Krishna Bahadur KC | 京都大学 東南アジア地域研究研究所

Krishna Bahadur KC

Krishna Bahadur KC
Global, South and Southeast Asia
land use dynamics, climate change,
food systems and security

Krishna Bahadur KC

Exploring the contemporary resources use change in Cambodia.

My project is about writing a book on the sustainability of Cambodia’s Tonle Sap system. The Tonle Sap system feeds approximately 3 million people directly and provides income for millions more. The productivity of the system is sustained by an annual flood cycle, in which floodwaters of the Mekong fill the lake basin, increasing the size of the lake many times over, then receding. In the course of the annual flood, forests, grasslands, and agricultural fields in the floodplain of the lake are submerged for several months. This means that the hydrologic dynamics of the system interact with land-use dynamics, making for a complicated system that is impacted in many ways by human actions and will be vulnerable in many dimensions to climate change. The fishing people of the Tonle Sap live directly on the lake in floating villages or mobile communities at the shifting lake margin. Lake fisheries management has recently been granted entirely to these communities, with a ministerial decree that abolished a former system of large privately held fishing concessions. The Tonle Sap is, therefore, not only a prime example of a freshwater fishery but also a model of community control and management of a freshwater fishery. These attributes make it a rich source of information about freshwater fisheries management and their responses to climate change.

I have been interested in the Tonle Sap system since I first got the opportunity to visit there as a JSPS visiting fellow in 2010 from CSEAS. That time I learned a little bit about its ecology and the livelihood of the people on the lake. After returning from CSEAS and joining the University of Guelph, I kept trying to work on understanding the social and ecological implications of the Tonle Sap fishery under climate change. I got another opportunity to work with a group of people from Canada, US, and France on mainlining the productivity and income of the Tonle Sap system in the face of climate change. We researched a couple of issues, such as 1. We explored fisheries in the lake through fishers’ perceptions: (KC et al., 2017). 2. We compared the economic impact of global change on fishing and non-fishing households (Teh et al., 2019). 3. We assessed the Fishers’ ability and willingness to adapt to environmental change (KC et al., 2019). 4. We evaluated Community Fishery Management using fishers’ perceptions (KC et al., 2020). During my stay at CSEAS this time, I plan to summarize the findings from these publications, including the work carried out by various scholars from Kyoto University, and prepare a synthesized book on the sustainability of Tonle Sap.