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NTS-Asia Newsletter No. 36

Click here for the PDF version.

Contents:
The NTS-Asia Newsletter Team
Mely Caballero-Anthony, Cheryl Lim and Sofiah Jamil.

Websites:

Announcements

BIPSS President Assumes Chair of Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change

http://bipss.org.bd/images/gmac%20logo.jpgPresident of the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies, Maj-Gen. Muniruzzaman (Retd), has assumed the chair of the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMAC). GMAC comprises generals and admirals (both serving and retired) from 25 different countries. Headquartered in The Hague, the Council works closely with NATO, the European Union, ASEAN Regional Forum and other international bodies on issues related to the security implications of climate change. GMAC has been instrumental in enhancing international understanding on issues of climate security. It was one of the key driving forces behind the recent United Nations Security Council resolution on climate security and is involved in its follow up discourse. GMAC also drew the attention of governments and the international community to the security dimensions of climate change during the COP 15 in Copenhagen. Maj-Gen. Muniruzzaman had made the presentation on behalf of the Council.

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Recent Events

RSIS Centre for NTS Studies’ Expert Group Meeting on the
‘Impact of Climate Change on ASEAN Food Security’

6–7 June 2013
Manila, Philippines

http://www3.ntu.edu.sg/rsis/nts/images/events/050513-02.jpgThis meeting explored the elements of climate change that may impact the components of the food ecosystem, and in doing so, affect the food security of ASEAN. Among the issues that the meeting examined were: the impact of climate change on the dynamics of corn, wheat, soybeans, frozen meat, and fresh vegetables, and climate change effects on intra-regional trade of rice, fresh vegetables, fish and eggs.

The meeting sought to determine the climate change scenarios that are most likely to impact the food security ecosystem in ASEAN, recognising the inter-connectedness between geographic regions for food trade, and identified strategies that would allow a mapping of the drivers that affect food security, which then led to a detailed assessment of the impact of climate change on food security ecosystem components, according to geographic locations.

RSIS Centre for NTS Studies’ Expert Group Meeting on the
‘ASEAN Economic Community and Food Security’

3–4 June 2013
Manila, Philippines

http://www3.ntu.edu.sg/rsis/nts/images/events/050513-01.jpgThis meeting explored the elements of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) which may impact one or more of the components of the food ecosystem, and in doing so, affect the food security of the ASEAN region generally, and Singapore more specifically (as a case study country which imports over 90 per cent of its food). In general, agriculture trade affects the food security ecosystem by fostering economic growth and hence farm income, by adding to domestic food supplies to meet consumption needs, and by reducing food supply variability.

The meeting provided a forum for experts to share their assessments of how the AEC may offer opportunities and pose challenges for the food ecosystem at two thinking horizons – 2020 and 2030. It focused on effects of the AEC on intra-regional trade of rice, fresh vegetables and fruits, eggs and fish.

CSDS Talk on ‘Political Transition in Myanmar: Implications for India’

22 May 2013
New Delhi, India

CSDS   Centre for thr Study of Developing SocietiesDr Sanjay Pulipaka, Fellow at the ICRIER-Wadhwani Chair in India-US Policy Studies, delivered a talk on ‘Political Transition in Myanmar: Implications for India’. Organised by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), India, the talk provided an overview of the political landscape of Myanmar and examined the context and the outcome of the 2010 General Election and the by-elections in 2012. It also focused on the tactics adopted by various stakeholders in these processes, the significance of ethnic parties and the reasons for the change, opportunities, as well as challenges that come with transition.

CISS Participates in 66th World Health Assembly in Geneva

20–28 May 2013
Geneva, Switzerland

Centre for International Security Studies (CISS) Senior Lecturer Dr Adam Kamradt-Scott, participated in the 66th World Health Assembly in Geneva. The week-long assembly is held annually in Geneva, and is attended by delegations from all World Health Organization (WHO) member states. The main functions of the assembly are to determine the policies of the WHO, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget.

