Louis Lebel

Louis Lebel
Chiang Mai University | CMU · Unit for Social and Environmental Research (USER)

PhD

About

211
Publications
75,028
Reads
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15,616
Citations
Introduction
Louis Lebel has been at Chiang Mai University since 1999 and began working in Thailand since 1991. He has on-going research interests in ecology, epidemiology and public health, political science, climate change and environmental governance. He has led several multi-centre comparative studies and contributed significantly to several long-lasting research networks in the Southeast Asia region.
Additional affiliations
July 2012 - present
Stockholm Environment Institute - Asia Office
Position
  • Research Associate
July 2002 - present
Chiang Mai University
Position
  • Managing Director
Description
  • Lead and contributing researcher to many multi-centre research studies in Thailand, within ASEAN and more globally.
October 1999 - June 2002
Chiang Mai University
Position
  • Research Affiliate

Publications

Publications (211)
Article
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"The appropriate scales for science, management, and decision making cannot be unambiguously derived from physical characteristics of water resources. Scales are a joint product of social and biophysical processes. The politics-of-scale metaphor has been helpful in drawing attention to the ways in which scale choices are constrained overtly by poli...
Article
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River-based cage aquaculture in Northern Thailand involves dealing with a number of climate- and weather-related risks. The purpose of this study was to improve understanding of how farmers make investment decisions in their fish farms when faced with risks from floods that are imperfectly known, and which may be changing. A role-playing simulation...
Article
This paper assessed water management by households from three ethnic groups in two contrasting ecological settings (upland and lowland) in the Upper Ping River Basin in Northern Thailand. Important gender differences in the use and management of water were identified. Women are major users of water for agriculture in the uplands, but less so in the...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of safe access to sufficient clean water in vulnerable communities, renewing interest in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs and related targets under Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6). The purpose of this study was to better understand the obstacles to water access in vulnerable co...
Article
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Access to sufficient clean water is important for reducing the risks from COVID-19. It is unclear, however, what influence COVID-19 has had on water insecurities. The objective of this study was to assess the associations between COVID-19 control measures and household water insecurities. A survey of 1559 individuals living in vulnerable communitie...
Article
Public health measures aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 can have significant, unintended impacts on livelihoods. In this paper, we assess the impacts of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on aquaculture farmers in five countries in the Mekong Region. A total of 1,019 farmers were surveyed (June–August 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic reduced fa...
Article
As comparative multi-country studies are rare, not much is known about the effects of regional differences in social-ecological conditions on the adoption of climate risk management practices in aquaculture. This study is based on a large-scale survey of practices of aquaculture operators in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Climate-r...
Chapter
The Earth System is being transformed by human activities. The complex societal, technological, and environmental changes underway require governance systems that can anticipate, manage, and help steer these changes along more sustainable trajectories. A decade ago the Earth System Governance (ESG) project proposed that adaptiveness is one of the k...
Article
This study aims to determine climate change-related risk (CCR) impacts, responses of farmers, and assistant activities in tilapia cage culture (TC), striped catfish nursery (SCN), striped catfish grow-out (SCG), improved extensive shrimp (IES) and intensive shrimp (IS) systems. A survey of 601 farmers in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, was conducted usi...
Article
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The notion of a water–energy–food (WEF) nexus was introduced to encourage a more holistic perspective on the sustainable development of natural resources. Most attention has been directed at identifying potential synergies and trade-offs among sectors that could be addressed with improved technologies and management. The governance of the WEF nexus...
Article
The importance of innovation for effective responses to climate change is widely asserted, but exactly how and whom innovation helps adapt has received little systematic attention. In this synthetic review, a practice-oriented framework is used to show that innovations which contribute to adaptation in the aquaculture sector include changes to the...
Article
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The notion of a water–energy–food (WEF) nexus was introduced to encourage a more holistic perspective on the sustainable development of natural resources. Most attention has been directed at identifying potential synergies and trade-offs among sectors that could be addressed with improved technologies and management. The governance of the WEF nexus...
