We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Life, Fish and Mangroves

Resource Governance in Coastal Cambodia

Melissa Marschke

Publication Year: 2012

In Life, Fish and Mangroves, Melissa Marschke explores the potential of resource governance, offering a case study of resource-dependent village life. Following six households and one village-based institution in coastal Cambodia over a twelve-year period, Marschke reveals the opportunities and constraints facing villagers and illustrates why local resource management practices remain delicate, even with a sustained effort.  She highlights how government and business interests in community-based management and resource exploitation combine to produce a complex, highly uncertain dynamic. With this instructive study, she demonstrates that in spite of a significant effort, spanning many years and engaging many players, resource governance remains fragile and coastal livelihoods in Cambodia remain precarious.

Published by: University of Ottawa Press

Series: Governance Series

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (45.0 KB)

Table of Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF (13.6 KB)
pp. v

List of Figures and Tables

pdf iconDownload PDF (13.0 KB)
pp. vi

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (19.9 KB)
pp. vii-viii

I have never had the words to explain adequately my experiences of living, working and conducting research in the mangrove-estuary villages of southwestern Cambodia. I was introduced to the area as a graduate student...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (51.4 KB)
pp. ix-x

I first visited Koh Sralao village in June 1998. The area surrounding the village had recently (1996) obtained Ramsar site status because of the health and abundance of mangrove trees in this part of the Gulf of Thailand. Being Canadian and new...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (63.1 KB)
pp. 1-12

Wayne Som Sak’s reflection upon his livelihood speaks volumes about the changes taking place in the Cambodian countryside. Wayne lives in a mangrove-estuary village surrounded by trees, water and fish...

read more

I. Desiring Local Resource Governance

pdf iconDownload PDF (105.2 KB)
pp. 13-37

Twenty years of war excluded Cambodia’s natural resources— forests, coastal and inland fisheries, waterways and minerals—from the acute resource depletion associated with agricultural expansion and economic...

read more

II. Governing a Coveted Resource

pdf iconDownload PDF (80.6 KB)
pp. 39-56

Fisheries resources contribute significantly toward nutrition, livelihoods and GDP in Cambodia. At the same time, most of the near-shore fisheries are overfished (Pomeroy et al. 2007), both in coastal areas...

read more

III. Life in a Resource-Dependent Village, 1998–2010

pdf iconDownload PDF (104.1 KB)
pp. 57-77

I came to Koh Sralao in 1988 because I did not want to be a soldier anymore. People told me about the opportunity to work for a businessperson who was growing marijuana. I came to the village thinking that I would be a worker but the plantation was shut down...

read more

IV. Villagers Pursuing Local Resource Governance, 1998–2010

pdf iconDownload PDF (116.1 KB)
pp. 79-105

Cambodia’s emphasis on local governance can be seen as a timely embodiment of the global trend encouraging decentralized resource governance, as a donor and government response to the poverty and marginalization found in many...

read more

V. Resource Governance across Administrative Units

pdf iconDownload PDF (130.7 KB)
pp. 107-129

This type of governance challenge, where one fisher or boat driver inadvertently ruins the fishing gear of a fisher, is not easy to solve. Initially (in 2004) Sok thought that a light would be helpful for night fishing...

read more

VI. Probing the Failures

pdf iconDownload PDF (63.3 KB)
pp. 131-144

As this quote illustrates, Cambodia continues to be promoted as a frontier to be explored for its potential development. Resource extraction has now been happening for over twenty years, leading to the depletion...

read more

Conclusion: Resource Governance at the Margins

pdf iconDownload PDF (36.3 KB)
pp. 145-150

Policy reforms promoting local resource governance are not working out as envisioned.19 Although people do engage in resource governance in creative ways, there are many failures along the road. The broad appeal of local resource...

read more

Academic Acknowledgements

pdf iconDownload PDF (11.6 KB)
pp. 151

Chapter 2 draws and adapts sections from two papers: one I published in 2008 entitled « Le Secteur des Pêcheries de l’Ère « Post » au Cambodge: Une explication de la nontransformation » and another...


pdf iconDownload PDF (88.2 KB)
pp. 153-164


pdf iconDownload PDF (531.8 KB)
pp. 165-179

E-ISBN-13: 9780776619866
E-ISBN-10: 0776619861
Print-ISBN-13: 9780776607283
Print-ISBN-10: 0776607286

Page Count: 192
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Governance Series

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Sei Sh
  • Makura no s
  • Sei Sh
  • Japanese literature--Heian period, 794-1185--History and criticism.
  • Women authors, Japanese--Heian period, 794-1185.
  • East and West in literature.
  • Translating and interpreting--Cross-cultural studies.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access