ラオス山地部における焼畑実施の村落差とその要因―ルアンパバーン県シェンヌン郡の14村の比較から―  [in Japanese] Differences in the Importance of Shifting Cultivation among Villages in Northern Laos: A Case Study of 14 Villages in Xieng Ngeun District, Luang Prabang Province  [in Japanese]

Access this Article

Author(s)

Abstract

<p>This paper examines the differences in the importance of shifting cultivation of dry rice among villages of Northern Laos and addresses why they emerged, especially focusing on the role of village boundaries. We chose 14 adjacent villages as our study area and compared the land use and the livelihoods of each one. The following are the findings of this paper:</p><p>The percentage of households engaged in shifting cultivation is closely related to the population density of each village. Many inhabitants have given up shifting cultivation in small-sized lowland villages whose population density has rapidly increased (up to 87/km<sup>2</sup>) by the resettlement of highland populations and migration from other areas. On the other hand, in other lowland villages, there are more than 60% of households engaging in shifting cultivation in spite of population increases. This is because the impacts of population increase in these villages have been alleviated by absorption of the lands of the nearby highland villages that were resettled. There are two villages remaining in highland areas of the study area. In these villages, population pressure is the lowest (12/km<sup>2</sup>), and more than 85% of households are still engaged in shifting cultivation.</p><p>The findings of this paper question the conventional assumptions about the effects of the Land Use Planning and Land Allocation program. This program involves three main processes: delineation of village boundaries; zoning of the village territory into different land use types (e. g. residential, agricultural and five categories of forested land); and allocation of agricultural plots to individual households. Previous studies have often explained that it was the latter two processes that made the practice of shifting cultivation unsustainable by confining agricultural activities of a household to a few plots of land. Within our study area, however, villagers cultivate other lands in addition to those allocated by the program, and they continue to cultivate lands that were zoned as protected forest.</p><p>Rather, the boundary delineation has more strongly affected the practice of shifting cultivation in the study area. Before the program, there had been no clear boundaries between villages, and villagers were not castigated if they cultivated lands near neighboring villages. After the program, however, villagers came to be conscious of their own territories and have prohibited the inhabitants from neighboring villages from cultivating in their territories. Today, it is village boundaries that truly act as limiting lines for cultivation in each village. This is why the practice of shifting cultivation is so closely linked to population density in each village in the study area.</p>

Journal

  • Japanese Journal of Human Geography

    Japanese Journal of Human Geography 65(4), 339-356, 2013

    The Human Geographical Society of Japan

Codes

  • NII Article ID (NAID)
    130006320359
  • Text Lang
    JPN
  • ISSN
    0018-7216
  • Data Source
    J-STAGE 
Page Top