Article
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Climate change adaptation capacity remains low among vulnerable communities in developing countries such as Vietnam. Vector-borne diseases as dengue fever are increasing as a result of changing weather patterns. This study aims to examine the impact of key psychological variables in the Theory of Reasoned Action, the Theory of Planned Behavior, an...
Article
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Local studies have shown that aquaculture is impacted by extreme weather events, the risks of which vary seasonally and among years. Less is known about the effects of geographical differences in climate or social organization for how climate-related risks are perceived, as there have been few larger scale studies. This study documents key findings...
Article
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Researching socio-ecological justice issues in earth system governance can be operationalized through an Access (securing minimum needs) and Allocation (allocating the remaining resources, responsibilities and risks) framework. This paper synthesizes the review articles in this special issue. It concludes that (a) although international trade, inve...
Article
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The social relations and biophysical flows that link water, food, and energy systems are said to form a ‘nexus’. Efforts to steer or otherwise exert influence on decisions that impact upon these nexus links, including to ignore them, take place at multiple levels, vary in complexity, and have implications for who benefits and who is burdened by tho...
Article
en Integration of climate change adaptation with development planning at multiple scales is widely seen as preferable to reactive, fragmented, or highly centralized responses. At the same time, there are growing concerns on when intervention is most appropriate, the transaction costs of coordination, and the adequacy of institutional capacity at lo...
Article
In the Mekong Region, the Asian Development Bank and partners have promoted economic corridors as a way to achieve regional economic integration and growth. This study evaluates how a transboundary policy narrative of shared prosperity around the East–West Economic Corridor programme emerged, and then how it was elaborated and used, taking a set of...
Article
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This paper assesses the significance of stakeholder discourses on uses of water by aquaculture for public policy. Our discourse analysis focuses on the experiences with inland aquaculture in Thailand, drawing from interviews with stakeholders, and evidence in public documents such as newspapers and television news reports. A key finding is that fis...
Article
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Fish farmers need to take into account many factors, including climate-related risks, when making decisions to invest in stocking ponds or cages in rivers. Officials, experts, and other fish farmers try to influence these decisions by communicating information about risks verbally or using text messages. Recurrent mass mortality events associated w...
Article
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Communicating climate risks to vulnerable groups motivating them to take adaptive actions remains a significant challenge in many populations, especially to children. The theory of reasoned action (TRA) suggests that attitude and subjective norms are important for persuasive communication. This study assesses how to apply TRA, its constructs and ot...
Article
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This study explores the way climate change adaptation projects in Cambodia and Lao PDR have been framed. Four frames were identified: inadequate infrastructure; information deficits; limited planning capacity; and insecure access. In all frames, there was internal coherence among: the problems identified; the form solutions are expected to take; an...
Article
Successful aquaculture depends on access to sufficient water of adequate quality, and should not significantly degrade water quality or damage ecosystems in receiving waters. While water management technologies have received a lot of attention as potential solutions, many of the outstanding challenges are collective-action problems that depend on i...
Article
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Most studies of major disasters focus on the impacts of the event and the short-term responses. Some evaluate the underlying causes of vulnerability, but few follow-up events years later to evaluate the consequences of early framings of the recovery process. The objective of this study was to improve understanding of the influence that recovery nar...
Article
Climate change will have significant impacts on inland aquaculture. This article assesses the robustness of a set of potential adaptation strategies for Northern Thailand using a rule-based assessment model to synthesize information from secondary sources, fish farmers, officials and experts. The net benefits of different strategy types vary substa...
Article
Large-scale hydropower development disrupts local livelihoods and resource access. Adverse impacts are often greater for women than men, but also large for children, the elderly, poorer households and ethnic minorities. Burdens of resettlement often fall disproportionately on already disadvantaged individuals. The purpose of this study was to evalu...
Article
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The present Guest Editorial introduces the collection of papers and reports from GAF6 and considers its outcomes. We take the theme of GAF6 - “Engendering Security in Fisheries and Aquaculture” – literally, meaning that “engender” is to cause to exist or to develop. In terms of engendering security, we have a primary focus on the many facets of sec...
