USER has had a long-term interest in the social, political and livelihood implications of aquaculture development in mainland Southeast Asia.

The AQUADAPT program is concerned with how the aquaculture sector could adapt to IDRCclimate change. It is led by the Unit for Social and Environmental Research (USER) at Chiang Mai University, and has been funded by IDRC, Canada.

In Phase I the empirical focus was on the management of climate risks for Tilapia grown in farm ponds or floating cages in rivers and reservoirs in Northern Thailand. The project ran from July 2012 to December 2016.


In Phase II (AQUADAPT-Mekong) the project aims to assist fish farmers in five Mekong countries better manage climate-related risks, and thus capacities to adapt to climate change, through jointly evaluating and supporting the development or uptake of promising innovations. Phase II runs from November 2017 to October 2020.

Selected Publications

  • Lebel L, Lebel P, Chuah CJ. 2018. Governance of aquaculture water use. International Journal of Water Resources Development: 1-23 doi:10.1080/07900627.2018.1457513 (Paper)
  • Lebel L, Lebel P, Chitmanat C, Uppanunchai A, Apirumanekul C. (2018). Managing the risks from the water-related impacts of extreme weather and uncertain climate change on inland aquaculture in Northern Thailand. Water International: p. 1-24. (Abstract)
  • Lebel L, Lebel P. (2016). Emotions, attitudes, and appraisal in the management of climate-related risks by fish farmers in Northern Thailand. Journal of Risk Research, 1-19. (Abstract)
  • Lebel L, Lebel P, Lebel B. (2016). Impacts, perception and management of climate-related risks to cage aquaculture in the reservoirs of northern Thailand. Environmental Management 58, 931-945. (Abstract)
  • Uppanunchai A, Chitmanat C, Lebel L, 2016. Mainstreaming climate change adaptation into inland aquaculture policies in Thailand. Climate Policy 1-13.(Abstract)
  • Lebel P, Sriyasak P, Kallayanamitra C, Duangsuwan C, Lebel L. (2016). Learning about climate-related risks: decisions of Northern Thailand fish farmers in a role-playing simulation game. Regional Environmental Change 16, 1481-1494. (Abstract)
  • Lebel P, Whangchai N, Chitmanat C, Lebel L. (2015) Climate risk management in river-based Tilapia cage culture in northern Thailand. International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management 7, 476-498. (Abstract)
  • Lebel P, Whangchai N, Chitmanat C, Promya J, Lebel L. (2015) Perceptions of climate-related risks and awareness of climate change of fish cage farmers in northern Thailand. Risk Management 17:1-22. (Abstract)
  • Sriyasak P, Chitmanat C,  Whangchai N, Promya J, and Lebel L. (2015). Effect of water de-stratification on dissolved oxygen and ammonia in tilapia ponds in Northern Thailand. International Aquatic Research 7:287-299. (Abstract)
  • Lebel P, Whangchai N, Chitmanat C, Promya J, Lebel L. 2014. Access to fish cage aquaculture in the Ping River, northern Thailand. Journal of Applied Aquaculture 26, 32-48. (Abstract)
  • Uppanunchai A, Apirumanekul C, Lebel L. (2015). Planning for production of freshwater fish fry in a variable climate in Northern Thailand. Environmental Management 56, 859-873. (Abstract)
  • Lebel P, Chaibu P, and Lebel L. 2009. Women farm fish: gender and commercial fish cage culture on the Upper Ping River, northern Thailand. Gender, Technology and Development. 13:199-224. (Abstract)
  • Deutsch L, Gräslund S, Folke C, Troell M, Huitric M, Kautsky N, and Lebel L. (2007). Feeding aquaculture growth through globalization: exploitation of marine ecosystems for fishmeal. Global Environmental Change. 17:238-249. (Abstract)
  • Lebel L, Tri N. H, Saengnoree A, Pasong S, Buatama U, and Thoa L. K. (2002). Industrial transformation and shrimp aquaculture in Thailand and Vietnam: pathways to ecological, social and economic sustainability? Ambio. 31:311-323. (Abstract)