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The Implications of the Environmental Displacement on Communities Living on the Tonle Sap Lake w/ Dr. Sopheak Chann

January 27, 2023 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

In 2018, the Cambodian government relocated three floating villages on the Tonle Sap Lake in Kampong Chhnang province to settle on the land. This displacement is an example of how the state would respond to the environmental crisis of the Tonle Sap Lake impacting the lives of millions interdependent on fishery resources. This project drastically transformed communities’ lives, including livelihood loss, disconnection to place, and exposure to “natural” disasters. From observing the complex human-ecology relationships, Dr. Sopheak Chann suggests that dislocating people’s relationships with floodplains could severely damage communities that have lived on the lake for generations. This paper details people’s relationships with the Tonle Sap Lake, the displacement processes, and the impacts on communities. Chann will also discuss the implications of dam developments in the broader Mekong basin.

Dr. Sopheak Chann is a lecturer at the Department of Natural Resource Management and Development, Royal University of Phnom Penh. He completed a master’s degree and Ph.D. in geography from the University of Sydney and an undergraduate degree in environmental management at the Royal University of Phnom Penh. Currently, he is a postdoctoral instructor at Michigan State University. His research interests include the political ecology of resource frontiers, critical cartography, and socio-environmental relations. His primary research tools are ethnography and critical-GIS. Chann has published and prepared for publication in the leading international journals in the fields of geography, development studies and critical mapping/GIS. In addition to academic research, he has been conducting policy and legal research on land and resources politics in Cambodia with NOGs, including United Nation Development Program (UNDP), Cambodian Resource Development Institute (CDRI), People In Need (PIN), and Community Insight Group (CIG).

This talk is co-hosted by the Carolina Asia Center and the Department of Geography.


January 27, 2023
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


Carolina Asia Center
View Organizer Website

The Carolina Asia Center supports diverse Asia-related events. However, CAC co-sponsorship of any talk, seminar, documentary screening, film screening, performance or celebration does not constitute endorsement of or agreement with the views presented therein. As an academic institution, we value diverse perspectives that promote dialogue and understanding.

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