Book
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This Special Issue of Asian Fisheries Science journal comprises a Guest Editorial, 25 papers and a report based on the presentations and posters of the 6th Global Symposium on Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF6) held during the 11th Asian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum, August 2016, Bangkok, Thailand. GAF6 was the eighth women/gender Sympos...
Article
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Multi-stakeholder dialogues aim to create and support spaces, in which, meaningful conversations can take place among diverse stakeholder groups. A key notion is that dialogues can inform, and help shape, more formal negotiation and decision-making processes; by bringing in a wider range of perspectives on needs, impacts and options, and having the...
Article
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Incorporating climate change concerns into national development planning allows adaptation to happen in harmony with the sustainable development of a country. Cambodia has received international support to enable climate change-resilient development; “mainstreaming climate change” is one of the key recent strategies. This article aims to identify e...
Article
Several global narratives around resource insecurities have reached the Mekong Region. In the latest reincarnation, experts, bureaucrats and businesses have called for greater attention to a water-energy-food nexus. It is not clear however, if they are talking about the same thing, with the same purpose or that decision-makers are listening. The pu...
Article
The governance of floods in urbanizing regions of Thailand is significantly constrained by institutional traps. Comparisons of the impacts and governance responses to major flood events in Chiang Mai, Ayutthaya and Bangkok in 2005–06 and 2011 suggests that there has been very little policy learning. Institutional traps remain as important now as th...
Article
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The objective of this paper is to assess how climate change adaptation funds have been legitimised; that is, how they have been justified and made acceptable to different actors. To this end, it analyses the way various actors have sought to promote and challenge the legitimacy often multi-lateral international and national climate change adaptatio...
Article
In much past research on the sustainability of natural resource management, gender was either ignored or women were essentialised as care-takers or victims. Recent programmes on disaster risk reduction and adaptation to climate change seem to be retracing these myths. There is a need for more critical research on how gender influences the experienc...
Article
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The objective of this paper is to assess how climate change adaptation funds have been legitimised; that is, how they have been justified and made acceptable to different actors. To this end, it analyses the way various actors have sought to promote and challenge the legitimacy often multi-lateral international and national climate change adaptatio...
Article
Many previous studies have documented that farmers are risk-averse, while other studies have shown that farmers analyze and estimate risks. Conventional risk aversion measures and analytical judgment often do not fully explain decision behavior. Thus, it may be necessary to consider emotions. The objective of this study was to enhance understanding...
Article
While there have been many pilot projects on adaptation undertaken in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, state policies are only just beginning to address let alone refer to climate change. This study explores the climate-related content, climate sensitivities, and opportunities to incorporate climate change concerns in a set of aquaculture poli...
Article
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Weather is suspected to influence fish growth and survival, and be a factor in mass mortality events in cage aquaculture in reservoirs. The purpose of this study was to identify the important climate-related risks faced by cage aquaculture farms; evaluate how these risks were currently being managed; and explore how farmers might adapt to the effec...
Article
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This paper distills core lessons about how researchers (scientists, engineers, planners, etc.) interested in promoting sustainable development can increase the likelihood of producing usable knowledge. We draw the lessons from both practical experience in diverse contexts around the world, and from scholarly advances in understanding the relationsh...
Article
A total of 662 farmers who rear tilapia in river-based cages in Northern Thailand were interviewed on their knowledge and perception on disease constraints and their control measures. Most farms (84%) had disease problems in the last two years. Exophthalmia ranked higher than other clinical signs. Most farmers noticed that the risk of disease probl...
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyse how fish farmers manage climate-related risks and explore possible ways to strengthen risk management under current and future climate. Design/methodology/approach – In total, 662 fish farmers in sites across Northern Thailand were interviewed about risks to the profitability of their fish farms an...
Article
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Abstract Episodes of low concentrations of dissolved oxygen and high concentrations of ammonia are major causes of fish stress, which in turn, reduces growth and increases mortality rates in aquaculture ponds. This study measured the effects of water de-stratification on dissolved oxygen and ammonia concentrations in tilapia ponds in Northern Thail...