APPG Meeting with Alex Bellamy, Founding Director of APCR2P

15 May 2013
Brisbane, Australia

http://www.una.org.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/node_full_standard/R2P%20report%20launch%20May%202013.jpgOn 15 May, the All Party Parliamentary Groups on the United Nations, Global Security and Non-Proliferation, and on Genocide Prevention, were addressed by leading experts on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP). They are Prof. Alex J. Bellamy, Founding Director of the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (APCR2P); and the Hon. Gareth Evans, Chancellor of the Australian National University. In a panel discussion chaired by Lord Hannay, both speakers highlighted the progress made on establishing and consolidating the principle of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP), and the challenges of implementing the policy framework it prescribes for preventing and responding to mass atrocity crimes.

Click here to read more.

RSIS Centre for NTS Studies-UBC Institute of Asian Research
ASEAN-Canada IDRC Training Workshop for Junior Fellows

13–17 May 2013
Vancouver, Canada

Junior Fellows with trainer Michael Sjoerdsma (third from left) at the workshop.
The RSIS Centre for NTS Studies together with the Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia (UBC), organised a five-day training workshop for junior fellows of the ASEAN-Canada Research Partnership in UBC, Vancouver. The aim of this training workshop was to guide junior fellows in their writing for the research papers under the fellowship. The training sessions were conducted by senior members of the UBC Department of English as well as the Simon Fraser University School of Engineering Science. Selected papers will be selected for presentation at the ASEAN-Canada Forum to be held in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, this August.

Junior fellows’ blog entries related to their research and fieldwork progress have been posted on the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies’ blog. Click here to read their entries.

BIPSS President Attends South Asian Leaders Engagement Programme at Harvard

5–10 May 2013
Massachusetts, US

http://bipss.org.bd/images/Herverd%20uni.jpgPresident of the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS), Maj-Gen. Muniruzzaman (Retd) attended the ‘South Asian Leaders Engagement Programme’ organised by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University from 5–10 May 2013. The programme deliberated on South Asian security issues with a special emphasis on the topic of water security. It was attended by senior political leaders, policymakers, diplomats and experts from South Asian countries and the United States.

CSDS Roundtable on ‘The Suryanelli Case: PW3, The Willing Journey of a Misguided Girl’

29 April 2013
New Delhi, India

Organised by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), this roundtable explored the discourses surrounding acts of gender violence, and how these impact on the politics of public opinion and movements for gender justice. Using the famous Suryanelli rape case as an important point of reference, the roundtable unpacked how apparently objective criteria in the legal system, for assessment of sexual assault, often hide patriarchal assumptions that not only obstruct justice but continue the gendered assault on the victim. Roundtable speakers included Rukhsana Chowdhari, Senior Lawyer at the Supreme Court of India; Elizabeth Philip, founding member of ‘Sahaja’ (Kottayam); Arathi PM, Council for Social Development, Delhi; and Poornima Joshi, Journalist and Associate Editor with Social Change.

RSIS Centre for NTS Studies Expert Working Group Meeting on
‘Advancing Urban Resilience in the Face of Environmental Challenges’

22–23 April 2013
Singapore

http://www3.ntu.edu.sg/rsis/nts/images/events/160313-01.jpgThis meeting, organised by the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies, focused on key environmental challenges facing Southeast Asia’s urban spaces. Firstly, it discussed the costs and benefits of building urban resilience for both the public and private sector and identified the trade-offs attributable to building urban resilience to environmental and climatic changes. Secondly, it reviewed best practices of participatory urban resilience building, identified who benefits from such adaptation measures and recommended ways for vulnerable communities to be more engaged in urban resilience processes. Thirdly, it discussed sustainable financing and investment mechanisms for adaptation approaches that would drive urban local governments away from dependence on external aid, and lastly, it explored the conflicts between different resilience approaches and measures and recommended ways to reconcile them.

