Large-scale environmental degradation results in inequitable impacts to already impoverished communities: A case study from the floating villages of Cambodia

Glenn Althor, Simon Mahood, Bradd Witt, Rebecca Colvin, James Watson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Cambodian subsistence communities within the Tonle Sap Great Lake area rely on resource extraction from the lake to meet livelihood needs. These fishing communities—many of which consist of dwellings floating on the lake—face potentially profound livelihood challenges because of climate change and changing hydrology due to dam construction for hydroelectricity within the Mekong Basin. We conducted interviews across five village communities, with local subsistence fisher people in the Tonle Sap in 2015, and used thematic analysis methods to reveal a fishery system that is undergoing rapid ecological decline, with local fishing communities increasingly experiencing reductions in available fish stocks. As a result, over 100 000 people living in these communities are experiencing a direct loss of well-being and livelihood. We discuss these losses and consider their implications for the future viability of Cambodian floating village communities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)747-759
    JournalAMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
    Volume47
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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