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Influence of Indigenous Spiritual Beliefs on Natural Resource Management and Ecological Conservation in Thailand

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  • Prompassorn Chunhabunyatip

    (Department of Development and Sustainability, School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD), Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Pathumthani 12120, Thailand)

  • Nophea Sasaki

    (Department of Development and Sustainability, School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD), Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Pathumthani 12120, Thailand)

  • Clemens Grünbühel

    (Department of Development and Sustainability, School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD), Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Pathumthani 12120, Thailand)

  • John K. M. Kuwornu

    (Department of Food, Agriculture and Bioresources, SERD, AIT, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand)

  • Takuji W. Tsusaka

    (Department of Development and Sustainability, School of Environment, Resources and Development (SERD), Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Pathumthani 12120, Thailand)

Abstract

Understanding how indigenous people manage their natural resources can provide a basis for formulating appropriate policies for natural resources management that benefits them while preserving their cultural beliefs. The objective of this study is to investigate the factors that influence the management of natural resources and the conservation of river ecology by the indigenous people in the Nongchaiwan wetland. We conducted in-depth interviews with 5 key informants and quantitative surveys with 158 households in two phases over a period of 3 years. Ancestral spiritual beliefs that are still salient in the Lower Songkhram River Basin influence natural resources management because they traditionally link people and natural resources. Such spiritual beliefs in the Lower Songkhram River Basin supported the indigenous people to continue conserving the natural resources in their territory. In addition, property rights granted to indigenous people also contribute to the conservation of natural resources. Our findings suggest that policy makers should engage with local beliefs in order to achieve sustainable resource management and, therefore, such practices should be recognized and included in the government’s policies on natural resources management in locations, where indigenous people live for generations.

Suggested Citation

  • Prompassorn Chunhabunyatip & Nophea Sasaki & Clemens Grünbühel & John K. M. Kuwornu & Takuji W. Tsusaka, 2018. "Influence of Indigenous Spiritual Beliefs on Natural Resource Management and Ecological Conservation in Thailand," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(8), pages 1-18, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:8:p:2842-:d:163062
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tsusaka, Takuji W. & Kajisa, Kei & Pede, Valerien O. & Aoyagi, Keitaro, 2015. "Neighborhood effects and social behavior: The case of irrigated and rainfed farmers in Bohol, the Philippines," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 227-246.
    2. Cox, Michael & Villamayor-Tomas, Sergio & Hartberg, Yasha, 2014. "The Role of Religion in Community-based Natural Resource Management," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 46-55.
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    1. Salaisook, Phastraporn & Faysse, Nicolas & Tsusaka, Takuji W., 2020. "Reasons for adoption of sustainable land management practices in a changing context: A mixed approach in Thailand," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 96(C).
    2. Yayut Yishiuan Chen, 2020. "Decolonizing Methodologies, Situated Resilience, and Country: Insights from Tayal Country, Taiwan," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(22), pages 1-19, November.
    3. Jude Ndzifon Kimengsi & Mukong Alfred Kechia & Balgah Roland Azibo & Jürgen Pretzsch & Jude Kwei, 2019. "Households’ Assets Dynamics and Ecotourism Choices in the Western Highlands of Cameroon," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(7), pages 1-16, March.
    4. Lobat Zebardast & Saeed Akbarpour & Hamid Reza Jafari & Masoud Bagherzadeh Karimi, 2021. "Sustainable wetland management through bridging the communication gap between conservation projects and local communities," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 23(7), pages 11098-11119, July.

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