Socio-Economic Changes in Cambodia’s Unique Tonle Sap Lake Area: A Spatial Approach
- 571 Downloads
Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake will see major environmental changes due to the Mekong hydropower development. These changes have remarkable societal impacts, as the society is tightly connected with the physical geography through the lake’s unique flood pulse. Understanding the connections between water and livelihoods is, however, challenging due to the exceptional nature of the area and the gap between demographic and environmental information. As a result, the socio-economic drivers have been less analysed than the environmental changes. We addressed this research gap by assessing the status quo and recent trends in the area’s socio-economic setting with a spatial approach. The approach enabled presenting these trends and their linkages to the physical environment in a way that conventional, administrative boundaries-bound assessments are not able to do. We found that the economic activity structure changed relatively modestly between 1998 and 2008, with the proportions of the workforce within fishing and agriculture slowly decreasing. Yet, due to population growth, there was a significant increase of 140,000 people in these sectors. Our approach illustrated the spatial heterogeneity of the key socio-economic trends, underlining the significant changes occurred particularly in Siem Reap. The results also revealed an on-going ‘youth wave’ that brings a major demographic challenge – but also an opportunity – for both urban and rural areas and also puts additional pressure on natural resources. When planning the future development in the area, the demographic transition and key socio-economic trends must be considered hand in hand with the expected environmental impacts of hydropower development and climate change.
KeywordsSpatial analysis Population census Socio-economic data Zoning Flood pulse Tonle Sap Mekong Region
Our analysis forms a part of 2-year ‘Exploring Tonle Sap Futures’ (ETSF) project (http://bit.ly/YifGN5) that looked at the interconnections between hydrology and livelihoods in the context of water-energy-food-climate nexus. The project formed one case study for a regional, CSIRO-led ‘Exploring Mekong Region Futures’ program. The ETSF project was implemented by a research consortium consisting of Aalto University, 100Gen Ltd., Hatfield Consultants Partnership and Institute of Technology of Cambodia, complemented with the work by EIA Ltd. and VU University Amsterdam. The governmental partners of the project were the Tonle Sap Authority (TSA) and the Supreme National Economic Council (SNEC) (Keskinen et al. 2013; Smajgl et al. 2011). The authors would like to thank all the colleagues who contributed to our work, in particular Pech Sokhem, Someth Paradis, John Ward and Alex Smajgl as well as H.E. So Sophort and Tony Hell from TSA. Thank you also to our other wonderful colleagues at Aalto University’s Water & Development Research Group. Finally we are very thankful for the anonymous reviewers who invested time and effort in the review that contributed to improving our manuscript enormously.
In addition to the ETSF project funding, AS received funding from the VALUE Doctoral School and Aalto University Fund, MKu from post-doctoral funds of Aalto University, and MKe & AS from Academy of Finland project 133748.
- Arias, M. E., Cochrane, T. A., Piman, T., Kummu, M., Caruso, B. S., & Killeen, T. J. (2012). Quantifying changes in flooding and habitats in the Tonle Sap Lake (Cambodia) caused by water infrastructure development and climate change in the Mekong Basin. Journal of Environmental Management, 112, 53–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Arias, M. E., Cochrane, T. A., Kummu, M., Lauri, H., Koponen, J., Holtgrieve, G. W., & Piman, T. (2014). Impacts of hydropower and climate change on drivers of ecological productivity of Southeast Asia’s most important wetland. Ecological Modelling, 272, 252–263. doi: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2013.10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Baran, E. (2005). Cambodia inland fisheries: Facts, figures and context. Phnom Penh: WorldFish Center and Inland Fisheries Research and Development Institute.Google Scholar
- Baran, E., Jantunen, T., & Chiong, C. K. (2007). Values of inland fisheries in the Mekong River Basin (p. 76). Phnom Penh: WorldFish Center.Google Scholar
- Bloom, D. E., Canning, D., & Sevilla, J. (2003). The demographic dividend: A new perspective on the economic consequences of population change. USA: RAND.Google Scholar
- de Lange, W. J., Wise, R. M., Forsyth, G. G., & Nahman, A. (2010). Integrating socio-economic and biophysical data to support water allocations within river basins: an example from the Inkomati Water Management Area in South Africa. Environmental Modelling & Software, 25(1), 43–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Evans, P. T., Marschke, M., & Paudyal, K. (2004). Flood forests, fish and fishing villages: Tonle Sap, Cambodia. A collaborative study by the food and agriculture organization of the United Nations. Siem Reap: Siem Reap and Asia Forest Network.Google Scholar
- GADM (2009). Database for global administrative areas, Version 1.0. http://www.gadm.org/. Accessed 1 Sep 2012.