Click here to read the issues brief.
A conference report detailing the meeting’s proceedings will be published shortly.

BIPPS Participates in Pacific Environmental Security Forum

16–19 April 2013
Sydney, Australia

http://bipss.org.bd/images/PESF%20group%20photo.jpgPresident of the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS), Maj-Gen. Muniruzzaman (Retd) presented a paper at the Pacific Environmental Security Forum held in Sydney, Australia from 16 to 19 April 2013. His presentation was titled ‘Security Implications of Climate Change: Its Impact on National and Regional Stability’.

The forum was jointly organised by the United State Pacific Command and Department of Defense and was attended by participants from various countries in the Asia-Pacific region and the United States.

RSIS Centre for NTS Studies’ Roundtable on
‘Enhancing Global and Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Management and Conflict Resolution’

15 April 2013
Singapore

Prof. Ibrahim Gambari delivering his presentation.
This roundtable sought to address the challenges of conflict management and resolution with the following three questions in mind: In what ways can we enhance existing mechanisms? Are new frameworks and policy options needed? What roles do international, regional, national and local actors play, and how can divergent aims be reconciled? What efforts can better support mediation efforts?

Discussions noted the need for conflict mediators to be impartial and possess a deep understanding of the grievances. The importance of monitoring the implementation of peace agreements to ensure sustainable peace was also raised. Regional and global peacemaking institutions also need to improve their capability and effectiveness in addressing the interconnectedness between peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. Finally, the discussion highlighted the necessity of fostering coordinated responses from the many different peacemakers in certain conflicts.

The speaker of the roundtable was Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Distinguished Visiting Fellow, RSIS; and former Joint Special Representative of the Africa Union/UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID). Panellists comprised Dr Jusuf Kalla, former Vice President of Indonesia; Prof. Mely Caballero-Anthony, Head of the RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies; and Mr Marc Probst of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.

Click here to read the summary notes from the roundtable.

BIPPS Participates in Conference on ‘Global Water Security and Its Impacts’

3 April 2013
Washington, DC, US

http://bipss.org.bd/images/ASP5.jpgPresident of the Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS), Maj-Gen. Muniruzzaman (Retd) spoke at a conference on ‘Global Water Security and Its Impacts’. The conference was hosted by the United States’ National Intelligence Council and the United States’ Department of State. This closed-door conference deliberated on relevant global security issues and brought together senior government policymakers and experts. Maj-Gen. Muniruzzaman’s presentation at the conference focused on ‘Identifying the Global Dimensions of Security’.

During his visit to Washington, DC, Maj-Gen. Muniruzzaman also held meetings with both governmental and non-governmental organisations. In addition, he delivered a lecture on ‘Climate Change and Global Security’ at the American Security Project (ASP). General Muniruzzaman spoke in his capacity as Chairman of the Global Military Advisory Council on Climate Change (GMAC).

ISDS Participates in Jakarta International Defence Dialogue 2013

20–21 March 2013
Jakarta, Indonesia

An Image SlideshowFounding President and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Strategic and Development Studies (ISDS), Philippines; and Emer. Prof. of Political Science in the University of the Philippines (Diliman), Carolina Hernandez, spoke at the 3rd Jakarta International Defence Dialogue in the session on ‘Porous Borders: Stronger Control and Cooperation’. In it, she proposed that the issue of borders, their porosity and the security challenges they create in a fast-changing strategic regional and global environment merit urgent attention. However, to successfully tackle the issue, nothing short of a global approach including all relevant stakeholders at all levels of governance can work.

Click here to read her presentation.
This year’s dialogue focused on the topic of ‘Defence and Diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific Region’.

