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Disciplinary Fragmentation in Comprehensive Issues

Prince of Songkla Univeristy
Publication Date
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography


The geographical and spatial proximity of the activities in the Songkhla Lake Bassin ties the region together trough the common use of the lake waters as a resource or a discharge media as well as a regional economy, the capacities of a common workforce, local demographic features and the social welfare of the population at large. This paper suggests that The Lake Bassin must be described and analyzed as a comprehensive issue which integrates an understanding of the uplands of the lake as more than watersheds. A literature surevey was performed searching major international research databases for all English language references to Songk(h)la and Southern Thailand. The survey shows that the existing litereature can provide a quite detailed picture of the pollution of the lake and rivers as natural phenomena. The chemical and biological characteristics of the waters are described, as well as some of the immediate sources of pollution. Other but more remote sources that are also located in the watersheds of the Songkla Lake Basin are not described in relation to the Songkhla lakes; agroindustries as palm oil and rubber. Also the more indirect effects of the present development with regards to social and economic factors are not subjects of specific analysis in the literature. They can to some extent be derived from the assumptions of the articles on environmental planning: Socio-economic data are available as statistics for the area, but they are not related to the concrete sources of environmental degradation of the lakes. Articles on environmental planning contain a more integrated understanding of the environmental degradation as a result of social activities. But also here the scope of the studies tend to be limited to the water related issues. The results of the literature survey indicates, that the existing research suffer from disciplinary fragmentation. Most of the literature appear to 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.

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