Industrial developments challenging research and planning endeavours around the Songkla Lake
Ulrik Jørgensen and Erik Hagelskjær Lauridsen, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
The unique character of the Songkla Lake Basin (SLB) and its status as the southern region of Thailand has brought this area into attention national and international policies for regional development. International activities focusing on development and environmental protection SLB has evidently both matched the interests in managing water resources to counter environmental degradation and the focus on regional developments including the variety of aspects involved in building a sustainable future. First a literature survey was performed. Most of the literature focus on specific and very detailed descriptions of specific issues in different scientific fields of investigation rather than clarify the complex relationships between socio-economic factors and environmental degradation. Challenges coming from a new phase of industrial development indicates a strong need for new approaches to understand, support and contribute to this development from research. Second the paper gives an overview over the types of problems that have been addressed in these major plans and the types of managerial and technical solutions that have been suggested to solve problems or at least to minimize their impact. In both scientific practice and in regional planning there is an implicit anticipation of an acting body (e.g. in the form of a government or an agency) that can take on the task of changing the course of development. Where big planning efforts seem to bring almost all aspects of the problem into focus, their end result turn out to be rather rigid planning models and quite demanding political decisions that may not be taken. The presentation ends suggesting how regional universities could engage in this process in the future, recognizing that universities themselves represent a multitude of ways of voicing the problems of LSB and future policies and management strategies. Perspectives of coupling population growth, industrial development and environmental regulation are discussed.are discussed.
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