Browsing by Subject "Southeast Asia"

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  • Yurayong, Chingduang; Szeto, Pui Yiu (Ключ-С, 2020)
    The present study puts in parallel the use of six auxiliary verbs across languages in Northeast and Southeast Asia with some reference to South Asian and West African languages. The results show that the following groups of lexical verbs are employed as auxiliaries with similar semantics in many languages: (1) be/sit/stand/stay > progressive, (2) give > benefactive, (3) put/keep/leave/throw > completive, (4) see/look > attemptive, (5) get/take > capabilitive and (6) become > possibilitive. Despite the variation between head-initial and head-final word order across languages in Asia, these auxiliaries similarly occur after the content verb of a clause in many languages. Our proposal is that the postverbal position of these auxiliaries has its root in the multiverb construction, in which several sequential actions are in a complementary relation, and the omission of optional adjunct(s) around the non-initial verb(s) in a sequence has evoked its semantic bleaching and auxiliation. Putting aside the explanation by inheritance and contact, an unequal genealogical and areal distribution of these constructions point to a more general cognitive, language-internal tendency, independent of the word order typology of each language, which yields similar construction patterns on the language interface.
  • Vo, Quynh Le (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    As the effects of climate change have become increasingly more visible in recent years, interest in climate adaptation has grown in both research and policy contexts. However, although Southeast Asia is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change impacts, there has not yet been an effort to comprehensively track how Southeast Asian countries and communities are adapting to climate change. I apply a systematic review methodology developed for adaptation research to map adaptation responses identified in the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) projects in Southeast Asia in 2016-2020. My results show that close to a fifth of the ADB’s adaptation projects in Southeast Asia is implemented in Cambodia, while Thailand and Timor-Leste are the least covered countries. In general, the characteristics of my examined projects are relatively similar to global adaptation trends. Flooding, drought, storms, and other heavy rainfall events are the most frequently addressed climate hazards by both the projects I examined as well as by UNFCCC climate fund projects and by adaptation responses documented in scientific papers. The sectors addressed and actors targeted by ADB projects were also typical to multilateral funding institutions, focusing on the agricultural and water sectors as well as national and local governments and farmers. Capacity building was the most frequent adaptation response category, indicating that adaptation implementation as delivered by the ADB is still in a relatively early phase in most Southeast Asian countries. In addition to results related to climate adaptation in Southeast Asia, I also demonstrate the applicability of a systematic review methodology for tracking climate change adaptation responses implemented by multilateral development banks, given sufficient information is made available on relevant projects.
  • Sistonen, Sonja (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    In recent years, the Laos economy – driven by the primary sector – has been growing fast, however poverty remains widespread. Economic growth is also influencing the livelihoods of rural people who account for 61% of Lao population and depend highly on forests and environmental resources. Many studies address the role of NTFPs in rural livelihoods globally but the total contribution of forests and environmental resources, and the associated changes in their access and availability, have generally been neglected, also in Laos. The overarching research question of this study aims to determine how dependent rural Lao livelihoods are on forest and environmental products by estimating their contribution in total household income and food security. The other objectives are i) to find out which forest and environmental products households are the most dependent on, ii) to compare NTFPs and timber in their contribution to livelihoods, and iii) to learn how the access to, and the number of, forest products has changed in the past and whether they are expected to change in the future. The primary data used in this study was collected in Mahaxay District, Central Lao PDR in March 2016. Altogether 90 randomly selected households were interviewed using semi-structured surveys in three sample villages purposefully selected along a remoteness gradient. In addition, two focus group discussions (one male and one female) and one key informant interview were conducted in each village to collect village-level background information. It was found that the sample households rely heavily on forests and the environment, especially for food products. In the most remote village 80% of the households would not have had enough to eat without the contribution of NTFPs in their nutrition. On average forest and environmental products contributed to 12% of the cash income of the households interviewed. The cash-equivalent value of subsistence income from forest and environmental products is higher than that of cash income from their sales all three sample villages. There were significant differences between the villages: the poorest village was also the most dependent on forest products for both cash and subsistence income. NTFPs were remarkably more important than timber for both subsistence and cash income. Bamboo shoots, firewood and mushrooms were the most collected forest products. Fallow was the most important land-use type for forest and environmental product collection. There was a strong decrease in both access to forest products and their availability in the past five years, and most sample households also expected the trend of decline to continue into the future. The kind of reliance on forests and wild lands described in this study is threatened by population growth, deforestation and forest degradation associated with Laos’ rapid economic transition. The strong dependency of the rural Lao population on forest and environmental income should be considered also by the Lao government in the aim for green economic transition.
