Doing Fieldwork in the Global South

  • November 9, 2017
  • Munk School of Global Affairs

The UCRSEA Partnership Project is holding a seminar on “Doing Fieldwork in the Global South” on 9 November 2017, 2:00-4:00 pm at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. This is especially relevant to students who are interested in undertaking field research in Asia. Dr. Gwenn Pulliat, UCRSEA Postdoctoral Fellow, organized the event and will include UCRSEA-funded students who carried out their research in partner countries in Southeast Asia.

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UCRSEA Panel Session at the Canadian Council of Southeast Asian Studies (CCSEAS) Conference

  • October 27, 2017
  • York University

UCRSEA organized the panel, “Community vulnerabilities to Climate Change in Secondary Cities”, at the CCSEAS Conference with Profs. Amrita Daniere and Lisa Drummond as convenors, on 27 October. Paper presenters were:

  • Dr. Gwenn Pulliat, University of Toronto: Farmlands and the environment in Lao Cai, Vietnam
  • Try Thuon, Royal University of Phnom Penh: The Politics of Spatial Arrangement, Urbanization and Climate Change: Case study from Battambang, Cambodia
  • Tammy Chou, University of Toronto: Social and Environmental Safeguards in the Dawei Special Economic Zone in Myanmar
  • Taylor Whitfield, University of Toronto: Drought Vulnerabilities & Water Consumption Patterns in Khon Kaen, Thailand
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UCRSEA Panel at ICAS10

  • July 20, 2017 - July 23, 2017
  • Chiang Mai, Thailand

UCRSEA convened two panel sessions at the International Convention of Asian Scholars (ICAS 10) held in Chiang Mai, Thailand on July 20-23 under the title, “Trends and Trajectories of the Mekong Region: Understanding the Implications of Regionalisation, Urbanisation and Climate Change”. Dr. Pakamas Thinphanga, Arika Bridhikitti, Daniel Hayward, Hoa Lo Thanh, Ei Shwe Sin Phyo and Try Thuon shared their respective research. 

Read more about it on the May-August 2017 Partnership Update.

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Airbeam Training Workshops

  • July 4, 2017 - July 7, 2017
  • Bago and Maubin, Myanmar

The Myanmar Project team held two training workshops on the proper use of the Airbeam, an environmental measurement device, on July 4–5 at Bago University and July 6–7 at Maubin University. Specifically, the training workshops aimed to: (1) teach participants about PM 2.5, its sources and why it is harmful to health; (2) teach participants how to use the device, upload the data to the Aircasting website and use the website; and (3) help participants plan on how they can use the device for teaching, research, and advocacy.

For the full story, go to the May-August 2017 issue of the Partnership Update.

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Proposal Write-Shop on “Engaging Cities in Climate Resilience”

  • May 15, 2017
  • Phnom Penh, Cambodia

A “Proposal Write-shop” was run on May 15th in Phnom Penh, in which graduate students working with the UCRSEA project and potential future students came together to develop research proposals to address the growing problem of climate change for cities in Southeast Asia. The focus was on developing better research questions and research design within a short proposal.

The workshop also aimed to facilitate exchange between UCRSEA graduate students based in Southeast Asia and those in Canada, and to forge links between the UCRSEA research team and Southeast Asian graduate students. A total of 14 students participated in the workshop.

Profs. Amrita Daniere, Lisa Drummond, Douglas Young, Vanessa Lamb and Dr. Danny Marks served as presenters and discussants.

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3rd Annual Workshop of the Urban Climate Resilience in Southeast Asia Partnership: Collaborative research for the future of cities

