Center for Development and Environment

Vientiane, Laos

Center for Development and Environment

Vientiane, Laos

Time filter

Source Type

PubMed | University of Louisville, Kenya International Livestock Research Institute, Center for Development and Environment, Kasetsart University and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: BMC veterinary research | Year: 2016

In Thailand, pig production intensified significantly during the last decade, with many economic, epidemiological and environmental implications. Strategies toward more sustainable future developments are currently investigated, and these could be informed by a detailed assessment of the main trends in the pig sector, and on how different production systems are geographically distributed. This study had two main objectives. First, we aimed to describe the main trends and geographic patterns of pig production systems in Thailand in terms of pig type (native, breeding, and fattening pigs), farm scales (smallholder and large-scale farming systems) and type of farming systems (farrow-to-finish, nursery, and finishing systems) based on a very detailed 2010 census. Second, we aimed to study the statistical spatial association between these different types of pig farming distribution and a set of spatial variables describing access to feed and markets.Over the last decades, pig population gradually increased, with a continuously increasing number of pigs per holder, suggesting a continuing intensification of the sector. The different pig-production systems showed very contrasted geographical distributions. The spatial distribution of large-scale pig farms corresponds with that of commercial pig breeds, and spatial analysis conducted using Random Forest distribution models indicated that these were concentrated in lowland urban or peri-urban areas, close to means of transportation, facilitating supply to major markets such as provincial capitals and the Bangkok Metropolitan region. Conversely the smallholders were distributed throughout the country, with higher densities located in highland, remote, and rural areas, where they supply local rural markets. A limitation of the study was that pig farming systems were defined from the number of animals per farm, resulting in their possible misclassification, but this should have a limited impact on the main patterns revealed by the analysis.The very contrasted distribution of different pig production systems present opportunities for future regionalization of pig production. More specifically, the detailed geographical analysis of the different production systems will be used to spatially-inform planning decisions for pig farming accounting for the specific health, environment and economical implications of the different pig production systems.


Joerin J.,Center for Development and Environment | Shaw R.,Kyoto University | Takeuchi Y.,Kyoto University | Krishnamurthy R.,University of Madras
Disasters | Year: 2014

Results derived from the Climate Disaster Resilience Index (CDRI)-consisting of five dimensions (economic, institutional, natural, physical, and social), 25 parameters, and 125 variables-reflect the abilities of people and institutions to respond to potential climate-related disasters in Chennai, India. The findings of this assessment, applied in the 10 administrative zones of the city, reveal that communities living in the northern and older parts of Chennai have lower overall resilience as compared to the flourishing areas (vis-à-vis economic growth and population) along the urban fringes. The higher resilience of communities along the urban fringes suggests that urbanisation may not necessarily lead to a deterioration of basic urban services, such as electricity, housing, and water. This indication is confirmed by a strong statistical correlation between physical resilience and population growth in Chennai. The identification of the resilience of different urban areas of Chennai has the potential to support future planning decisions on the city's scheduled expansion. © 2014 The Author(s).


Roth V.,Center for Development and Environment | Roth V.,University of Bern | Nigussie T.K.,Water and Land Resource Center | Lemann T.,Center for Development and Environment | Lemann T.,University of Bern
Environmental Earth Sciences | Year: 2016

Distributed hydrological models are increasingly used to describe the spatiotemporal dynamics of water and sediment fluxes within basins. In data-scarce regions like Ethiopia, oftentimes, discharge or sediment load data are not readily available and therefore researchers have to rely on input data from global models with lower resolution and accuracy. In this study, we evaluated a model parameter transfer from a 100 hectare (ha) large subwatershed (Minchet) to a 4800 ha catchment in the highlands of Ethiopia using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). The Minchet catchment has long-lasting time series on discharge and sediment load dating back to 1984, which were used to calibrate the subcatchment before (a) validating the Minchet subcatchment and (b) through parameter transfer validating the entire Gerda watershed without prior calibration. Uncertainty analysis was carried out with the Sequential Uncertainty Fitting-2 (SUFI-2) with SWAT-Cup and ArcSWAT2012. We used a similarity approach, where the complete set of model parameters is transposed from a donor catchment that is very similar regarding physiographic attributes (in terms of landuse, soils, geology and rainfall patterns). For calibration and validation, the Nash-Sutcliff model efficiency, the Root Mean Square Error-observations Standard Deviation Ratio (RSR) and the Percent Bias (PBIAS) indicator for model performance ratings during calibration and validation periods were applied. Goodness of fit and the degree to which the calibrated model accounted for the uncertainties were assessed with the P-factor and the R-factor of the SUFI-2 algorithm. Results show that calibration and validation for streamflow performed very good for the subcatchment as well as for the entire catchment using model parameter transfer. For sediment loads, calibration performed better than validation and parameter transfer yielded satisfactory results, which suggests that the SWAT model can be used to adequately simulate monthly streamflow and sediment load in the Gerda catchment through model parameter transfer only. © 2016, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Zaehringer J.G.,University of Bern | Hett C.,Center for Development and Environment | Ramamonjisoa B.,University of Antananarivo | Messerli P.,University of Bern
Applied Geography | Year: 2016

