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Browsing by Subject "Kaakkois-Aasia"

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  • Makkonen, Eedla (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.
  • Clusker, Rowan (2011)
    As disparities in wealth levels between and within countries become greater many poor people migrate in search of better earning opportunities. Some of this migration is legal but, in many cases, the difficulties involved in securing the necessary documentation mean that would-be migrants resort to illegal methods. This, in turn, makes them vulnerable to human trafficking, a phenomenon that has received growing attention from NGOs, governments and the media in recent years. Despite the attention being given to human trafficking, however, there remains a certain amount of confusion over what exactly it entails though it is generally understood to refer to the transportation and subsequent exploitation of vulnerable people through means of force or deception. The increased attention that has been given to the issue of human trafficking over the last decade has resulted in new discourses emerging which attempt to explain what human trafficking entails, what the root causes of the phenomenon are and how best to tackle the problem. While a certain degree of conceptual clarity has been attained since human trafficking rose to prominence in the 1990s, it could be argued that human trafficking remains a poorly defined concept and that there is frequently confusion concerning the difference between it and related concepts such as people smuggling, migration and prostitution. The thesis examines the ways in which human trafficking has been conceptualised or framed in a specific national context- that of Lao PDR. Attention is given to the task of locating the major frames within which the issue has been situated, as well as considering the diagnoses and prognoses that the various approaches to trafficking suggest. The research considers which particular strands of trafficking discourse have become dominant in Lao PDR and the effect this has had on the kinds of trafficking interventions that have been undertaken in the country. The research is mainly qualitative and consists of an analysis of key texts found in the Lao trafficking discourse.