Territory Stories

Prepare for Impact! When People and Environment Collide in the Tropics



Prepare for Impact! When People and Environment Collide in the Tropics

Other title

When people and environment collide in the tropics


Abdurohman, Rahman; Arnstrong, Rachel; Boggs, Guy; Bowman, David; Brook Barry; Bunn, Stuart; Campbell, Bruce; Cunningham, Anthony; Davies, Diane; Garnett, Stephen; Gerritsen, Rolf; Griffiths, Tony; Morrison, Joe; Yu, Peter; Wright, S. Joseph; Williams, Meryl; Tay, Simon; Steffe, Will; Stacey, Natasha; Srivastava, Leena; Sodhi, Navjot S; Sanchez-Azofeifa, Arturo; Resosudarmo, Budy P; Portillo-Quintero, Carlos; Nurdianto, Ditya Agung; Muller-Landau, Helene C


Stacey, Natasha E; Boggs, Guy S; Campbell, Bruce M.; Steffen, Will


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




South East Asia and tropical Australia are undergoing major changes, which are likely to intensify in the next decade. Booming economies in China and India, and potentially other countries, are likely to drive exponential increases in demands for natural resources. Climate change is likely to have severe impacts, ranging from those associated with changes in severity of cyclones, to those associated with sea level rise in shallow oceans. Land cover transformations, already a common feature in many parts, could well decimate biodiversity. Human disease outbreaks, which have already caused alarm and economic disruption, could remain a feature of the region. The challenges are immense; it is timely to reflect on transforming forces and our responses. In May 2006, an international symposium was held in Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia, to discuss these very issues. This publication features papers by leading researchers and policy makers on the following themes:'Drivers of Change; 'Values & Livelihoods; 'What Are the Changes and Their Impacts? The editors of this book all have wide experience in this area. Dr Natasha Stacey is an anthropologist with expertise in natural resource management in the Asia-Pacific region. Dr Guy Boggs has focused his GIS and modelling research on the use of technologies for understanding changes in spatial patterns of vegetation distribution, erosion and runoff response. Prof Bruce Campbell works in the tropics on four continents from humid rainforests to dry woodlands and is focussed on achieving better outcomes for conservation and development and improving the well-being of people through natural resource management and use. Prof Will Steffen has research interests which span a broad range within the field of Earth System science.

Table of contents

Setting the scene -- Gerritsen : A resilient future for Northern Australia? People, economics and policy issues -- Resosudarmo : Setting the scene : driving forces of change in Southeast Asia -- Drivers of change -- Steffen : Climate change in the tropics -- Srivastava : Securing India's energy future : what does the world have to worry about? -- Tay : Trade and environment in Southeast Asia -- Williams : Food production systems and policy development in Southeast Asia -- Values and livelihoods -- Armstong et al : Indigenous land and sea management and sustainable business development in Northern Australia -- Garnett : Enterprise development by indigenous communities using natural resources : where do the benefits go? -- Campbell et al : Do local people and the environment collide? Who drives environmental change? -- What are the changes and their impacts? -- Cunningham : Culture, livelihoods and conservatism -- Sodhi and Brook : Biodiversity crisis in Southeast Asia -- Wright et al : The future of Southeast Asian forests and their species -- Bunn : Northern Australia -- all that water ... going to waste? -- Bowman : Time's up for Australia's last frontier.




0502 - Environmental Science and Management; Southeast Asia; Northern Australia; Natural Resource Management; Politics & Society

Publisher name

Charles Darwin University Press (CDU Press)

Place of publication



vi, 119 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.

File type



9780980665017; 980665019



Copyright owner

Charles Darwin University Press (CDU Press)



Parent handle


Citation address


Related items


Page content

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 1961 1981 2001 ASEAN millions of hectares of agricultural land (FAO) Figure 2: Increase in Southeast Asia land use for agriculture, 1961-2001. Intensification has been most noticeable and profitable in the higher potential farming systems such as irrigated rice producing areas. Medium and low potential farming areas, often rain-fed or dryland systems and usually remote or even isolated from large markets, have not prospered to the same extent. In addition, unless well managed, agricultural intensification may bring negative side effects such as more pests, diseases and land degradation. In the case of more intensive livestock husbandry, the consequences for humans can be very direct in the form of zoonoses infectious diseases passed from wild and domestic animals to humans. Currently 75% of emerging human infections are estimated to be zoonoses (Pappaioanou et al. 2004). Nipah virus encephalitis, SARS and bird flu of the H5N1 strain are all recent regional examples of new zoonoses. As the farmgate prices of staple foods such as rice have continued to decline, farmers have sought to diversify into other more profitable and market-oriented crops (Pingali 2004). Examples of the many forms of diversification are: the surge in demand for corn as livestock feed, industrial and food additive; the revolution in production and demand for livestock (Delgado et al. 1999); doubling of consumption of potatoes in Asia although a lessening in the consumption of sweet potatoes; and greater production and consumption of fruits and vegetables (Weinberger and Lumpkin 2005). Key trends in the regions fish production systems are the continued mining of natural fisheries resources (Silvestre et al. 2003), large increases in aquaculture production (Delgado et al. 2003, Dey and Ahmed 2005) and industrialization of the fisheries sector. Fisheries trends are similar to those in agriculture. More extensive areas are now fished than every before, using more fishing gears and more diversified types of fishing gears. Fishing is more intensive and fishing gear is more powerful and mechanised. In Southeast Asia, the percentage of overall fisheries production from aquaculture has gone from 10% of total production in 1961 to 25% of total production in 2001 (Figure 3 and FAO FISHSTAT 2006). This is not the same degree of explosive growth in aquaculture as seen in China but it represents substantial progress since the total catch by capture fisheries has also continued to increase. The overall catch increase has been due to greatly increased fishing effort, well beyond the limits of sustainability. In the catch, the average size of fish has reduced and the species composition of the catch has changed towards a preponderance of smaller and faster growing species (Silvestre et al. 2003) all signs of overfishing despite the increasing total catch. Prepare for Impact!Drivers of Change 47

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

We use temporary cookies on this site to provide functionality.
By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you consent to our use of cookies.