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Title: Political Ecology of Landscape Management in the Proposed Zinghmuhtlang National Park, Chin State, Myanmar
Other Titles: นิเวศวิทยาการเมืองของการจัดการภูมิทัศน์ในอุทยานแห่งชาติ ซิงมูตลัง รัฐชิน ประเทศเมียนมาร์
Authors: Asst. Prof. Dr. Chusak Wittayapak
Lect. Dr. Robert A. Farnan
Van Bawi Mang
Issue Date: Apr-2020
Publisher: เชียงใหม่ : บัณฑิตวิทยาลัย มหาวิทยาลัยเชียงใหม่
Abstract: Chin State remains the second poorest state among 14 states and regions in Myanmar, with 70 percent of people living below the poverty line. It has inadequate infrastructures such as abysmal road connectivity, insufficient power and water supplies, and the slow progress of development in other sectors. The government perceives the clearance of large areas of forest under practices of traditional shifting cultivation has proven unsustainable and is causing environmental problems, deforestation, and soil erosion. As a result, several attempts have been made to address the issue by replacing the local governance system of land-based resources with a more top-down intervention. Currently, there are six proposed national parks for implementation in Chin State in pursuit of forest preservation and promotion of ecotourism, which aim to attract investors to the State. One of these, the Zinghmuhtlang National Park is expected to take over huge areas of customarily governed forest and villagers’ land. It thus poses a high risk for the local communities, including customary land tenure, livelihood, cultural history, territory, and identity. The residents of Chuncung village are opposing the proposed national park because they will be excluded from their land on which they have been living for many generations. The relationship between society and nature's role is crucial to examine in sustainable resources management and development. This research employed a qualitative method and opted for a political ecology approach to explore the commodification of nature and turning land into capital as well as a power relation in the conflict between state and local people. By applying the concept of territorialization, this research analysed the intention and its mechanism towards implementing the project regarding who can access to land and its resources. It also applied landscape approach to find out potential key frameworks towards a sustainable way of a win-win situation for both local community and government. The state territorialization has been seen to fail or derail because of a top-down, centralized approach. Hence, this research argues that land-based resource governance remains very crucial for Chin people living in rural villages, especially for their livelihood and identity.
Appears in Collections:SOC: Theses

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