  • Bhattacharjee, Atreyi (Helsingin yliopisto, 2016)
    Tiivistelmä – Referat – Abstract In August 2017, the decades-long tension between Myanmar and its most vulnerable stateless ethnic minority group, the Rohingya, came to a head after a small faction of Rohingya militants attacked 30 police barracks along the Myanmar-Bangladesh border. In response, the Myanmar army retaliated with unmatched ferocity, systematically organising and executing a pogrom against the Rohingya and their villages. It has been estimated that within a year, approximately 1.1 million Rohingya were forced out of Northern Rakhine State to seek refuge in other countries in the region, primarily in Bangladesh, where the vast majority of whom remain to this day in squalid, under-resourced, and overpopulated refugee camps. Meanwhile, the international refugee law regime is made up of a multitude of constituent elements, ranging from international and regional instruments and organisations to bilateral agreements between states. This thesis is concerned with the extent to which the international refugee law regime is able to protect the Rohingya. The Rohingya are stranded as refugees in a region that has historically rejected the cornerstone protectionary instrument of the regime, namely, the 1951 Refugee Convention. None of the states that are currently hosting the Rohingya subscribe to the Convention. In such a stark legal vacuum, this thesis tests the reach of the regime in providing protection to the Rohingya. This thesis first studies the development of the international refugee law regime at large, underscoring the main organisations and instruments responsible for the management of refugee crises. In particular, the thesis highlights the politically motivated resettlement programmes coordinated by refugee management organisations during the latter half of its evolution, just before the establishment of the UNHCR. Here, the thesis also introduces the principle of non-refoulement as a pivotal feature of the regime, both as codified in treaty law as well as the customary international law status it enjoys generally. Next, the thesis turns to contextualising the origins of the Rohingya refugee crisis. The Rohingya share an especially volatile relationship with Burma. Thus, the thesis provides an overview of the political history of Burma, particularly emphasising the Rohingya’s steady descent into statelessness. Over the past three decades, the Rohingya’s claim to Burmese citizenship (or lack thereof) has been leveraged by Burma to justify increasingly brutal pogroms against them. Finally, the thesis examines the application of non-refoulement in the context of the 2017 Rohingya crisis. First, the thesis considers the customary law status of the principle in greater detail, and establishes the fulfilment of state practice and opinio juris. Then, the thesis examines the form and extent to which non-refoulement is applied in the context of the 2017 Rohingya refugee crisis. Having established that there is indeed a customary law of non-refoulement, the thesis confirms that the rule is binding the states in Southeast Asia, even though they are not party to any refugee convention. Finally, the thesis turns to examining scholarly contributions on the topic of refugee protection in Southeast Asia. Majority of legal scholarship tends to emphasise the availability of alternative regulatory frameworks that extend some degree of protection to refugees. However, this thesis concludes by arguing that although these alternatives offer complementary protection as part of the international refugee law regime, it is necessary to develop a bespoke regional instrument that addresses a broad spectrum of rights that protect vulnerable refugees.
