|:: FY2003 Field Station Annual Report|
|(1) Establishment of the Field Station:|
| Laos is one of the few places in Southeast Asia where nature remains in abundance and on the global level it is very important in terms of biodiversity conservation. There is thus strong international pressure to conserve its natural resources, whose use is being tightly restricted, producing major changes in the livelihoods and lifestyles of the local people. Conflicts between policies based on the global perspective and the way of life of the local community have come out in the open. At the Laos Field Station (hereafter Laos FS) we are doing field-based research on the relationship between the local community and use of natural resources in the face of these big changes. |
Preparations for the Laos FS were initiated at the application stage of the 21st Century COE Program and were done in close contact with the counterparts. On May 30, 2002 an agreement was concluded between Kyoto University and the National University of Laos, after which discussions were held with the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry of the National University of Laos. An agreement was reached with the Faculty of Forestry on September 27, 2002 and on December 13, 2002 activities formally began as the 21st Century COE Program's Laos FS. In FY2002 UBUKATA Fumikazu was dispatched from December 13, 2002 to March 25, 2003 to the Field Station as a COE research fellow. From April 2004 MASUHARA Yoshiyuki has been stationed there, also as a COE research fellow.
A liaison office was set up on the 1st floor of the Research Building of the National University of Laos' Faculty of Forestry. It is equipped with one computer, a work table, a book case and a specimen case, which are being used by faculty and students dispatched there. Four faculty members were dispatched in connection with the Laos FS in FY2003: IWATA Akihisa (ASAFAS, August 3-6, March 12-17), TAKEDA Shinya (ASAFAS, August 4-6), ANDO Kazuo (CSEAS, March 5-18) and HIRAMATSU Kozo (ASAFAS, March 12-17).
The Laos FS has begun to be used as a research base for faculty and graduate students of not only ASAFAS, but the university as a whole, particularly the Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Graduate School of Letters, Graduate School of Agriculture, and Primate Research Institute
|(2) Dispatch of Graduate Students and Outcomes of On-Site Education:|
| Dispatch of graduate students|
Four students were dispatched to the Laos FS through this Program's funding in FY2003: KOSAKA Yasuyuki (enrolled in FY2000; May 17 - December 15), Saphangthong Thatheva (enrolled as a third year student in FY2001; June 30 - July 25), Nathan Augustus Badenoch (enrolled as a third year student in FY2003; December 13 - March 31), Soulaphone Inthavong (enrolled as a third year student in FY2003; February 5 - March 28).
The graduate students who have made use of the Laos FS with on-site education assistance to date and their research themes are as follows.
Research assistance is given to graduate students in deciding their research theme and deepening discussion of their research plan and the contents of their research through, concretely, accompanying students to the field, local seminars, and daily discussions at the liaison office and exchange of views via e-mail. This assistance is recorded, where appropriate, on digital photos and stored on CDs.
|(3) Joint Research with Local Research Institutions:|
| At present, on-going research projects include one on vegetation on agricultural land and forests in Savannakhet Province in the south (KOSAKA, SAYSANA); one on fish species composition and fisheries in the same province (IWATA); and one on trade in non-timber forest products in Louang Namtha Province (ANOULOM, TAKEDA). Presently joint research is chiefly being conducted with the faculties of forestry and agriculture of the National University of Laos, but we are thinking of actively linking up with other faculties of that university as well as with research institutes of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Ministry of Information and Culture, and others.|
|(4) Seminars and Workshops:|
| Local seminars were held four times in FY2003: February 17, March 3, March 12, and August 5. At the first one, the research plans of two graduate students (HIROTA and MATSUURA) were presented. The second was a brainstorming session by counterparts and TAKEDA, UBUKATA and KOSAKA on future studies at the Field Station. The third seminar was a special lecture (on ecology) for Laotians by Dr. KATO Makoto (Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University). The fourth was a student seminar with eleven participants (MASUNO, AKIMICHI, KOBAYASHI, IWATA, MATSUURA, MUSHIAKI, KOSAKA, UBUKATA, HIROTA, ANOULOM and TAKEDA).
On March 16, 2004 a Laos FS Workshop, "Local Natural Resource Use and Its Transformation in Lao PDR" was held at National University of Laos and was jointly held with the "Research on the Use of Ecological Resources in the Livelihood of People in the Laos Bang Hiang River Basin," funded by a Toyota Foundation research grant.
In Japan, 30 people presented papers at a two-day workshop on November 28 - 29, 2003, "Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Forest Dynamics of Thailand: Impacts, Ecology, Management and Rehabilitation," held at Shiran Kaikan Hall, Kyoto University.
And on January. 25, 2004 a Laos FS Workshop, "Forest Management and Conservation in Laos" was held at Kyoto University, co-organized by the Research Institute for Humanity Nature's research project "A Transdisciplinary Study on Regional Eco-History in Tropical Monsoon Asia."
We plan to deepen links in the future between the Field Station and related projects.
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Reports of Field Stations in FY 2003