The scientific article “Understanding the impact of hydropower developments in the context of upstream–downstream relations in the Mekong river basin” (C. Kuenzer, I. Campbell, M. Roch, P. Leinenkugel, T. Vo Quoc, S. Dech) has been chosen as the “Outstanding Article” of the year 2013, and has been awarded the "Sustainability Science Best Paper Award".
In their work, the authors illuminate the complex upstream-downstream relationships and the challenges of land and water resources management in the Mekong River Basin. The Mekong Basin is home to 72 million inhabitants from six riparian countries. Its area is 2.5 times the size of Germany. The Mekong is the life line of the region: people live with and from the frequent flood pulse changes during the rainy- and the dry season and cover 90% of their protein demand with fish from the river.
At the same time the complex ecosystem is under threat by existing and planned hydropower dams and further regulatory measures. The scientific article has been published in preparation for a new project, which will start at DFD of DLR in 2015. In the context of the CATCH-MEKONG project funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF, one focus will be to exploit the potential of Earth Observation data to investigate the Mekong Basin’s resource dynamics over time.