The Urban Climate Resilience in Southeast Asia Partnership, a new multimillion-dollar research partnership, will address vulnerabilities to climate change in urbanizing areas of Southeast Asia with the goal of enhancing resilience as well as economic and social well-being.
York social science Professors Lisa Drummond (a faculty fellow of the York Centre for Asian Research) and Douglas Young of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, are co-investigators on the five–year project based in Canada at the Asian Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto.
The project’s co-directors are Amrita Daniere, a professor in the geography and planning department at the University of Toronto, and Pakamas Thinphanga, a research scientist based at the Thailand Environmental Institute in Bangkok, Thailand.
York Professor L. Anders Sandberg of the Faculty of Environmental Studies is a member of the project’s International Advisory Board. In its first year, the project will also involve two York graduate students.
The project aims to provide vulnerable peoples in transitional states with the space to learn about and share in decisions about protecting themselves from the economic, social, and physical impacts of climate change.
It will establish a new network of scholars and researchers working to support public fora to mitigate the vulnerability of urban communities to global environmental change in the region. It will engage universities, non-governmental organizations, and local organizations and governments in a multi-disciplinary partnership, combining the science of interpreting climate change’s uncertainties, risks, and impacts with social science analysis from geography, anthropology and planning.
The international collaboration includes 19 researchers and 12 partners from four countries in the region that are experiencing, and are anticipated to further experience, both rapid urbanization and the severe effects of climate change. The countries are Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.
The project’s initiating partners include the Thailand Environmental Institute Foundation, a non-government think tank focusing on scientific and policy issues in Southeast Asia, and the Institute for Social and Environmental Transition, an international NGO with extensive experience in knowledge sharing and building urban climate change resilience and York University, among others.
The International Partnerships for Sustainable Societies (IPaSS) grant is funded by the International Development Research Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
The IPaSS initiative supports international partnerships that produce high-quality research to inform academic, public and policy debates in ways that can help create just, inclusive and sustainable social and economic development. Four grants were awarded in 2014.