Head of RSIS Centre for NTS Studies Participates in 59th Session
of the UN Secretary General Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters

27 February – 1 March 2013
New York, US

Prof. Caballero-Anthony (front row, second from left) together with the other members of the UN Secretary General ABDM.
Head of the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies, Prof. Mely Caballero-Anthony participated in the 59th Session of the United Nations Secretary General Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters (ABDM), in New York on 27 February to 1 March. She has been appointed a Member of this UN Advisory Board by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for a three-year term beginning 1 January 2013.

Issues discussed at the meeting include the relations between the nuclear-weapon-free zones in advancing regional and global security, as well as disarmament and security implications of emerging technologies.

RSIS Centre for NTS Studies Involved in ‘Myanmar Leadership Course on Climate Change’

18–22 February 2013
Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

Prof. Caballero-Anthony (second from left) with participants of the training programme.
Head of Centre, Prof. Mely Caballero-Anthony, was the key resource person in the training programme on ‘Myanmar Leadership Course on Climate Change’, organised by the Partnership for International Strategies in Asia (PISA) in collaboration with the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology of the Government of Myanmar, and Advancing Life and Regenerating Motherland Group (ALARM) – a local NGO.

The five-day training programme, held in Myanmar’s capital, Nay Pyi Taw, on 18–22 Feb 2013 was aimed at, among others, gaining a better understanding of climate change’s anticipated impacts on Myanmar, and to learn and examine cooperative approaches from the local to the regional level that can inform climate change policies. The training programme brought together about 30 selected officials representing different ministries in Myanmar. Prof. Caballero-Anthony lectured on ‘ASEAN, Climate Change and Human Security’.

Click here for more information on the event.

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Recent Publications

The Responsibility to Protect: ‘Towards a Living Reality’
Alex Bellamy, Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (APCR2P), Report, April 2013.

This report, written by Prof. Alex Bellamy, Founding Director of the APCR2P, serves as United Nations Association-UK’s (UNA-UK) first policy briefing on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP). The document is an account of the emergence of the RtoP. It clarifies the principle’s meaning and scope and considers the steps required to implement the norm at the UN Headquarters, within national governments and as part of the international response to emerging crises across the world.

 

R2P Ideas in Brief
Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (APCR2P), Vol. 3, No. 1, Brief, 2013.

This policy brief examines recent developments in Myanmar and Indonesia in the context of ethnic tensions and how their respective governments have responded so far in averting further communal violence. It argues that growing ethnic tensions in these two countries should serve as a wake-up call for governments in Southeast Asia to take more seriously their primary responsibility in preventing the escalation of communal conflicts that could lead to mass atrocity crimes. Specifically, it underscores the need for adopting an atrocity prevention lens in dealing with ethnic conflicts, which is key towards implementing the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) and in protecting minority groups. It recommends, among other things, the importance of promoting inter-faith dialogue and community-based peacemaking in order to prevent the escalation of further communal violence. A regional response, through ASEAN is also necessary, particularly in the case of addressing the Rohingya issue, as it has become a transnational security concern in this part of the world.

 

Ethnicity and Human Security in Bangladesh and Pakistan
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ZuVgRxJYL._SY300_.jpgMohammad Humayun Kabir and Abu Taher Salauddin Ahmed, South Asian Human Security Series, Book, 2013.

The book identifies the sources and nature of threats to people belonging to ethnic groups and conceptualises human security in a manner that addresses the inadequacy of the traditional approach. It conducts an analysis on ethnicity- and non-ethnicity-induced human security problems in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh and the Sindh Province of Pakistan. 

 

Neglected Rural Public Health Issue: The Case of Intestinal Roundworms
China & World EconomyLinxiu Zhang et al., China & World Economy, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp 25–43, May–June 2013.

Despite increasing institutional and financial support, certain public health issues are still neglected by the Chinese Government. This paper examines the soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infection and reinfection rates by conducting a survey on 1,724 children in Guizhou Province, China. Results indicate that poverty and number of siblings are significantly and positively correlated with infection and reinfection, and parental education is significantly and negatively correlated with infection and reinfection. Given the ineffectiveness of treatment in these areas to date, for anthelminthic campaigns to actually succeed, China must pay more attention to local-level incentives to improve children’s health.