- Gill, G. J. (1993). O.K, The data’s lousy, but it’s all we’ve got. London: International Institute for Environment and Development.Google Scholar
- Hall, D., & Bouapao, L. (2010). Social impact monitoring and vulnerability assessment: Regional report, draft. Vientiane: Mekong River Commission.Google Scholar
- Heinonen, U. (2009). Can the poor enhance poverty reduction? Rural and urban perspectives on water resources, poverty & participatory development in the tonle sap region and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. PhD Thesis, Water Resources Research Unit, Helsinki University of Technology.Google Scholar
- Hortle, K. G. (2007). Consumption and the yield of fish and other aquatic animals from the Lower Mekong Basin. MRC Technical Paper No. 16. Mekong River Commission: Vientiane.Google Scholar
- Ishikawa, K. (2009). Present condition and problems of rice industry under socio-economic transformation in Cambodia ANDA Discussion Paper Series. http://www2.gsid.nagoya-u.ac.jp/blog/anda/publications/anda-discussion-paper-series/. Accessed 19 Dec 2011.
- Jolliffe, I. T. (2002). Principal component analysis. New York: Springer-Verlag NY Inc.Google Scholar
- Jones, G. W. (2013). The population of Southeast Asia (Working Paper Series No. 196). Asia Research Institute: National University of Singapore.Google Scholar
- Keskinen, M., Kummu, M., Salmivaara, A., Someth, P., Lauri, H., de Moel, H., Pech, S. (2013). Tonle Sap now and in the future? Final Report of the Exploring Tonle Sap Futures study. Water & Development Publications WD-11, Espoo, Finland: Aalto University and 100Gen Ltd. with Hatfield Consultants Partnership, VU University Amsterdam, EIA Ltd. and Institute of Technology of Cambodia, in partnership with Tonle Sap Authority and Supreme National Economic Council.Google Scholar
- Kuznets, S. (1966). Modern economic growth. New Haven: CT: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Lamberts, D. (2001). Tonle Sap fisheries: A case study on floodplain gillnet fisheries in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Bangkok: FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.Google Scholar
- Leauthaud, C., Duvail, S., Hamerlynck, O., Paul, J. L., Cochet, H., Nyunja, J., & Grünberger, O. (2012). Floods and livelihoods: The impact of changing water resources on wetland agro-ecological production systems in the Tana River Delta. Global Environmental Change: Kenya.Google Scholar
- MRC (2012). Cambodia abolishes fishing lots. Catch & Culture 18(1). Mekong River Commission (MRC)Google Scholar
- MRCS/WUP-FIN (2008). Impact assessment report, hydrological, environmental and socio-economic modelling tools for the lower Mekong Basin impact assessment, WUP-FIN Phase 2 - Lower Mekong modelling project, Mekong River Commission and Finnish Environment Institute Consultancy Consortium.Google Scholar
- NIS. (1998). Cambodia population census 1998. Kingdom of Cambodia: National Institute of Statistics (NIS), Ministry of Planning.Google Scholar
- NIS. (2000). General population census of cambodia 1998: Village gazetteer. Phnom Penh: National Institute of Statistics, Ministry of Planning, Royal Government of Cambodia.Google Scholar
- NIS. (2008). Cambodia population census 2008. Kingdom of Cambodia: National Institute of Statistics (NIS), Ministry of Planning.Google Scholar
- RGC (2010). National strategic development plan update 2009–2013, the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC).Google Scholar
- RGC (2013). Rectangular strategy phase III, unofficial translation, the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC).Google Scholar
- Smajgl, A., Foran, T., Dore, J., Ward, J., Larson, S. (2011). Visions, beliefs and transformation: Methods for understanding cross-scale and trans-boundary dynamics in the wider Mekong region Exploring Mekong Region Futures project.Google Scholar
- United Nations. (2009). Handbook on geospatial infrastructure in support of census activities. New York: Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations.Google Scholar
- United Nations. (2010). Handbook on population and housing census editing, revision 1. New York: Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations.Google Scholar
- USGS. (2001). Hydro1k Dataset from USGS http://gcmd.nasa.gov/records/GCMD_HYDRO1k.html. Accessed 1 Sep 2012.
- Wang, H., Huo, D., Huang, J.Yaquan, X. Yan, L., Sun, W. & Li, X. (2010). An approach for improving K-means algorithm on market segmentation. 2010 International Conference on System Science and Engineering (ICSSE), 368–372. doi: 10.1109/ICSSE.2010.5551709.
- Ward, J., & Poutsma, H. (2013). The compilation and descriptive analysis of Tonle Sap household livelihoods, Final Draft: The Exploring Tonle Sap Futures Project, The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).Google Scholar