Article
Provision of adequate numbers of quality fish fry is often a key constraint on aquaculture development. The management of climate-related risks in hatchery and nursery management operations has not received much attention, but is likely to be a key element of successful adaptation to climate change in the aquaculture sector. This study explored the...
Article
This paper analyses the direct impacts of extreme weather, high and low flow events, seasonality and other climate-related phenomena on river-based tilapia cage aquaculture in Northern Thailand. An interdisciplinary approach was taken, which included analysis of secondary water flow and meteorological data, quantitative and qualitative surveys of f...
Article
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Ecosystem services research needs to become more transdisciplinary.•ecoSERVICES will advance co-designed, transdisciplinary ecosystem service research. Ecosystem services have become a mainstream concept for the expression of values assigned by people to various functions of ecosystems. Even though the introduction of the concept has initiated a va...
Article
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The purpose of this research was to determine the levels of odorous compounds (geosmin or 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) that potentially cause off-flavor problems in fish reared in integrated, high-nutrient-load ponds in northern Thailand. Water samples were collected from threetilapia ponds located in Chiangrai province, every month from May 2013 to Ma...
Article
How climate risks are understood and perceived by farmers is important because it can influence their management practices. Farmers in Northern Thailand who rear fish in floating cages in rivers can cope with modest fluctuations in water levels, but appear vulnerable to more extreme changes in flow. This study used in-depth interviews and a quantit...
Article
35 Ecosystem services have become a mainstream concept for the expression of values assigned by people to various functions of ecosystems. Even though the introduction of the concept has initiated a vast amount of research, progress in using this knowledge for sustainable resource use remains insufficient. We see a need to broaden the scope of rese...
Article
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Assessments of ecosystem services have been proposed as one way of incorporating concerns about environmental change and ecosystem conditions into subnational development planning. In Thailand a policy window for such initiatives is opening because of a transition in national policy toward area-based planning combined with broader political reforms...
Conference Paper
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The objective of this research was to investigate the effects of season and culture period on phytoplankton composition in 3 integrated tilapia ponds in Chiang Rai province, since May 2013 to May 2014. The result showed that, the diversity of phytoplankton presented in the pond belonged to 6 divisions such as Cyanophyta, Chlorophyta, Bacillariophyt...
Article
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Narrowing research and policy, while challenging, is especially important in climate change adaptation work (CCA) due to the high uncertainties involved in planning for climate change. This article aims to seek stakeholders’ opinions regarding how research and policy development can be bridged within the Cambodian water resources and agriculture se...
Article
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Tackling major environmental change issues requires effective partnerships between science and governance, but relatively little work in this area has examined the diversity of settings from which such partnerships may, or may not, emerge. In this special feature we draw on experiences from around the world to demonstrate and investigate the conseq...
Article
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Musty/earthy off-fl avor in aquatic animals has been reported in aquatic organism worldwide. Although there is no negative effect on human health, it causes an unacceptablefor consumer consumption. The purpose of this article is to review some of the available literature relating tomusty/earthy off-fl avor in aquatic animals. Geosmin (GSM) and 2-me...
Article
Notions of benefit sharing play an increasingly important role in shaping the debate around the merits of existing and future hydropower development in the Mekong region. In this paper we assess how the concept of benefit sharing is articulated and applied in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. We discuss the conceptual strengths and weaknesses...
Article
Hydropower dams typically produce benefits for their developers. At the same time, large dams have various negative environmental and social consequences, in particular, upon those who must be resettled or whose livelihoods are disrupted. The anticipated and actual revenue earned by hydropower plants from the production and sale of electricity, cou...
Article
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The purpose of this study was to explore the institutions underlying different forms of benefit sharing in hydropower projects in Cambodia, through detailed analysis of two case studies: Kamchay and the Lower Sesan 2 hydro-dams. Promises on paper were compared with how benefit sharing was implemented in practice. The study found that, first, compen...