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Investigating the Social-Ecological Resilience of Water Management Practices within Ethnic Minority Hill Tribes of Northern Thailand
Linköping University, The Tema Institute.
2007 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Resilience is an essential and highly desired characteristic of a social-ecological system’s ability to adapt and adjust to various stresses and shocks that cause disruption. As social and ecological systems are intertwined and continually experiencing changes and disturbances, a major challenge appears revolving around the ways in which this resilience can be built and investigated. Social-ecological resilience can be defined as the amount of stress or disturbance that a particular system can tolerate, while still maintaining the same functions and identity. This paper uses social-ecological resilience concepts as a research framework, and examines three main themes that allow for the building of water management resilience to occur. These themes include learning to live with change, nurturing the ability to adapt/adjust to changes, and also on creating opportunities for self-organization. Two ethnic minority villages in Northern Thailand were chosen as research sites, in which the village water management practices were studied within a specific time period. Varying degrees of quantity and quality water issues within both villages have brought about stress and disturbances within their water management practices and increased the need to deal with these problems. Research was conducted at a community scale and resilience analysis pertains only to this specific level. Through the utilization of focus groups and interviews, qualitative data was collected and analyzed within a SE resilience context. This paper sets out to explore how social-ecological resilience has been built or not, and to what degree this has occurred within these two villages water management practices. The analysis indicates how complex and interconnected the social and ecological systems are and how the water management practices of these two communities play a role in this complex, dynamic process. Conclusions drawn are not limited to these two communities, but can be applied to the wider Northern Thailand region.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tema vatten i natur och samhälle , 2007. , 76 p.
Keyword [en]
Social ecological resilience, water management practices, Northern Thailand, ethnic minorities, self organization, adaptation
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-9465ISRN: LIU-TEMA/VMPWLS-D--07/005--SEOAI: diva2:23923
2007-06-08, Faros, Tema, Tema Vatten, Linkoping University, 08:00
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2007-10-03 Created: 2007-10-03 Last updated: 2010-07-08Bibliographically approved

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