Special Seminar: Sustainable natural resources management in Southeast Asia: Global perspectives and local actions

Date & Time: 2022.Jul.22 (Fri) 15:30-17:00
Venue: 3rd Floor, Mid-size Meeting Room Inamori Bldg

Presentation 1: Abstruct & Bio (PDF)
Interplay between climate change, land use and food system: global perspective and local examples

Professor Dr. Krishna Bahadur KC
CSEAS visiting fellow

Climate change and food security are major interdependent challenges as climate change makes producing food more difficult, while increasing agricultural activities will further intensify climate change. Therefore, we must adapt by creating a food system that does not compromise ecosystem services such as biodiversity conservation and carbon sequestration. Much of the conversation about “feeding the future” focuses on whether we will be able to produce enough food for everyone in the year 2100. This presentation will talk about two sidestepped topics: Whether we are producing the right kinds of food for all of us to be healthy and whether climate change can create new opportunities for expanding farming areas. It will then compare this to the local level, where people still struggle with basic livelihood strategies. For example, at Tonle Sap Lake of Cambodia, there are many uncertainties about the scale of agricultural expansion and its effect on the environment as land transformation around the Tonle Sap Lake continues because many fishers do not believe they will be able to continue their livelihoods as fishers. This sends us a message that location specific sustainable resource management polices need to be developed and implemented to meet the nutritional needs of the world’s growing population and maintain planetary health.

Dr. Krishna Bahadur KC is an Adjunct Professor at the Department of Geography, Environment, and Geomatics at the University of Guelph, Canada. He is an agricultural geographer with expertise in agriculture, natural resources management, geographic information systems (GIS), and remote sensing. Specifically, KC’s research addresses local and global environmental change, the economics of land use and management practices, climate change, and food security. Most recently, Dr. KC has also been working on maintaining productivity and incomes in the Tonle Sap fishery in the face of climate change. Dr. KC’s research activities were also widely covered by media like CBC, CTV, and Reuters, among others.

Presentation 2: Abstruct & Bio (PDF)
Rubber Industry Sustainable Development and Responsible Investment in Laos

Professor Dr. Bounthong BOUAHOM
CSEAS visiting fellow

Rubber booming in Laos during period of 2005 – 2015 due to the high price and increasing demand for natural rubber was one of investment promotion together with hydroelectric dam and mining.  Foreign Direct Investment – FDI in rubber production from China in the Northern, Thailand in the Central and Vietnam in the Southern parts of the country by land concession grants from the government and provinces played an important role and significantly contributed to the industry development. 

The majority of the rubber production areas in Laos is the concession by foreign companies comprises of about 70%, and only 30% owned by smallholders. Therefore, the rubber production also causes many issues on land, labor and environment

The rubber production comes to the country too fast and the government at the different level were not ready and has not well prepared in advance for this development.

The rubber management and governance in the country is still weak. The responsible authority related to rubber not well developed and coordinated. The Lao Rubber Association has been recently established, but not yet well organized and functioned.  The foreign investment in rubber and rubber import countries play crucial role in rubber sustainable development. The presentation will highlight the challenges in rubber industry development in Laos and attempts to make policy recommendations to the government for better governance and fair benefits sharing among stakeholders in the sector.

Dr. Bounthong BOUAHOM has extensive experience and long-standing employment history with Lao Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. He was Deputy DG and subsequently held DG position in the Ministry’s National Agriculture and Research Institute (NAFRI), addressing agricultural and forestry research strategy and leading the implementation of 4 research programs: agriculture biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, productivity improvement, climate change adaptation and agriculture policy research. He has co-authored several papers, the most recent of which we “Enhancing Sustainable Development on Diverse Agriculture in Lao PDR (2005). He has been elected to be a member of TWAS – The World Academy of Sciences in 2019 in Agriculture.