Perspectives, Problems, And Pesticides: The Discrepancies Between Institutional And Local Environmental Conservation Perspectives In Northern Thailand And The Implications For Natural Resource Management Model Development

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Although the importance of integrating social and natural science understandings in natural resource management (NRM) models has been largely acknowledged, c urrent evidence suggests that that there has been limited success in achieving such integration. Integrated NRM model development processes are complicated by the lack of consensus between disciplines as to how NRM problems should be defined and addressed. In the Northern Thailand region, attempts to define NRM problems, system boundaries, stakeholder groups or environmental processes are subject to complex and multi-facetted perspectives in a highly politicized context. The problems resulting from the complexity and political sensitivity of developing an NRM model for Doi Inthanon National Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand led to the formulation of three research questions addressed in this dissertation. 1. Perspectives: Whose perspectives have determined the NRM problem definitions of the NRM models developed for the Northern Thailand region and how has this influenced the integration of social and natural systems understandings? 2. Problems: Does the perspective used to develop an NRM model problem definition affect NRM model outcomes when modeling in a localized context? 3. Pesticides: Should the concerns of local stakeholder groups within Doi Inthanon National Park, such as pesticide use management, receive more attention as environmental conservation priorities in NRM model development processes? This dissertation demonstrates that the influence of a dominant national level environmental narrative decreases researcher and stakeholder satisfaction with an NRM model‟s representation of interactions between social and natural systems. Furthermore, within the localized context of Doi Inthanon National Park, perspectives on NRM problem definitions varied widely amongst stakeholder groups. Finally, the pesticide use management concerns identified by local stakeholder groups were shown to be legitimate NRM issues that need to be addressed. Accounting for the different perspectives about NRM issues in an area and the power differentials between those perspectives is necessary to better understand the interaction between stakeholder groups and their reactions to a NRM model development program. This increased understanding will reduce the perceptions of disciplinary incompatibility within a NRM model development program and ensure that the choice of NRM priorities is transparent as opposed to obscure.

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integrated natural resource management; mathematical modeling; Thailand


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Steenhuis, Tammo S

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Walter, Michael Todd
Walter, Michael Faivre
Fiskesjo, Nils Magnus G

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Agricultural and Biological Engineering

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Ph. D., Agricultural and Biological Engineering

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Doctor of Philosophy

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dissertation or thesis

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