  • Makkonen, Eedla (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Laos is one of the poorest countries in South-East Asia. Rural people’s livelihoods are mostly reliant on rice production and collection of forest products. There is very little research available about large-scale tree plantations and agroforestry in Laos. However, there is a clear need for information about the livelihood of the local people affected by companies that lease land from the local rural population for large-scale plantations in Laos. Stora Enso (SE) has trial plantations in Laos that combine tree-growing and food production. The Stora Enso Village Program (SEVP) focuses on sustainability that includes community engagement and helping local villagers to farm in safe conditions. The main aim of this study was to assess the productivity of taungya agroforestry systems in the SEVP trial plantations, and to measure the socioeconomic impacts at the village and household level. The following research questions are addressed: 1. To describe the Stora Enso Village Program in Laos, 2. To evaluate the conditions of the plantations established by SE in six villages in Saravan and Savannakhet Provinces, 3. To evaluate the socioeconomic impacts of the village program at the household and village levels in terms of: i) What kind of incomes do the local families get? ii ) How have the agricultural activities, which are part of the taungya agroforestry system, affected plantation productivity? iii) Who is benefiting from Stora Enso’s “village program” and how? Six research villages were selected, including five villages where Stora Enso operates and one where the company does not operate. Biophysical plantation measurements were done in 28 study plots in five villages. Plantation production was measured from the trees in the taungya agroforestry areas in each village. In each trial village, the Village Head was interviewed about basic village information such as population, livelihood and geographic information. Two Focus Group Discussions were conducted in each village, with information about villagers’ livelihoods and changes to livelihoods after the SEVP was started in the village. Participatory mapping exercises were carried out to determine the location of the households in the villages for random household selection. Interviews were conducted in 15 households in each village (90 households in total) to gather household-specific information such as incomes, livelihood activities and experiences of the taungya agroforestry sites. Village crop production in the taungya agroforestry sites were estimated at the household level. Results showed that employment opportunities increased in the village mostly in the first years of plantation cycle. The villagers were pleased with the land preparation carried out by Stora Enso and the crop yield in agroforestry areas, however, this was limited to when the plantation trees were smaller. Lack of labour, shade from plantation trees, and long distances to the plantation areas were the main reasons why villagers did not use the plantation areas for crop production. Plantations were generally in good condition, however, there were some insect and other stem damages. Lack of agricultural machinery and big distances from households to the agroforestry areas led to variation between villages´ crop production. There was limited work available for the villagers who wanted to work. The key findings of this thesis highlight the benefits of extra incomes and work opportunities for the local people in the villages and the positive outcomes in terms of the SEVP funds being used to build infrastructure and schools for the villages. The result of the study shows that the location of the villages affected negatively on villages that were far away from the market place and had limited possibilities to sell surplus crops. Cash crop production only occurred in the villages near the main roads and markets. Long distance to the taungya agroforestry area also limited the usage of the areas. This study has shown how the SEVP provides some benefits at both the village level and the household level. At the village level - positive impacts from village fund include improved infrastructure such as roads, water systems and electricity, while at the household level, positive impacts include employment opportunities and support to grow crops in the taungya agroforestry system. However, there are also challenges and limitations, such as agroforestry potential for producing crops between tree rows are not fully utilized during tree rotation, and most of the plantation employment opportunities are only available in the first years of plantation establishment. The SEVP is a trial program that attempts to integrate local communities’ needs by producing food and cash crops in the plantation area. The concept needs further development, more trials and research to improve the system, but has potential to be replicated in other places. It needs to be designed to suit the specific context of the local communities according to local culture and needs.
