The livelihoods of people living in tropical coastal deltas are being undermined by multiple insidious trends. Historically, deltas have attracted large numbers of people because they combine highly fertile land, multiple marine and freshwater resources, and rich biodiversity. Deltas are often the national ‘breadbasket’ or ‘rice bowl’.
However, deltas face growing threats to their integrity and productivity. Threats include the impacts of growing urbanization; over-extraction of groundwater; agricultural intensification; alterations of flow paths and floodplains; upstream water consumption and pollution; trapping of sediments; sea level rise, the effect of which is amplified by sinking land levels; and extreme events such as river flooding and tidal surges.
The CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) and the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF), have identified potential solutions that could reverse the negative trends and achieve positive future outcomes. Learn more about them here.
Photo credits: Ian Taylor/WLE greater Mekong