 

Implications of the Kafala System: The Need for Reform
Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), Policy Brief, 2013.

RMMRU organised a two-day training workshop on the Kafala system (sponsorship system of migrant labourers) in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries on 26–27 February in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The workshop concluded that although the Kafala system initially upheld the principles of Arab hospitality, it has over the years, turned into a system that fosters exploitation and abuse of migrant workers. This policy brief contains the proceedings of the workshop and recommends the Bangladesh government to take a proactive role to generate awareness and understanding of the adverse effects of the system, and requests the governments of GCC countries to undertake system reform.

 

Labour Migration from Bangladesh 2012
Tasneem Siddiqui and Marina Sultana, Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU), Report, January 2013.

Globalisation has opened up enormous opportunities for international migration, but, at the same time it has thrown many new challenges. It is not possible for a single participating state to address all these complex challenges. Sending countries, receiving countries and international community, all have their role to establish good governance in migration; and migration specialists argue for continuous enhancement of capabilities to cope with new challenges in global migration.

Bangladesh is highly dependent on labour migration. The government and civil society of Bangladesh have initiated many steps for ensuring good governance in migration. This report highlights Bangladesh's achievements and challenges in the migration sector in 2012.

 

Community Engagement and Environmental Management
Mely Caballero-Anthony (ed.), in Natural Riches? Perspectives on Responsible Natural Resource Management in Conflict-affected Countries, Chapter 9, pp 45–47, Geneva: World Economic Forum, 2013.

Political and economic shifts create a range of opportunities for developing countries in a state of transition. Restrictions to doing business, both international and domestic, are often relaxed, economic and financial reforms can oil the wheels of commerce, and the comparative advantages present within the country regularly take on new value. When such shifts occur in countries with advantageous locations, strong resource endowments and high ceilings for growth, these countries can rapidly attract new investment opportunities and attention from international public and private sector actors alike.

Community-level engagement is essential for responsible resource development. This chapter offers principles to guide resource development projects in ways that bring relevant communities into the fray and presents some essential characteristics of effective community engagement within multiple contexts. It concludes by exploring recent policies in Myanmar that speak to community engagement on resource development.

 

Non-Traditional Security in Asia: Issues, Challenges and Framework for Action
Mely Caballero-Anthony and Alistair D.B. Cook (eds), RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, Singapore: ISEAS, March 2013.

The book undertakes an issue-specific chapter study of how Asian states and societies address non-traditional security concerns from environmental adaptation and mitigation measures to conflict resolution. Through a systematic evaluation of these non-traditional security issues by employing a comprehensive analytical framework, critical appreciation of the dynamics of the policymaking process surrounding issues of crucial national, regional and international significance in Asia are made. As a result of sharing these insights, the contributors provide the tools as well as a selection of issue-specific stakeholders to illuminate the key but complex characteristics of non-traditional security in Asia.

 

Emergency Return of Bangladeshi Migrants from Libya
Tasneem Siddiqui and M. Rashed Alam Bhuiyan, RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, NTS Working Paper, May 2013.

Few studies have been done on the vulnerabilities faced by migrants during events such as civil war, regime change or a global financial crisis. This NTS Working Paper presents the results of a research project that aims to address this gap. The study examines the case of Bangladeshi migrant workers who were forced to return to Bangladesh because of the turmoil in Libya in 2011. Using data from surveys and interviews, this study provides a picture of their entire migration experience, from point of preparing for migration to the specific threats and challenges they faced as a result of the crisis in Libya. Its findings suggest that the burden of such events fall disproportionately on migrants and their families. It therefore recommends that the global migration regime be reviewed, with issues of sharing of burden and risks by destination countries and employers given greater priority.

 

The ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR): Cooperation, Commitment and Contradictions
Sally Trethewie, RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, NTS Working Paper, March 2013.

