basin planners, and water and natural resource management professionals in the region whether a framework of ecological importance would support their activities, and which river ecosystem services are most important to be assessed. The findings allow prioritisation of river ecosystem services to be assessed and mapped according to importance in different river reaches and sub-basins within the region. The locations of ranked threats and pressures on the river systems allow indication of river health and integrity in these sub-basins.
Meynell, P.-J., M. Metzger, and N. Stuart
6 June 2021
Greater Mekong region; rivers; ecosystem services; river reach mapping