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Title: Synthesis: Constraints to sustainable use of soil and water in the Northern Thailand highlands and consequences for future research
Authors: Ludger Herrmann
Mattiga Panomtaranichagul
Authors: Ludger Herrmann
Mattiga Panomtaranichagul
Keywords: Computer Science;Environmental Science
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2007
Abstract: © 2007, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Research discussed in Chapter 2 leads to the following conclusions for sustainable resource use, land use planning and scenario development: i.There is a lack of information on the available resources at an acceptable resolution (i.e. 1:200.000 and finer). Neither for soil nor for water are sufficient data available (subchapter 2.2). This calls for action by the authorities at both the national and regional level. In future it needs to be recognized that the highlands cannot remain a forest reserve but are — respecting certain constraints and rules - a valuable resource for the growing population.ii.Thai soil taxonomy classifies highland soils as “Slope Complex Soil Series” which is meaningless and not helpful for any kind of land use planning. Modern approaches already call for three dimensional soil and terrain information, eg. including relief, geo-morphology etc. Therefore, the so called “slope complex” needs a detailed inventory with respect to soil and water resources and use.iii.Resource management has so far not been sustainable. Many cropping patterns, including cash crops, off season production, irrigation, hydroponics, have been proposed and tested by national and international institutions (subchapters 2.1 and 3.3). In particular, practicable anti-erosive cultural practices have been identified. However, such systems have not been successfully adopted or widely used by the highland stakeholders. Insecure land tenure, lack of access to markets and credit, and availability of extension services are some of the reasons. Consequently, the highland population needs help with a variety of infrastructure measures including transport and communication, education and institutional support.iv.For several decades, overuse of highland resources has caused severe on- and off-site effects (i.e. depletion of soil nutrients, overconsumption and pollution of water, and loss of water storage capacity). Poor education and a lack of consistent environmental laws prevent reasonable coordination and efficient resource allocation.v.Finally, the local communities have developed rules for the use of their limited resources (i.e. water allocation in their territory). Future progress should be built upon existing local knowledge and structures. Increasing shortages call for an overall coordination by state authorities to balance the interests of different stakeholders (i.e. up- vs. downstream users of water).
ISSN: 18635520
Appears in Collections:CMUL: Journal Articles

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