ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Sustainable Development (International)

This theme is the platform for the research projects, most of which have a strong social component, that are being undertaken in countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Bhutan, Pakistan and Timor Leste. Most are large projects ($500,000 plus) that will run over a number of years and involve in-country partners. Project topics include and have included community forestry, groundwater management, agriculture and fisheries, sustainable development and ecotourism.

Institute Director Professor Max Finlayson has some handy hints for working on large complex projects.

  • Current Projects
  • Completed Projects
  • Higher Degree Research
  • Research Activities

Current Projects

Assessing fisheries mitigation measures at Xayaburi Dam in Lao PDR. Baumgartner, L., McPherson, J., Ning, N. (2018-2022) ACIAR, $1.4M Project details

Community reforestation for biodiversity and livelihood diversification in Timor-Leste. Millar, J. (2017-2021), UK Darwin Initiative Fund, $528,703. Project details

Goat production systems and marketing in Laos and Vietnam. Millar, J. (2019-2022) Led by University of New England.  ACIAR, $165,824

Improving groundwater management to enhance agriculture and farming livelihoods in Pakistan. Finlayson, M., Punthakey, J., Allan, C., Mitchell, M. (2016-2020) ACIAR & CSU ($100,000), Total value of the project $2.15M  Project details

In search of the elusive Mekong salmon. Baumgartner, L. & Vu. V.A. (PhD student), (2016-2019), National Geographic Society Research Grant, $30,080 Project details

Living with salinity in the Indus Basin: SRA 2. Mitchell, M., Barrett-Lennard, E., Allan, C. & Punthakey, J. (2019) Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), $88,000  Project details

Modernising irrigated agriculture to protect and restore aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem services in SE Asia. Baumgartner, L., Finlayson, M., Conallin, J.  (2019-2021) Australian Water Partnership/UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN FAO), $484,562

Quantifying improved fisheries productivity at fish rehabilitation sites in Lao PDR extension. Baumgartner, L., Marsden, T., Ning, N. & Horta, A.  (2018-2019) ACIAR & USAID, $800,000

Quantifying improved fisheries productivity at fish passage rehabilitation sites in Lao PDR.  (2016-2020) Baumgartner, L., Ning, N., Horta, A., Conallin, J. with Thorncraft, G. (National University of Laos), Phonekhampheng, O. (National University of Laos),  Singhanouvong, D. (Living Aquatic Resources Research Centre), Cooper, B. (UniSA)  Marsden,T., (Australasian Fish Passage Services) Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) & USAID, $2.6M (initial funding of $1.8M plus an additional $800,000 in 2018) Project details

Sustainable rangeland management to protect red panda and herder livelihoods, Millar, J., Finlayson, M., & Tenzing, K. (2016-2019) Darwin Initiative Fund, $540,000 Project details

Sustainable Hydropower and Multipurpose Storage to meet the Water, Food and Energy SDGs. Conallin, J. (2108) IHE Delft 32,000 Euros Project details

The role that Deltas play in sustain basin-scale fisheries in the Mekong and Irrawaddy Rivers. Baumgartner, L., &  Vu, V.A. (PhD student) (2017-2020) IHE Delft. $30,127 Project details

Completed Projects

Farm Power and Conservation Agriculture for Sustainable Intensification. Blackwell, J. & Krivokapic-Skoko, B. (2013-17) ACIAR, via CIMMY (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre), $544,000  Project details

Improving salinity and agricultural water management in the Indus Basin of Pakistan. Finlayson, M., Allan, C., Culas, R., Mitchell, M., Punthakey, J. (2017) ACIAR, $50,000 Project details

Workshop for the development of a national wetland inventory for the Kingdom of Bhutan. Finlayson, M., McInnes,R., & Davidson,N. (2019) Bhutan Department of Forests and Park Services – Watershed Management Division, $27,756 Project details

Full list of completed Projects

Current HDR Students

Dwi Atminarso:Genetic connectivity upstream and downstream of dams. (Masters) Principal supervisor Dr Lee Baumgartner.

Phenden Gyamtsho: Community based ecotourism. Principal supervisor Associate Professor Rosemary Black

Ghulam Zakir Hassan (Zakir): Improving sustainable groundwater management: A case study of artificial recharge in Punjab, Pakistan.  Principal supervisor Associate Professor Catherine Allan

Kim NelsonReimagining selves, liminal tourism spaces as sites for lifestyle migration. An exploration of the reflexive narratives of tourism business owners in Niseko, Japan. Principal supervisor Associate Professor Rosemary Black

Samir Thapa: Use of Clean Development Mechanism funding to convert from woodstoves to biogas cookers in western Nepal. Principal supervisor Professor Kevin Parton

An Vi Vu: Diadromous fishes in the Lower Mekong Basin. Principal supervisor Dr Lee Baumgartner

Sangay Wangchuk: Why are villages in the eastern part of Bhutan dying, and what are some of the social and ecological implications of this trend? Principal supervisor Dr Jennifer Bond

Londari Yamarak: Effects of the mining industry on poverty in PNG. Principal supervisor Professor Kevin Parton

Research Activities

As well undertaking externally funded research projects, ILWS members (including Adjuncts) whose research interests are aligned with this theme are engaged in various other research activities/projects.
Examples of these include:

  • a project which aims to offer small holder farmers across the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) improved capacity to produce and market "clean and green produce under the Core Agriculture Support Program (CASP)
  • a project Urban Growth, Neo Liberal Failures and Water Scarcity in Accra and Atlanta which is investigating water governance regimes in Atlanta (USA) and Accra, (Ghana) two rapidly growing cities —one from the global North and the other from the global South—that share similar histories of neoliberal water governance failure.
  • a project looking at the costs and benefits of ecotourism in protected areas in Ghana
  • an ACIAR funded and Graham Centre administered project (2017-2020) looking at the economic impact of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on sweet potato production in Papua New Guinea
  • a bilateral project between the governments of Myanmar and Norway on Conservation of Biodiversity and Management of Protected Areas in Myanmar. A component of this project included developing a draft set of Guiding Principles for a systematic approach to Ramsar Site identification and prioritisation for designation and a Provisional working list of Myanmar wetlands potentially qualifying as internationally important under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands