COASTAL GUARDIANS AND PRECARIOUS LIVELIHOODS: THE POLITICAL ECOLOGY OF MANGROVE NARRATIVES

Date
2019
Authors
Rawichutiwan, Angkana
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Suryanata, Krisnawati
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Geography
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This dissertation combines the historical and ethnographical analysis to examine the mangrove narratives, discursive practices, and the impacts on the livelihoods of local communities in Thailand. Mangrove narratives are constructed generalized statements about processes and causes of, and solutions to mangrove and related environmental degradations that are accepted as the “truths” and can assumedly be applied universally. It uses a critical political ecology approach which focuses on the de/construction of orthodoxy science and environmental discourse, using mangrove narrative as a case study. The research is based on the 17 months of field research conducted in Talumphuk, the rural fishing villages in southern Thailand. It investigates the linkage between broader Thailand political economic development policies, Western ideologies and influences on Thai state, the mangrove narratives and discursive practices, and on-the-ground conditions and livelihoods of small-scale fishers. It traces the historical root of scientific forestry and institutions since the colonial period, which then passed on to the present-day mangrove management technique. It finds that mangrove narratives, created as a response to mangrove deforestation from the shrimp farming development, reinforced by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami as “coastal guardian,” have turned into discursive practices of mangrove planting and territorialization, exacerbating the already precarious livelihoods of Talumphuk fishers particularly the poor and marginalized group.
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Geography, environmental narratives, livelihood, mangrove, political ecology, small-scale fisheries, Thailand
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153 pages
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