GALLERY INDEX

Scientific stewardship: Indigenous and ecosystem territories across the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor

Students: CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle; WONG Wae Ki Sammi

Instructors: Ashley Scott Kelly; Xiaoxuan Lu
Course: Studio Laos: Strategic Landscape Planning for the Greater Mekong
Programme: Bachelor of Arts in Landscape Studies
Date: June 2020

Abstract

For the past few decades, Laos experienced numerous changes in political, environmental, and social policies. In a shift towards a more sustainable paradigm, the Government collaborated with international organisations and local NGOs, to implement community forest programmes to restore and conserve existing forests. Integrating two development project types: A scientific research plot, and a Community Forest along with their respective institutions: The Chinese Academy of Science and The Chinese Academy of Forestry. We propose to stitch the two separate institutions together, to cooperate on a project in Laos that presents an equitable future. Moreover, we use this opportunity to merge their respective expertise. Developing their existing research in decomposition and traditional pharmaceutical species, these are integrated into the programmatic aspects of the design through encouraging a multi-scalar approach to planning. By weaving them together, within the greater scope of scientifically oriented research plot, we can increase indigenous control over the territory. Currently, the issue with this system is that all the research is benefiting the national and provincial levels in terms of scientific output. The component of equitability is absence from the interventions carried out on the landscape. Especially, with the extending regional ambitions of these institutions studying landscape ecology across the region, we have to focus on local sites and potential impacts and opportunities that are raised with indigenous communities and indigenous rights over the landscape. Impacts of a successfully integrated control mechanism of the two institutions can allow for direct and indirect outcomes. Which in return, provides a more sustainable source of income, employment, and education through the transferral of knowledge, technology, and infrastructure from an institutional to a local level.

Keywords: Laos; scientific research; community forestry; indigenous rights; knowledge transfer

 

Enlarge Photo: XTBG has been developing a relationship with lao disciplines over time. They have impacted the site in terms of planning and management. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle, WONG Wae Ki Sammi.Enlarge Photo: The issues surrounding this site are epistemological and methodological. Various scales of negotiation and methods of controlling nature are presented. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle, WONG Wae Ki Sammi.Enlarge Photo: Softened approaches from scientific institutions are required to create better participatory management of the landscape. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle, WONG Wae Ki Sammi.Enlarge Photo: Medicinal plants drive the organisation of both the planting scheme, the research plot and the organisation aspect of the site in terms of stakeholders who are orchestrated through the system. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle, WONG Wae Ki Sammi.Enlarge Photo: The co-existence and acceptance of scientific research are a bi-direction system of reliance and benefit between the indigenous communities and institutions. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle, WONG Wae Ki Sammi.Enlarge Photo: The goals of two institutions are different from and complementary to each other, creating an alignment of a transnational knowledge corridor formed by research plots and a resource corridor. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle, WONG Wae Ki Sammi.Enlarge Photo: At a local scale, community forest projects are often subject to negotiations between local populations, particularly ethnic minority highlanders, and the reality of landscape conditions like gradients and insufficient labour. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle, WONG Wae Ki Sammi.Enlarge Photo: The highly monitored scientific research of XTBG, as a driver, is integrated into the participatory framework of community forests, creating a dynamic system of top-down and bottom-up landscape management processes. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle, WONG Wae Ki Sammi.Enlarge Photo: Quantifying the value of decomposition in this research helps achieve the broader conservation goal by adopting a market-based approach, sequestering carbon to mitigate climate change through the carbon market. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle, WONG Wae Ki Sammi.Enlarge Photo: It is imagined that the two institutions work closely together during the first stage of scientific research and community forest project, such as public engagement workshops and cultivar imports. By CHAN Syl Yeng Michelle, WONG Wae Ki Sammi.
UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE