Research Activities
【The International Seminar, Group II 】The Impact of Globalizing Economy on Local Resources Management and Community Development for Conflict Resolution
The International Seminar
■Speaker :Prof. Louise Fortmann, University of California at Berkeley, Prof. Atsushi Kitahara, Ryukoku University, Prof. Raymond Jussaume, Jr., Washington State University
■Place :Conference Room, 3F, Seiwakan Hall, Omiya Campus, Ryukoku University
■Date :Sunday, 29 June, 2008 10:00 – 17:00
■Number :080629-1
【Brief Outline of the Seminar】

The Seminar was held as a follow-up seminar after the third international symposium on 23rd and 24th of February 2008 which discussed wide range issues from historical to contemporary perspectives and from global to local levels. This Seminar focused more on specified subject issues, that was the impacts of globalizing economy on resource management at the local community level, and discussed how local communities have been maintaining their potentials to adjust their environments with utilizing their available resources and to minimize their risks in the sustainability of community development.

In his Keynote Speech-1 “Extra-Local Constraints on Community Efforts to Sustainably Manage Local Resources”, Prof. Raymond Jussaume, Jr. (Washington State University) described the background, general characteristics and trend of globalization.
  He stated the communities in the 21st Century can not “go it alone” whether they like it or not. Thus, understanding of globalization is necessary for successful community development and management because while local community development must be locally inspired and driven, they must also be organized in a way that challenges, when necessary, extra-local political, economic and cultural realities. Under this context, he emphasizes the importance of understanding the “nature of commodity chains”, “variation of globalization found between the various places where communities", and emphasized that “community resource utilization and development strategies should be localized” if they are to be successful in promoting local development”.
  What is obviously clear in this globalizing world is that capital is global while labor is local. While multinational firms are global actors, local labor is not only a resources but a local actor. This create dilemma for the community development, however, developing strategies to cope with this must take into account of power relationship between local and global actors and many local specifics such as commodity, location, etc.
  There s no single strategy which always be successful. Rather, what is important is that ongoing selection of strategies and assessments of whether such strategies work, must recognize the extra-local political, economic and cultural context that communities find themselves in. Communities should not only “Think globally, Act Locally and Think Locally, Act globally, but also should “Think Dialectically, Act Self –Reflectively”

Prof. Atsushi Kitahara’s keynote speech-2 titled “Public Management of Local Resources in Thailand: A Historical Perspective for the Role of Government and Community” focused on government and community relationship and its influence on resource management.
  According to Kitahara, there are four factors which affect the local resource management; they are (1) man-land and population-land ratio, (2) migration and settlement type of the community, (3) loose political relation between central and local ruler, and (4) economic base of the state. Those factors actually bring into difference of resource management systems which are “loose” (like Thailand) and “tight” (like Japan).
  In the case of modern Thailand, the government tried to divide the national territorial land into two: private farm and public forest land. It led to conflicts because of difference in actual use and management and ownership of the land. Though the government tried to demarcate reserved forest land as state property, in addition to the modern land title deed issue, it tried to adopt traditional practice called “chap chong” (tentative capture and use of wild and ownerless common property land) into customary right to the modern land law, and allowed communities’ access to natural resources.
  After the population increase and economic development after 1960s, the resource abundant area and country has also changed. Land and resources were insufficient for the actual demand. Four important laws of forest were promulgated. These new laws tried to improve actual protection administration, and, they have changed protect and control system into tight management. The state also tried to classify the chap chong into two kinds; public land and private land. However, people had not much interest in preserving the commons, therefore, the loose managed local commons changed into private use. In the latest title deeds, community is allowed are cremation land, religious sacred place, public water storage tank, road and canal as commons. In the village where he surveyed, only sacred land is managed as common space while forest land, canal, road are registered and managed by the government.
  The current scenarios faced in Thailand; such as mainstreaming of scientific Western style of cut and grow forest management, decreasing local resource, changing life style and resource use, migration of youth into urban areas are quite similar to the one of other South East Asian countries. Under this circumstance of rural communities, we should consider the new system which involves multiple actors including community, government, and NGO for the reservation and protection of the local resources.

Prof. Louise Fortmann stated significance of local knowledge and applying participatory research in community development in her keynote speech-3 titled “The Role of Participatory Research in Local Resource Management and Community Development”.
  Participatory research is a philosophical stance that acknowledges that all people create knowledge and respects the knowledge and expertise of them. Knowledge is held by many different people and substance, and it is affected by social, spatial and temporal context. All knowledge is partial and there is no all-encompassing “Truth” that we can discover and apply. Participatory research helps to create more accurate knowledge by incorporating the knowledge held by local people.
  She introduced two terms, conventional science and civil science. Both Conventional science and Civil science are the set of knowledge-producing practices intended to provide better accounts of the world. Conventional science is created by formally educated, conventional scientists who use prescribed experimental and observational techniques. Their findings are validated by statistical tests, published, and intended to be generalized. However, they may not always translate easily into useful solutions to local problems. Civil scientist use locally developed techniques in order to solve specific problems. Because civil science is likely to be a localized practice, their findings will necessarily travel far, if at all.
  She presented the case of Kenyan plant pathologist, Robin Buruchara’s experience of participatory plant breeding with women bean farmers in the face of a problem with bean root rots in Rwanda. His experimentation consisted of three steps; 1) conventional science evaluation of potential sources of resistance and select 36 entries, 2) farmers grew the 36 entries, evaluate, and select 10 entries, 3) farmers planted the 10 entries, evaluate, and select the best one. The participants selected the best entry because of its resistance to root rots; good performance in low soil fertility; high yield, good seed taste; and shorter cooking time ect. Conventional breeders typically do not select for a number of the characteristics favoured by farmers.
  The second case study illustrated participatory research on use and management of forest resources in Zimbabwe. The survey with local villagers (civil scientist) included collection of physical specimens of every species and uses of tree products, and map drawing on vegetation change by groups stratified by gender and wealth. The documentation of the civil scientists’ knowledge was important in the context that only people with professional credentials know anything.
  The researchers and teachers needs to 1) conduct rigorous research on visible ecological and social impacts, 2) be rigorous in how we speak, write and teach our students about what constitutes an “expert”/“expertise” and about local knowledge, and 3) reconsider our own research and publishing practice. Are we humble in our research practice, do we spend enough time in the field for good rapport, and do we have enough credit to local knowledge holders? We need to change our practice and attitude in order to support local resource management and community development.

The Round Table Discussion invited Prof. Chihiro Saito (Nihon Fukushi University) as a chairperson and Prof. Emeritus Isao Fujimoto (University of California at Davis), Prof. Seiichi Fukui (Kobe University), Dr. Midori Aoyagi (National Institute for Environmental Studies) as Discussants. Prof. Fujimoto, by using detailed GIS information, illustrated poverty-water right relationship in California, Pfor. Fukui raised questions to Keynote speakers about impact of traditional economic activities in developing countries and possibility of participatory research in development projects, and Dr. Aoyagi introduces Asia-Pacific Environmental Innovation Strategy Project and its cooperation with media, local government, and community-based group etc.

The Wrapping-up Session chaired by Assoc. Prof. Keiko Tanaka (Kentucky University) invited Prof. Takashi Kurosaki (Hitotsubashi University) and Dr. Hisashi Nakamura (Ryukoku University) as Contributors. By presenting JICA project in Pakistan and child labor eradication project in India, Prof. Kurosaki emphasized the necessity of interdisciplinary collaboration and interaction among local people and outside experts and concluded that participatory method is effective especially in assessment of qualitative impacts. Dr. Nakamura indicated that modern social science cannot solve various issues beyond the national boundaries because it developed to analyze issues within the nation. He sated that people who have been the object of study will make themselves knowledgeable about their society by conducting research, thus, importance of participatory research will grow more to answer the demand of a new era.

Participants, including students from Asia and African countries, raised question and lively joined in discussion such as research and activities such as advocacy can be compatible, how researchers should feed back findings of the survey and share with local communities.
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