Under Pressure

Environmental Risk and Contemporary Resilience Strategies in Rural Cambodia

Authored by: Laurie Parsons

The Handbook of Contemporary Cambodia

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138831186
eBook ISBN: 9781315736709
Adobe ISBN: 9781317567837

10.4324/9781315736709.ch12

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Abstract

Cambodia is a country long acquainted both with risk and its mitigation. The unpredictability of the climate, predominantly low-lying and flat topography, and historical reliance on rain-fed agriculture makes the maintenance of livelihoods a considerable challenge. Nevertheless, it is one to which the Kingdom’s inhabitants have historically risen, using innovation and ingenuity to offset and mitigate the worst effects of the environment. The development of over 2,000 varieties of rice seed (Helmers 1997) suitable for various types and elevations of land under myriad conditions is a tangible example of this talent for adaptation, but of equal importance in the centuries-long struggle with nature have been the flexible, pragmatic, and enduring social resources upon which much of Cambodia continues to depend.

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