Due to its extraordinary biodiversity and rapid deforestation, north-eastern Madagascar is a conservation hotspot of global importance. Reducing shifting cultivation is a high priority for policy-makers and conservationists; however, spatially explicit evidence of shifting cultivation is lacking due to the difficulty of mapping it with common remote sensing methods. To overcome this challenge, we adopted a landscape mosaic approach to assess the changes between natural forests, shifting cultivation and permanent cultivation systems at the regional level from 1995 to 2011. Our study confirmed that shifting cultivation is still being used to produce subsistence rice throughout the region, but there is a trend of intensification away from shifting cultivation towards permanent rice production, especially near protected areas. While large continuous forest exists today only in the core zones of protected areas, the agricultural matrix is still dominated by a dense cover of tree crops and smaller forest fragments. We believe that this evidence makes a crucial contribution to the development of interventions to prevent further conversion of forest to agricultural land while improving local land users' well-being. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Messerli P.,University of Bern | Bader C.,University of Bern | Hett C.,Center for Development and Environment | Epprecht M.,Center for Development and Environment | Heinimann A.,University of Bern
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

In land systems, equitably managing trade-offs between planetary boundaries and human development needs represents a grand challenge in sustainability oriented initiatives. Informing such initiatives requires knowledge about the nexus between land use, poverty, and environment. This paper presents results from Lao PDR, where we combined nationwide spatial data on land use types and the environmental state of landscapes with villagelevel poverty indicators. Our analysis reveals two general but contrasting trends. First, landscapes with paddy or permanent agriculture allow a greater number of people to live in less poverty but come at the price of a decrease in natural vegetation cover. Second, people practising extensive swidden agriculture and living in intact environments are often better off than people in degraded paddy or permanent agriculture. As poverty rates within different landscape types vary more than between landscape types, we cannot stipulate a land use-poverty-environment nexus. However, the distinct spatial patterns or configurations of these rates point to other important factors at play. Drawing on ethnicity as a proximate factor for endogenous development potentials and accessibility as a proximate factor for external influences, we further explore these linkages. Ethnicity is strongly related to poverty in all land use types almost independently of accessibility, implying that social distance outweighs geographic or physical distance. In turn, accessibility, almost a precondition for poverty alleviation, is mainly beneficial to ethnic majority groups and people living in paddy or permanent agriculture. These groups are able to translate improved accessibility into poverty alleviation. Our results show that the concurrence of external influences with local- highly contextual-development potentials is key to shaping outcomes of the land use-poverty- environment nexus. By addressing such leverage points, these findings help guide more effective development interventions. At the same time, they point to the need in land change science to better integrate the understanding of place-based land indicators with process-based drivers of land use change. Copyright: © 2015 Gu et al.


PubMed | University of Bern and Center for Development and Environment
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

In land systems, equitably managing trade-offs between planetary boundaries and human development needs represents a grand challenge in sustainability oriented initiatives. Informing such initiatives requires knowledge about the nexus between land use, poverty, and environment. This paper presents results from Lao PDR, where we combined nationwide spatial data on land use types and the environmental state of landscapes with village-level poverty indicators. Our analysis reveals two general but contrasting trends. First, landscapes with paddy or permanent agriculture allow a greater number of people to live in less poverty but come at the price of a decrease in natural vegetation cover. Second, people practising extensive swidden agriculture and living in intact environments are often better off than people in degraded paddy or permanent agriculture. As poverty rates within different landscape types vary more than between landscape types, we cannot stipulate a land use-poverty-environment nexus. However, the distinct spatial patterns or configurations of these rates point to other important factors at play. Drawing on ethnicity as a proximate factor for endogenous development potentials and accessibility as a proximate factor for external influences, we further explore these linkages. Ethnicity is strongly related to poverty in all land use types almost independently of accessibility, implying that social distance outweighs geographic or physical distance. In turn, accessibility, almost a precondition for poverty alleviation, is mainly beneficial to ethnic majority groups and people living in paddy or permanent agriculture. These groups are able to translate improved accessibility into poverty alleviation. Our results show that the concurrence of external influences with local-highly contextual-development potentials is key to shaping outcomes of the land use-poverty-environment nexus. By addressing such leverage points, these findings help guide more effective development interventions. At the same time, they point to the need in land change science to better integrate the understanding of place-based land indicators with process-based drivers of land use change.

Loading Center for Development and Environment collaborators
Loading Center for Development and Environment collaborators