The People’s Republic of China (PRC) achieved unprecedented economic growth between 1986 and 2005. One of the unintended consequences was severe environmental degradation, especially the pollution of water bodies. The government’s plans to contain water pollution had not kept pace with the rate of agricultural, industrial, and urban growth.
Accounting for 30% of Viet Nam’s natural forest area in 2005, the Central Highlands Region is a biodiversity hotspot and the watershed of several important rivers. However, it was also the country’s second poorest region at the time, with poverty levels as high as 57% among the ethnic minority groups that made up 23% of its population.