Lake Tonle Sap is a living incubator by nature, it contains an abundance of diverse species and a complex set of exchange dynamics eco-system. This watershed is home to many ecological systems and provides important migratory routes for fishes that spawn in floodplain during the wet season, and only return to the permanent body of water during the dry season. It is perceived as the largest freshwater aquarium of Southeast Asia. It is strongly impacted by the Mekong River flood pulse, annually. [But] during the wet season, this aquarium changes its form and function into a fish production factory, where the villages of the lake rely on it for their livelihood. In a way, this lake is an Eden on earth where everything in that biome is self-manifested. According to the research, the lake became a polluted ground with a high chance of deadly disease outbreak like cholera due to an under-establish system for sanitary management. The inhabitants used to depend on the water from of the lake for their daily usage, which is also the same place where they dispose their sanitary waste. Other than that, the disposal of such waste provokes the extensive growth of algae and weed, in which the weed like a plant, water hyacinth, has already infested Tonle Sap. This alien weed-like plant with its phenomenal growth rate will disrupt the ecosystem, especially towards fish. Consequently, it has caused the deterioration of water quality and will indirectly impact the stability of the social-ecological system of Tonle Sap. Therefore, based on these studies, a controlled eco-system is the fundamental issue that linked all the issues together. In order to solve the lake and human issues, it needs to start with the restoring of the quality of water for nourishing a healthy environment. The manifesto towards solving the issue will be based on the theory called the ‘eco-tone’. It will be a long-term regeneration because nature needs time to restore into its primitive stage. Under the theoretical concept of ‘ecotones’, we expand our understanding of the pattern of living of various species and its dynamic change through time. Our approach attempts to improve the relationships between ecological processes in the Tonle Sap’s environment and particular ecosystems. Our strategy is paying attention to the integrative design way combining landscape form, hydrologic fluctuation, and ecological technology to develop the function of socio-economic and achieve the good quality of healthy environments of Tonle Sap.

Team members:  CK Foo, Angus Lee, Ken Lim, Jowin Foo, Victoria Chew