Citizen Science: Air Quality Training Workshops
- January 1, 2017 - February 28, 2017
- Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar
The Politics of Flooding in Bangkok
- December 1, 2016
- Munk School of Global Affairs
Complex Urban Systems Writeshop
- November 28, 2016 - November 30, 2016
- Bangkok, Thailand
Representatives of UCRSEA partner organizations met in Bangkok on 28-30 November 2016 for the Partnership’s second Writeshop, which is focused on increasing the understanding of complex urban systems frameworks, supporting partner organization representatives in documenting their research findings, support the process of producing written outputs, and sharing lessons learned during the course of the attendees’ UCRSEA research projects.
The Writeshop was hosted by the Thailand Environment Institute.
Theory of Change Training Workshops
- November 1, 2016
- Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia
The Partnership organized and held training workshops in Hanoi, Vietnam (17-18 November), Khon Kaen, Thailand (21-22 November) and Phnom Penh, Cambodia (24-25 November) to develop an overarching Theory of Change Framework for the Partnership and to strategize ways for team members to apply that framework to their own projects. The workshops also aimed to strengthen capacity and technical skills of team members in project planning, and in monitoring and evaluating their work.
Case Studies on Building Urban Climate Resilience in SEA
- November 1, 2016
- Munk School of Global Affairs
UCRSEA held a seminar on November 1 focusing on findings on recent fieldwork conducted by four graduate students in Cambodia and Thailand. UCRSEA held a seminar on November 1 focusing on findings on recent fieldwork conducted by four graduate students in Cambodia and Thailand.
Angelica de Jesus, a PhD student at the University of Toronto, spoke on the “Dual challenges of migration climate change: Experiences of Myanmar labour migrants in Phuket, Thailand.” Using the framework of structural violence, she discussed how Myanmar labour migrants have been discriminated against by state actors in Phuket and gave examples of discrimination in the healthcare and water sectors. This discrimination, she argued, compounds their vulnerability to the effects of climate change in Thailand. She also highlighted how social constructs, such as gender, residency status, place, and family, shape labour migrants’ lives in Phuket.
Furqan Asif, a PhD student at the University of Ottawa, presented “Leaving the coast: the interplay of wellbeing and resilience for coastal fishing communities in Cambodia”. He discussed how environmental degradation, overexploitation of fish stocks, and the effects of climate change are negatively affecting the abundance and diversity of coastal fisheries, thereby hurting livelihoods and exacerbating poverty in coastal communities in Cambodia. He also discussed how his research seeks to use the social well-being approach to help better understand the resilience of these communities. He also described how migration affects the social well-being of fishermen in his case study communities.
In his presentation, “Deconstructing Perceptions of Vulnerability and Risk in Khon Kaen’s Informal Spaces”, Nathan Stewart, an MA student at the University of Toronto, focused on how climate change vulnerability in informal spaces is perceived and planned for by informal community residents, NGO workers, and government officials in Khon Kaen, Thailand, a secondary city in Northeast Thailand. It is a city with a high informal population which could be negatively affected by the effects of climate change. He contended that a disconnect exists between the understanding of these risks by informal communities and the understanding by government officials and NGOs. He then concluded that these perceptions of vulnerability can influence the development and performance of urban planning policies across multiple scales.
The “Role of Public Participation in Sustainable Development: Building Light Rail Transit in Khon Kaen” was presented by Anshul Bhatnagar, also an MA student at the University of Toronto. He discussed the transportation problems in this city and the different ways stakeholders’ were addressing them. The majority of 55 interviewees felt that a light-rail system is the best response for the city and are confident that this project will bring new opportunities, create jobs and benefit the environment.
Some themes that emerged in the presentations and the question-and-answer sessions were the myth of community solidarity, the linkages between governance structures and vulnerability to the effects of climate change, and the importance of empowering marginalized communities.
Inaugural Dawei Collaborative City Exchange Trip
- October 25, 2016 - October 28, 2016
- Dawei, Myanmar
Warm welcome from Mahasarahkham University
- May 1, 2016
In May, project partner Mahasarahkham University invited members of UCRSEA team to spend the day at the University to discuss urban climate change issues, the project and the partnership. Mahasarakham University has recently become a partner in the project, thanks to the hard work of Ajan Yanyong Inmuong, Dean of Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies.
The First National Academic Seminar on Urbanization and Climate Change Resilience in Southeast Asia featured excellent updates on local climate issues as well as a warm welcome to the team by the President of Mahasarakham. The work to be done in the region is quite exciting, said Co-Director Amrita Daniere, and we look forward to working with faculty, local activists and government officials on water and heat-related issues over the next four years.
UCRSEA team members in attendance included Co-Directors Pakamas Thinphanga and Amrita Daniere, Richard Friend (Institute of Social and Environmental Transition-Regional Office), Pimolwan Singhawong (ISET-Regional Office), Krongjit Kitikard (Thailand Environment Institute), Anusara Phosri (Thailand Environment Institute), Kwanruen Yodkham (Thailand Environment Institute), and Ishtiaq Afridi (intern, University of Toronto).
Engaging Cities in Climate Resilience
- April 28, 2016
- Hanoi, Vietnam
The very first UCRSEA Writeshop was held on 28 April 2016 at Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam. This Proposal “Writeshop” focused on building the capacity of graduate students in Southeast Asia to better design research proposals and research projects. Learn more about the event here.
2016 UCRSEA Annual Workshop: Addressing the hallenges of climate vulnerability in urban areas
- April 24, 2016 - April 27, 2016
- Hanoi, Vietnam
Opening the Second Annual Meeting and Workshop of Urban Climate Resilience in Southeast Asia Partnership Programme in Hanoi, H.E. David Devine, Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam, highlighted the importance of building resilient urban futures for the countries in the Mekong region. With extensive droughts and record high temperatures across Southeast Asia, the threats of climate change are increasingly apparent. In one of the most rapidly urbanizing regions in the world, Mekong cities face changing risks and vulnerabilities; there is an urgent need to reshape critical urban systems and infrastructure for safe service deliveries.
Over 60 academics, civil society representatives, government officials and post-graduate students from Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Canada came together at the event, co-hosted by the Centre for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES) at Vietnam National University, to discuss the implications of regionalization, urbanization and climate change and to address the challenges of climate vulnerability.
The UCRSEA project aims to develop innovative research partnerships and contribute to influencing policy change by generating scientific evidence and providing space for informed public dialogue.
UCRSEA’s distinguished International Advisory Board highlighted the importance of the project’s research at the three-day event. Bhichit Rattakul, formal governor of Bangkok, Thailand and Director of Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), highlighted the importance of engaging with the eight selected project cities to translate research on resilience into practical solutions that can be taken up by other cities in the region. Professor Nay Htun (Stony Brook University) warned of the urgency of addressing climate futures, and the risks of a world that is four degrees warmer than pre-industrial times. Dr Bach Than Sinh from the National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategy Studies (NISTPASS) in Vietnam reminded those in attendance of the need to ensure that urban futures are ecological viable and socially just.
A key element of the UCRSEA partnership is support for the training of early career academics and post-graduate students. As part of the annual meeting and workshop, UCRSEA hosted a writeshop at Vietnam National University on April 28th to build up the research proposal writing and design capacity of Vietnamese graduate students.
The annual meeting and workshop, held on 24-27 April 2016, included a field trip to Ninh Binh, one of the project’s eight focus cities. Photos from the annual meeting and workshop are available here.
Funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, UCRSEA is a partnership between the University of Toronto and the Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) with a network of key universities, non-governmental organizations and government bodies in the Mekong region and Canada.
Enclaves of Capital in Myanmar: Urbanization and the Dawei Special Economic Zone
- March 25, 2016
- University of Toronto