This NTS Working Paper examines the prospects for the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) launched in July 2012. It looks at whether the APTERR can overcome the limitations of past rice reserves, which include low stocks and inefficient supply processes, and thus contribute to improving the food security of ASEAN member states through a more stable rice sector. In particular, it highlights inconsistencies in the extent to which different countries are committed to the APTERR, a fundamental issue given that one of the scheme’s objectives is to promote regional cooperation in the rice sector.

 

Enhancing Global and Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Management and Resolution
Ibrahim Gambari, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, RSIS Working Paper, May 2013.

In this paper, the author provides an overview of the global perspectives on conflict management and conflict resolution and the international and regional efforts to address them. He begins with some general and theoretical observations followed by a synopsis of three case studies (Cyprus, Darfur/Sudan and Myanmar), each one chosen from three regions (Europe, Africa and Asia), based on his direct involvement in helping to resolve them. He then makes some concluding remarks and recommendations on enhancing the mechanisms for conflict management and resolution.

 

Advancing Urban Resilience in the face of Environmental Change
J. Jackson Ewing and Gianna Gayle Amul, RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, Issues Brief, June 2013.

This NTS Issues Brief is based on the proceedings of the Expert Working Group Meeting on Advancing Urban Resilience in the Face of Environmental Change held in April 2013. It highlights several issues that were flagged by meeting participants as being of vital importance: (1) integrating resilience and development goals; (2) fostering governance systems that can balance competing urban interests; and (3) recognising and capitalising on the convergence of finance, technology and information management.

 

Multilevel Approaches to Human Security and Conflict Management: The Rohingya Case
C.R. Abrar, RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, Policy Brief, June 2013.

The Rohingyas in Rakhine state, Myanmar, have been categorised by the UN as the most persecuted minority of the world. This brief discusses the plight of the members of the Rohingya community since June 2012 in both Myanmar and neighbouring Bangladesh, where they have been attempting to secure asylum. The case of the Rohingyas highlights the relevance of a widening of the security agenda. The two concepts currently in vogue in security studies – human security and the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) – are operationalised when attempts to explain the turn of events affecting the Rohingyas are made and policy actions for the governments of Myanmar and Bangladesh as well as regional and international agencies are recommended.

 

Security Implications of Climate Change: A Case Study of Bangladesh
Maj-Gen. A.N.M. Muniruzzaman, RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, Policy Brief, April 2013.

Climate change is a major non-traditional security challenge for Bangladesh. Sea level rise, and the possible loss of land mass, represents an existential threat to the country. More immediately, thousands of people are directly and indirectly suffering from the impacts of climate events. This NTS Policy Brief highlights key climate change-related challenges facing Bangladesh. It goes on to provide policy recommendations for governmental as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) dealing with the climate vulnerabilities experienced by Bangladesh.

 

Financing Climate Adaptation in the Asia-Pacific: Avoiding Flawed Aid Paradigms
J. Jackson Ewing and Gianna Gayle Amul, RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, NTS Insight, May 2013.

The Asia-Pacific is highly vulnerable to the intertwined physical and social impacts of climate change, and effective adaptation measures are a regional imperative. Such climate adaptation plans are predicated in part on external assistance that is actuated through financial mechanisms. What is less clear is how these mechanisms actually operate, what problems they foment and what pitfalls need to be avoided in future policies. In the course of addressing these points, this NTS Insight warns of a potential ‘climate finance curse’ akin to the ‘aid curse’ described in broader development literature, and identifies pathways for avoiding such risks.

 

Will the Resource Tide Lift All Boats? Responsible Development in Myanmar
J. Jackson Ewing and Pau Khan Khup Hangzo, RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, NTS Insight, April 2013.

