Energy Security in Southeast Asia? Let’s start with the Future

The Fukushima nuclear disaster demonstrated the magnitude of devastation when energy security is prioritized over human security. No doubt, the task of balancing the two needs is immense and difficult trade-offs need to be made at different times. But policy decisions in these two domains cannot be made without adequate consultation with the public, consideration for their preferences, and a [...]

New Plantation ~ New Hope: Mangrove Plantations for Survivable Societies and Future Earth

The Richest Ecosystems at the Equator are Under Pressure ~   Mangroves are plant formations that shelter coastal areas in tropical and sub-tropical nations and are the richest ecosystems at the equator due to their habitat as ecoton between the marine and terrestrial environments (Macintosh, 1996). For centuries, mangroves and their ecosystems have significantly contributed to the [...]

Will the Mekong Survive Globalization?

The Mystery of the Mekong River During the cool and dry season of 2001, I sailed down the Mekong River on a 200-kilometer journey beginning in southern China, passing through Burmese and Lao territory on my right and left – a designated economic quadrangle “which has not yet succeeded in becoming a hub of economic activities” – eventually reaching the Golden Triangle in Chiang Saen [...]

Community Forestry and the Stewardship of Tropical Forests in Asia

         Mark Poffenberger, editorKeepers of the Forest: Land Management Alternatives in Southeast AsiaWest Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A. / Kumarian Press / 1990 M. Victor, C. Lang, and Jeff Bornemeier, editorsCommunity Forestry at a Crossroads: Reflections and Future Directions in the Development of Community ForestryBangkok / RECOFTC Report No. 16 / 1998 Char Miller, editor“Forest [...]

“Community Forest” and Thai Rural Society

         Anan GanjanapanLocal Control of Land and Forest: Cultural Dimensions of Resource Management in Northern ThailandChiang Mai / Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development, Faculty of Social Sciences, Chiang Mai University / 2000 Shigetomi Shin’ichiTai noson no kaihatsu to jumin soshiki(Village organization for rural development in Thailand)Tokyo / The Institute [...]

Trends in Ecological Studies of West Malesian Rainforests

        West Malesia is a term used in botanical geography, indicating the western half of the Malay Archipelago, including peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Bali, and surrounding smaller islands. This paper focuses on ecological studies carried out in West Malesia (though studies from other areas will also be mentioned) to illustrate how trends in tropical rainforest research [...]

Garbage Nightmares: The Philippines

Forum on Garbage and Solid Waste Management, University of the Philippines, Diliman, March 4-8, 2002 This discussion was organized by the editors of the UP Forum, a popular monthly newspaper of the University of the Philippines community, to sustain public interest in two related issues. The first was the tragedy in Payatas village, where a mountain of garbage collapsed into a community located [...]

Mainstream Development— The Mekong

Plans to make the Mekong navigable to bigger boats by blasting rapids and shoals threaten to end a way of life for thousands of villagers. The sky rumbles in the distance and cold wind blasts 59-year-old Malee Luangvises as he looks up at the thunderclouds above his village by the Mekong River in Chiang Rai’s Chiang Khong District. The coming of rain in the summer should make a fisherman such [...]

Chao Phya: A River Fraught with Danger

Sunisa Soomprasert and Nattaya Binuma are not relatives. In fact, they have never met and live 170 kilometres apart. Still, the two women share a lifeline of sorts, having been born and raised on the banks of the Chao Phya River. They also have one other thing in common: they know all too well the pain and anguish of having to share the river with factories. At her house in Angthong province, [...]

Vietnam: Is Sustainable Mangrove Management Possible?

         Vietnam’s mangrove resources have decreased rapidly in area and quality during the on-going period of Doi Moi (renovation reforms), which started in 1986. Uncontrolled wood extraction, paddy area expansion, mining activities, construction of dikes, dams and roads, and—most importantly—commercial shrimp farming have all been factors in the rapid loss of mangrove. Due to the [...]

Ecotourism in Vietnam: Potential and Reality

         With 13,000 floral species and over 15,000 faunal species, three newly discovered big animal species, and a ratio of country/world species of 6.3%, Vietnam has enormous tourism—particularly ecotourism—potential. In fact, since 1986, when Doi Moi (renovation reforms) began the shift from a centrally planned to a socialist-oriented market, or multi-sectoral, economy, tourism [...]

Constraints on People’s Participation In Forest Management in Thailand

         Local communities have long managed and used forests for their own livelihood. Since the central government took over forest management from the people, however, local communities have suffered and forest management has failed for lack of community participation. It is the intention of this paper to analyze the constraints on people’s participation in managing the forest. [...]

Nature Preservation and International Finance

As an anthropologist on a large consulting team for the World Bank-funded Forest Protection and Barren Lands Development Project in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in early 1996, I was responsible for conveying the reality of indigenous ethnic minority peoples to those designing the project. In part, this concerned the issue of resettlement, since the area’s people have a long history of [...]