Rebecca DeCourcy - Master of Environment (Advanced) Thesis Outstanding Achievement

Rebecca DeCourcy, Merici College Sustainability Officer

We congratulate Rebecca DeCourcy, Sustainability Officer on completion of her Master of Environment (Advanced) Thesis attaining a grade of 91 (High Distinction).

The thesis is entitled Food Security on the Lower Mekong Basin: A Comparative Study of Agricultural Policy in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Here is the abstract:

In the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB), agricultural development since the 1980s has seen great transformation, with an increasing focus on modernisation and commercialisation. This has been accompanied by plummeting poverty rates and indicators of improving food security. However, food insecurity remains a notable issue for the high proportion of rural poor, whose livelihoods are threatened with the onset of climate change and the intensification of upstream hydraulic development along the Mekong river and its tributaries. As such, this research examines the role of agricultural policy in supporting food security objectives in two countries of the LMB: Vietnam and Cambodia. It finds that in Vietnam, agricultural policies are closely aligned with food security policy, and that agricultural policy is reflective of the objectives of food security in a broader sense. In contrast, it finds that Cambodian agricultural policy and food security policy have inconsistent objectives, and that agricultural policy fails to address the objectives of food security in a meaningful, holistic way. These findings have important implications for food security in the LMB moving forward, suggesting that improved food security for the rural poor is not an assured outcome of agricultural development. 

Bec is currently seeking to publish her thesis so that her findings can be accessed and used to improve the agricultural policy context in the LMB.

We congratulate Bec on this wonderful academic achievement.

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