Political and economic reforms in Myanmar have brought a wide range of companies and state enterprises to its doorstep – all eager to tap the country’s abundant natural resources and its growth potential. However, in the absence of strong regulatory frameworks, Myanmar could fall victim to its own resource abundance. What is required therefore are frameworks for responsible resource management founded on the principles of transparency, accountability and community engagement. Such frameworks are essential for ensuring that Myanmar’s natural wealth leads to sustainable and widely beneficial development, and will only grow in importance as the country becomes more integrated into regional and global economic systems.

 

Nuclear Energy Development in Southeast Asia: Implications for Singapore
Sofiah Jamil and Lina Gong, RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, NTS Insight, March 2013.

Southeast Asia is witnessing a revival of interest in civil nuclear energy development in the region. Behind this shift are factors such as political transition in Japan, the lure of economic benefits and incentives, and continuing efforts to promulgate the view that the nuclear option is safe. Given the potential transboundary consequences of nuclear accidents, these developments have implications for the security and safety of Singapore’s population. Enhancing nuclear safety must thus remain a priority, and the role of regional platforms must be strengthened towards this end.

 

Publications Catalog 2012
WorldFish Center, 2013.

This catalog lists publications by WorldFish, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS), as well as papers contributed by the Center’s scientists in 2012. It reflects the outcomes of research carried out in collaboration with partners from 27 countries through the generous support from international investors. The majority of which are members of CGIAR.

 

An Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) in Misamis, Occidental, Philippines
WorldFish Center, Brochure 2013-31, 2013.         

WorldFish Center, with funding support from the European Commission (EC), is undertaking a project with sites in Indonesia, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Tanzania. Titled ‘Implementing an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries (EAF) in Small-scale Tropical Marine Fisheries’, the project commenced in December 2011 and is set to finish by December 2014. The project has adopted an EAF framework with the aim of improving small-scale fisheries (SSF) management in the four countries – a significant step to help reduce poverty. In the Philippines component of the project, the site covers eight coastal municipalities in the Province of Misamis Occidental, Mindanao.

 

Innovations in Capture Fisheries Are an Imperative for Nutrition Security in the Developing World
http://www.worldfishcenter.org/sites/default/files/pnas.jpgStephen J. Hall et al., Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Journal Article, May 2013.

This article examines two strands of discourse on wild capture fisheries; one that focuses on resource sustainability and environmental impacts, another related to food and nutrition security and human well-being. Available data and research show that, for countries most dependent on fish to meet the nutritional requirements of their population, wild capture fisheries remain the dominant supplier. Although, contrary to popular narratives, the sustainability of these fisheries is not always and everywhere in crisis, securing their sustainability is essential and requires considerable effort across a broad spectrum of fishery systems. An impediment to achieving this is that the current research and policy discourses on environmental sustainability of fisheries and food security remain only loosely and superficially linked. Overcoming this requires adoption of a broader sustainability science paradigm to help harness synergies and negotiate tradeoffs between food security, resource conservation, and macroeconomic development goals. The way society chooses to govern fisheries is, however, an ethical choice, not just a technical one, and the authors of this article recommend adding an ethical dimension to sustainability science as applied to fisheries.

 

Fisheries Policies for a New Era
Stephen J. Hall et al., WorldFish Center, Policy Brief 2013-28, 2013.

There is a growing recognition that the fisheries policies of the past have been driven primarily by environmental and economic research agendas. This may have been due to the influence of the more powerful actors in the fisheries policy debate: foreign governments, conservation organisations, the scientific establishment, development bodies, and finance institutions. The actors without a voice at the table have been the millions of small-scale fishers, less educated, less organised, and with little economic or political weight. To help navigate the challenges of future fisheries reform and promote a broader and more inclusive set of policies based both on environmental and sociological criteria, four guiding principles are recommended in this brief.

 

Fish – More than Just Another Commodity
Stephen J. Hall et al., WorldFish Center, Issues Brief 2013-27, 2013.

