Biodiversity & Conservation in SE Asia

Conservation and Development in Cambodia: Exploring frontiers of change in nature, state and society
Sarah Milne (Editor), Sango Mahanty (Editor)

Written by leading authorities from Australasia, Europe and North America, this book examines the dynamic conflicts and synergies between nature conservation and human development in contemporary Cambodia. After suffering conflict and stagnation in the late twentieth century, Cambodia has experienced an economic transformation in the last decade, with growth averaging almost ten per cent per year, partly through investment from China. However this rush for development has been coupled with tremendous social and environmental change which, although positive in some aspects, has led to rising inequality and profound shifts in the condition, ownership and management of natural resources. High deforestation rates, declining fish stocks, biodiversity loss, and alienation of indigenous and rural people from their land and traditional livelihoods are now matters of increasing local and international concern. The book explores the social and political dimensions of these environmental changes in Cambodia, and of efforts to intervene in and ‘improve’ current trajectories for conservation and development. It provides a compelling analysis of the connections between nature, state and society, pointing to the key role of grassroots and non-state actors in shaping Cambodia’s frontiers of change. These insights will be of great interest to scholars of Southeast Asia and environment-development issues in general.

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Multi-level Forest Governance in Asia: Concepts, Challenges and the Way Forward
Dicky Sofjan et al. (Author) and Narumol Aphinives. Justine Vaz (Editor)

A fresh look and comparative perspectives from various Asian countries on multi-level forest governance. This book presents the remarkable diversity of policy implementation in forest resource management in 14 Asian countries: five in South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan), six in South-east Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos) and three in East Asia (China, Korea and Japan). It explores how effective forest governance can be achieved by bridging multi-level outcomes. Further, this volume highlights the importance of context in defining flexible policies for policy makers, development practitioners and the academic communities of these countries. It also provides assistance to government officers, NGOs and academics based on relevant empirical information on resource management.

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Wild Profusion: Biodiversity Conservation in an Indonesian Archipelago
Celia Lowe

Wild Profusion tells the fascinating story of biodiversity conservation in Indonesia in the decade culminating in the great fires of 1997-98–a time when the country’s environment became a point of concern for social and environmental activists, scientists, and the many fishermen and farmers nationwide who suffered from degraded environments and faced accusations that they were destroying nature. Celia Lowe argues that biodiversity, in 1990s Indonesia, implied a particular convergence of nature, nation, science, and identity that made Indonesians’ mapping of the concept distinct within transnational practices of nature conservation at the time. Lowe recounts the efforts of Indonesian biologists to document the species of the Togean Islands, to “develop” Togean people, and to turn this archipelago off the coast of Sulawesi into a national park. Indonesian scientists aspired to a conservation biology that was both internationally recognizable and politically effective in the Indonesian context. Simultaneously, Lowe describes the experiences of Togean Sama people who had their own understandings of nature and nation. To place Sama and scientist into the same conceptual frame, Lowe studies Sama ideas in the context of transnational thought rather than local knowledge. In tracking the practice of conservation biology in a postcolonial setting, Wild Profusion explores what in nature can count as important and for whom.

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Managing Coastal and Inland Waters: Pre-existing Aquatic Management Systems in Southeast Asia
Kenneth Ruddle (Editor) and Arif Satria (Editor)

Besides the erroneous assumption that tropical fisheries are ‘open access’, the cases demonstrate that pre-existing systems (1) are concerned with the community of fishers and ensuring community harmony and continuity; (2) involve flexible, multiple and overlapping rights adapted to changing needs and circumstances; (3) that fisheries are just one component of a community resource assemblage and depend on both the good management of linked upstream ecosystems and risk management to ensure balanced nutritional resources of the community; and (4) pre-existing systems are greatly affected by a constellation of interacting external pressures.

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