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Companion modeling & watershed management in Northern Thailand : the importance of local networks

Abstract : In the northern watershed area of Thailand, the increase in watershed resources degradation due to the combination of population and economic growths led to diverse controls and responsible agents. Thai government has put substantial effort to empower and involve local people in resource governance, to eradicate the problem and mitigate the conflict of interest. However, the people participation does not progress beyond informative and consultative levels. The Maehae is one of the complex watershed management cases where intensive vegetable cultivated lands located in restricted watershed area, multi-level stakeholders involved in watershed resources management existed. To promote good resource governance, the research questions proposed here is how to employ companion modeling (ComMod) process and mediating tools to promote mutual and adaptive learning among stakeholders to enhance collective watershed management. The main field research methods implemented in this study are roleplaying game (RPG), stakeholders observation and multi-agent based model (MABM). Preliminary system analysis of the Maehae revealed a potential conflict among the farmers and the forester. Two land-forest role-playing game (RPG) sessions were conducted in order to gain a better understanding on how these stakeholders use and manage land and forest under conflict of interests. […]This scenarios exploration showed that the San was only determinant factor in the “business as usual” scenarios. The San […] could reduce forest disturbance and promoted total farm productivity. […] In summary, The Maehae village network, as the local network, bridges diverse ties both ethnicities and communities. It links individual, groups and higher policy network; performs as intermediary informal political network to co-manage the watershed resources and mitigate possible tensions among stakeholders. The village network function represents a cultural evolution process through social learning and gaining of environmental concerns, therefore, enhances adaptive capacity and increase resilience. This study […] recommends the important of key stakeholders’ involvement, the trust between researcher and the stakeholders, the neutral position of the researcher. Further stage of companion modelling would be required, to share collective local management plan with larger interconnected policy networks, through the model simulation, and move to further co-planning and codecision making for sustainable watershed resource governance.
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Panomsak Promburom. Companion modeling & watershed management in Northern Thailand : the importance of local networks. Agricultural sciences. Université Claude Bernard - Lyon I, 2010. English. ⟨NNT : 2010LYO10080⟩. ⟨tel-00730924⟩

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