This brief highlights the contribution of wild capture fisheries to nutritional security in fish dependent developing countries. It is intended to stimulate debate around two broad themes: (1) when should the focus of fisheries policies be on local food security and human well-being as opposed to revenue generation; and (2) how does the current research agenda, with its emphasis on environmental and economic issues, assist or impair decision-making processes.

 

Fish Diversity and Fish Consumption in Bangladesh
http://www.b4fn.org/typo3temp/pics/0a3c50314d.jpgS. Thilsted in J. Fanzo et al. (eds), Diversifying Food and Diets: Using Agricultural Biodiversity to Improve Nutrition and Health, London: Earthscan, 2013.

Agricultural biodiversity is important for food and nutritional security, as a safeguard against hunger, a source of nutrients for improved dietary diversity and quality, and strengthening local food systems and environmental sustainability. This book chapter explores the current state of knowledge on the role of agricultural biodiversity in improving diets, nutrition and food security in Bangladesh. It explores current strategies for improving nutrition and diets and identifies key research and implementation gaps that need to be addressed to successfully promote the better use of agricultural biodiversity for rural and urban populations.

 

Resource Conflict, Collective Action, and Resilience: An Analytical Framework
http://www.worldfishcenter.org/sites/default/files/styles/full/public/journal.JPGB.D. Ratner et al., International Journal of the Commons, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp 183–208.

Where access to renewable natural resources essential to rural livelihoods is highly contested, improving cooperation in resource management is an important element in strategies for peacebuilding and conflict prevention. While researchers have made advances in assessing the role of environmental resources as a causal factor in civil conflict, analysis of the positive potential of collective natural resource management efforts to reduce broader conflict is less developed. Addressing this need, the paper presents a framework on collective action, conflict prevention, and social-ecological resilience, linking local stakeholder dynamics to the broader institutional and governance context. Accounting for both formal and informal relationships of power and influence, as well as values and stakeholder perceptions alongside material interests, the framework aims to provide insight into the problem of (re)building legitimacy of common-pool resource management institutions in conflict-sensitive environments. The paper further outlines its application in stakeholder-based problem assessment and planning, participatory monitoring and evaluation, and multi-case comparative analysis.

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Commentaries and other News Articles

Climate Change: Just as Dangerous for Southeast Asia
Le Dinh Tinh, RSIS Commentaries, No. 104, 30 May 2013.

Is Region Ready for a New Pandemic?
Mely Caballero-Anthony and Gianna Gayle Amul, NTS Viewpoint, April 2013.
(republished in TODAY, The Malaysian Insider, and The Edge Review)

SEA Must Take Better Shot at Gun Control
Pau Khan Khup Hangzo, TODAY, 19 May 2013.

Re-emerging Infectious Diseases: Is ASEAN Prepared?
Mely Caballero-Anthony and Gianna Gayle Amul, RSIS Commentaries, No. 93, 15 May 2013.

Clearing the Air
Jackson Ewing and Elizabeth McRae, envision (National Environment Agency of Singapore), May/June 2013.

The Myanmar Government and Ethnic Minorities: An Unhappy Marriage
Kaewkamol Pitakdumrongkit, RSIS Commentaries, No. 76, 25 April 2013.

China’s Food Security: From Self-Sufficiency to a Dual Strategy
Zhang Hongzhou, RSIS Commentaries, No. 45, 14 March 2013.

Will There Ever Be Peace in Mindanao?
Jun Abad, ABS-CBNnews.com, 21 February 2013

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About the Consortium of NTS-Asia

The Consortium of NTS-Asia is a network of research institutes and think tanks in the Asia-Pacific.

Its primary objectives are to advance the field of non-traditional security (NTS) studies in Asia, develop long-term and sustainable regional capacity for research and policy studies on a wide range of NTS issues, and develop further the process of networking among scholars and analysts working on NTS issues in the region.

Website: www.rsis-ntsasia.org; Email: NTS_Centre@ntu.edu.sg


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