The Lancang-Mekong River significantly affects the livelihood of residents in the basin as well as the lives of people in other regions of the world in terms of great development potential and its economic and ecological values. In the meanwhile, the river attracts the attention of countries in the basin and the international community because it raises potential for international conflicts. The Lancang-Mekong River leaves China from Xishuangbanna and the ecosystem status in Xishuangbanna constitutes one of the top concerns related to the basin. The study comprehensively evaluates the status of freshwater ecosystem health of the Lancang River in Xishuangbanna for the first time, with reference to aspects of ecosystem vitality, ecosystem services, as well as governance and stakeholders, firstly, linking the ecosystem and the benefits it provides as well as human activities as an organic whole. The methodology used, Freshwater Health Index, is newly developed and constitutes revision of the first attempt of its usage. Basically, the freshwater ecosystem in the studied area and period remains healthy according to the research, and the ecosystem is considered to be capable of providing sufficient services and benefits to meet the economic and societal development demands. Recommendations are proposed for more sustainable local freshwater management and utilization accordingly.
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