Universiteit Leiden Universiteit Leiden

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Onderzoeksproject

Southeast Asia in Transition (SEAtrans)

SEAtrans: an interdisciplinary research project that aims at studying the dynamics and processes of transitions in society-nature interactions in Southeast Asian societies.

Looptijd 2000  -  2003
Contact Rene Kleijn
Financiering European Commission

Introduction

Sustainability is a two-way concept. On the one hand it is connected to physical aspects of societies, such as the balance of input and output of materials. On the other hand it is connected to institutions and other social aspects of societies through which these balances have to be sustained. The well-established methodology of Material Flow Analysis (MFA) is used to study the physical metabolism of societies. In this project MFA is applied at national and local level. At the local level, MFA enters into the reach of the actor-based social-scientific methodology of Action-in-Context (AiC) that is used to connect local material flows to the actors and factors that cause them.

Aims

Southeast Asia in Transition is an interdisciplinary research project that aims at studying the dynamics and processes of transitions in society-nature interactions in Southeast Asian societies. The project is a joint effort of 10 partner located both in the region and in Europe. National and local-level studies in four Southeast Asian countries (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines) provide an in-depth picture of the interlinkage of recent social, economic, and ecological processes. At the local level material flows are studied using methodology of Material Flow Analysis (MFA). These are connected to the social dynamics that cause these flows, using the explanatory framework of Action-in-Context (AiC).

Results

The CML is directly involved in the local level research in the Philippines and in the local and national level research in Vietnam. In the Philippines, three research sites were selected along a gradient of land use intensification in Sierra Madre mountain range in Northeast Luzon. In Vietnam, Tat hamlet was selected as the research site, located in the uplands of Hoa Binh Province. Fieldwork and preliminary analyses were conducted in the period from June 2001 until May 2002 in the Philippines, and from August 2001 until January 2002 in Vietnam. The interdisciplinary research teams consisted of Dutch (student) researchers and their Vietnamese and Philippines counterparts. The data was collected using research methods such as household interviews, direct measurements, observations, focus group discussions, and interviews with key-respondents. The country study reports contain the preliminary analyses of the case studies. Further analyses will focus on the development policy scenarios and on comparison between the national and local studies, between the countries involved and with comparable studies.

  • Hobbes, M. and R. Kleijn (eds.) (2003).   Societal Metabolism at the forest fringe in the Sierra Madre, the Philippines. Local level country study report SEAtrans. CML, Leiden and IFF Vienna. 
  • Hobbes, M. and W. T. de Groot (2003). "Corn and beyond: an exploration of sustainability, indebtedness, and future land use of the Sierra Madre forest fringe". In J. van der Ploeg, A. B. Masipiqueña and E. C. Bernardo (eds.).   The Sierra Madre Mountain Range: Global Relevance, Local Realities. Golden Press, Tuguegarao. 
  • Balderama, O. and L. Denis (2003). "Material flow accounting of upland villages in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range". In J. van der Ploeg, A. B. Masipiqueña and E. C. Bernardo (eds.).   The Sierra Madre Mountain Range: Global Relevance, Local Realities.Golden Press, Tuguegarao.