  • May 8, 2017 - May 12, 2017
  • Battambang, Cambodia
Battambang, Cambodia – 01/06/17. On May 8th 2017, the Urban Climate Resilience in Southeast Asia Partnership (UCRSEA) opened its third annual workshop in Battambang, Cambodia, with an address by H.E. Nguon Ratanak the Provincial Deputy Governor of Battambang and keynote speech by Prof. Jonathan Rigg of the Department of Geography and Director of the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, a well-known figure in Southeast Asian research communities. Battambang, chosen as the site of the workshop and one of UCRSEA’s partner cities due to its potential for rapid urban and economic growth, has a municipal government with a unique interest in climate change and associated risks. 3rd-annual-ws_%e0%b9%91%e0%b9%97%e0%b9%90%e0%b9%97%e0%b9%90%e0%b9%95_0116“Our ancestors told us we must think first, do later. So this [urban climate resilience] research aligns with our saying because we have to think a lot or else create impacts later,” said H.E. Nguon Ratanak through a translator. This foresight perhaps comes from necessity. “People in this region are familiar with climate [disasters],” he continued. Battambang City and the greater Battambang province have experienced both drought and severe flooding in recent years. Due to Battambang’s susceptibility to climate disasters, which can also be exacerbated by the urban sprawl the city is experiencing, it is one of the few in the region with a master plan for urban development that includes an awareness for climate change’s impacts on building a “livable, healthy, [and] prosperous city.” H.E. Nguon Ratanak, however, noted that the plan is “not perfect” and welcomed the chance for the assembled researchers to help improve it. In his keynote address, Dr. Jonathan Rigg also addressed the future of communities such as Battambang, which straddle the line between urban and rural. He analyzed how the urbanization process and the change in the environment impact residents’ livelihoods and reshape urban poverty and vulnerability. 3rd-annual-ws_%e0%b9%91%e0%b9%97%e0%b9%90%e0%b9%97%e0%b9%90%e0%b9%95_0863Battambang’s growth points to a larger trend of economic development in Southeast Asia. The percent of the population living on less than 1.25 USD has shrunk rapidly from 40% in 1990 to 14% in 2010. Yet, Dr. Rigg argued that this statistic alone obscures more complex realities of change. While on paper, poverty may be on its way to “eradication”, according to the World Bank poverty threshold, participating more actively in a capitalist economy comes with its own set of vulnerabilities as people sell off farmland to participate in short-term labor contracts in cities and factories, and the booming population of such urban areas outstrips the capacity of the current infrastructure – as typically witnessed by the insufficiency of waste and water management infrastructures. Based on the case studies of eight secondary cities in Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, UCRSEA’s work aims to illuminate the impacts of climate and environmental change on Southeast Asia’s changing landscape and growing economy. That goal can only be achieved with the collaboration of municipal governments, such as Battambang’s, that are tasked with governing some of the most rapidly changing areas in the region. UCRSEA is a five-year partnership between the University of Toronto, the Thailand Environment Institute, and multiple other partners in the Greater Mekong Sub-region sponsored by IDRC and SSHRC. The Partnership is currently in its third year.
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UCRSEA Panel Session at the Association of American Geographers (AAG) 2017 Conference

  • April 9, 2017
  • Boston, USA
The UCRSEA Partnership Project held a panel session, “Addressing the Challenges of Urban Climate Change Resilience and Vulnerability in Southeast Asia”, at the Association of American Geographers 2017 Conference on April 9, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. UCRSEA staff and students presented papers on their recent research studies carried out under the Project. Among them are Dr. Gwenn Pulliat, Angelica de Jesus, Nathan Stewart and Furqan Asif.  Prof. Amrita Daniere, UCRSEA Co-Director, chaired the session. Abstracts of the papers can be found here.
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International Public Seminar on Urban Floods and Gender Perspectives in Southeast Asia

  • March 8, 2017
  • Chiang Mai University, Thailand
Dr. Danny Marks, UCRSEA Postdoctoral Fellow, and Ly Quoc Dang, Ph.D Candidate, spoke at the International Public Seminar on Urban Floods and Gender Perspectives in Southeast Asia”, which was held on March 8th in Chiang Mai University. Danny presented his paper, “The Urban Political Ecology of the 2011 Bangkok Floods”. Dang talked about “Gender Perspectives and Flood Management in Urban Areas of Can Tho City of Vietnam.” The seminar was held on the occasion of International Women’s Month 2017.
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1st Regional Curriculum Development Workshop

  • February 7, 2017 - February 8, 2017
  • Bangkok, Thailand
Co-hosted by the Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) and Mahasarakham University (MSU), the 1st Regional Curriculum Development Workshop was held on 7-8 February 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop aimed to influence teaching and the research agenda in the GMS to address emerging challenges in urban climate resilience and to align with regional and global sustainable development goals. Dr. Pakamas Thinphanga, UCRSEA Co-Director and TEI Programme Manager, and Dr. Yanyong Inmuong, FERS-MSU Dean, were the main facilitators. Learn more about the workshop here.
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Citizen Science: Air Quality Training Workshops

  • January 1, 2017 - February 28, 2017
  • Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar
From mid-January to early February 2017, UCRSEA held five air quality monitoring workshops in Ninh Binh, Vietnam (12-13 January), Khon Kaen, Thailand (16-17 January), Phnom Penh, Camboda (19-20 January), Battambang, Cambodia (23-24 January) and Yangon, Myanmar (31 January-1 February). The workshops aimed to teach UCRSEA partners and other participants how to use the Airbeam device (seen here), how to upload the data to the AirCasting website, and how to use the website; teach participants what PM 2.5 is, what its sources are, and why it is harmful to health and the importance of monitoring it; and help participants start thinking about how they can use the Airbeam device for teaching, research, and advocacy. Partners were expected to develop a work plan for the use of the monitoring devices/application and collection of scientific data. This may include engagement with multiple stakeholders in their respective cities, thus participating in ‘Citizen Science’. Academic partners may develop a teaching course in Science using the devices and application. Workshop trainors were Dr. Danny Marks, UCRSEA Postdoctoral Fellow, and Harry Li, PhD candidate at the University of Toronto (under the supervision of Prof. Dylan Jones, Department of Physics). The workshop report is available here.
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