  • Leppänen, Upu (2008)
    This is a study about communal self-perceptions and collective identities that are formed as a response, critique, or contestation to prepositionings from the level of state. The aim of this study is to investigate the way personal narratives are intertwined with accounts of national history. The theoretical contribution of this study is to the anthropological debates on morality and ethnic identity while the ethnographic data presented address Southeast Asian and minority studies. This investigation is based on independent ethnographic research conducted during a total of 20 months (2002-2003, 2006-2007) in Yunnan and Guizhou provinces of the People’s Republic of China. Miao/Hmong areas were also visited in Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Lao PDR. Chapter 1 (Locating the Field) contextualizes gathered ethnographic data while Chapter 2 (Methodology) expounds on anthropological research methods. The theoretical focus of this study is on the anthropology of morality (Ch. 3-5: themes of moral arenas and traditions) and ethnic identity (Ch. 6-9: themes on belonging, exemplarity, authenticity, and liminality). Questions of structure and agency are considered extensively in Chapters 10 and 11. Key anthropological sources are from White (1981), Urban (1996), the Comaroffs (1992), Schein (2000), Dawson (1978), and Teppo (2004). Primary sources stem from extensive participant-observation, autobiographical writings by two Miao women, and thematic interviews of Chinese minority as well as majority informants. The ethnographic data presented revolve around the lives of two young Miao women. Through this case study the process of narrativization is examined as an impulse to moralize reality. I argue that ethnic meta-narratives highlight where dialogics of othering are at play. The Miao are an external minority “Other” that function as a conceptual confirmation of the existence of the Chinese majority, or Han essence of the state. The Chinese “body ethnic” is conceptualized as an internal other and as a point of tangency where the Chinese state is contiguous with what lies beyond. Rhetoric of moral ethnicity is utilized by the state to implement and justify the process of nationalism as well as to evade or reinterpret it. This study indicates that a identities are at play within several distinct, occasionally overlapping, and, at times, contesting cultural spheres that constitute moral guidelines of “rites and wrongs,” or varying demands and definitions of one’s ethnic identity. Tämä opinnäytetyö koskee Kiinan miao-vähemmistön yhteisöllisiä omakuvia ja kollektiivisia identiteettejä, jotka rakentuvat reaktioina, kritiikkeinä tai vastatoimina valtiotason asetelmille. Tutkimus pohjautuu 20 kuukauden itsenäiseen etnografiseen kenttätyöhön, joka tehtiin Kaakkois-Aasian Kultaisen kolmion alueella (Kiina, Thaimaa, Lao PDR, Vietnam ja Myanmar). Aineisto etnisyyden moraliteeteista kontribuoi poliittisen antropologian, Kaakkois-Aasian tutkimuksen ja vähemmistötutkimuksen diskursseihin.
  • Wong, Grace Yee; Ville, Alizée; Pietarinen, Niina; Holmes, Minda; Brockhaus, Maria (2022)
    Forest frontiers are rapidly changing to sites of commodity agriculture throughout the tropics, with far-reaching transformations in landscapes and livelihoods. Many of the dynamics that drive frontier commodification are well-rehearsed since colonial times. Policies to deregulate markets, privatize or formalize land tenure and open borders to trade have stimulated resource exploitation. The accompanying territorial interventions such as new enclosures, reconfigured property regimes and claims are purposefully employed to create space and labor, and have radically reconfigured the relationships of millions of people to land and rule. Narratives of what is an opportunity for whom, who should benefit from these spaces, and what is a problem in need of a solution have shaped policies and development choices in frontiers over time. Science plays a critical role, by putting forward particular knowledge and understandings, contributing to problematisations and promoting or legitimating certain solutions. In this paper, we review how science has portrayed forest frontiers in the Congo Basin and Southeast Asia. We analyse storylines put forward in the scientific literature and find three dominant narratives that intersect and reinforce each other to legitimate colonial exploitation of forest and land resources, and the enactment of colonial forest and land codes that have laid a deep-seated path in post-colonial policies. The narratives focus on imaginings of frontier regions as spaces that are “idle” or “empty”, and where possibilities for extraction, conservation and development appear unlimited; the problematization of smallholder and shifting cultivation farming as practices in need of change; and the legitimation of capitalist and market-based rationales as solutions. We find these narratives to be largely similar across both the Congo Basin and Southeast Asia and persistent in contemporary policies and global development strategies. This analysis allows for a deeper understanding of how commodification of frontiers came about, and what role science can play for a more just development.