The Mekong River is approximately 4,350 km long, and is the 12th longest river in the world and the 7th longest river in Asia. The Mekong River Basin drains 795,000 km2. Originating in the Tibetan Plateau, the Mekong River crosses southern China before passing Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, where the Mekong flows into the South China Sea.
The Mekong River Basin is home to a large variety of ethnic groups. Millions of people are heavily dependent on Mekong Basin fisheries for food and income. No wonder the Mekong River Basin supports the most important fresh-water fisheries in the world, with an estimated annual fish production in the basin of between 2.3 and 3 million tonnes annually. The freshwater environments of the Mekong River Basin support well over 500 species of fish, making the Mekong one of the most biodiverse rivers in the world.
Drainage Area: 795,000 km2. The Mekong Basin is home to the Mekong River, a large transboundary river with approximate length of 4350 km.
Population: 60+ million people live in the Mekong Basin
Jurisdiction: Borders six countries: China, Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Mouth is at the South China Sea. The four downstream counties have formed the Mekong River commission.
- The Mekong basin has 20,000 species of plants, 1200 species of birds, 800 species of reptiles and amphibians and 430 mammal species. There are an estimated 850 fish species found in the Mekong system (possibly more).
- Seasons are separated into wet and dry season. The wet season is characterized by intense rain and monsoons.
- Themost significant threat to basin ecology is the number of large and small-scale dams that have been and continue to be built on the Mekong.
- Deforestation has also contributed to a loss of biodiversity across the region.