Enhancing water quality through the better land management of degraded highland regions in northern Lao PDR
In contrast to farmers in lowlands, residents of upper watersheds tend to be remote, poor and of minority groups with histories of marginalization. Most of them cannot afford inputs to remediate the continuous decline in agricultural production due to land degradation, placing their livelihoods further at risk.
Upland farmers are often blamed for the negative impacts on downstream communities. Off-site impacts include:
– the reduction of life span of reservoirs and other structures through sedimentation,
– water quality deterioration,
– degradation of downstream aquatic ecosystems and a decline in fisheries production.
All contribute to a deterioration in the livelihoods of downstream communities.