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Welcome to Centre for NTS Studies RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies ASEAN-Canada Research Partnership MacArthur Asia Security Initiative Consortium of the NTS-Asia
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Conference on Climate Insecurities, Human Security and Social Resilience

Date: 27-28 August 2009
Venue: Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore
Organised by: RSIS Centre for NTS Studies

Executive Summary

In recent years scientific analysis on climate change has called for the increased adoption of both mitigation and adaptation strategies with mitigation enjoying relatively more attention. compared to adaptation.  In response to this gap in knowledge and policy, the Asia Security Initiative (ASI) project on climate change and environmental security led by the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies and funded by the MacArthur Foundation recently held a conference in Singapore aimed at examining the importance of adaptation and building social resilience for those communities and countries most affected by climate change, of which there are many in the Asia Pacific.

The conference aimed to come to a better understanding of the implications of climate change for Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia so that specific ‘climate security’ measures could be formulated. Bringing together reputable security and political analysts, economists and environmentalists, it examined climate change from a human security perspective at both national and regional levels.

During the Opening session, Associate Professor Mely Caballero-Anthony, Head, RSIS Centre for NTS Studies and Ambassador Barry Desker, Dean, RSIS, stressed the importance of measuring the potential impact of climate change in Asia, as well as increasing the general awareness of climate change. The next session titled Balancing Knowledge and Policy discussed ways in which policies in Asia have taken into account scientific findings and existing knowledge on climate change in the region. The session also elaborated on multilateral agreements, as well as the preparedness of societies and states in Asia in dealing with the problems generated by climate change.

Throughout the conference there was an emphasis on social resilience which reflects a non -traditional security approach to the study of climate change. Building social resilience is pertinent for communities that aim to cope with the changes caused by climate change. As such the session on the Vulnerabilities of Communities in Asia specifically examined the different challenges faced by different communities in the region as a consequence of climate change. It drew on examples from forestry communities, coastal communities, the urban poor and women in different parts of Asia.

The next session focused on Understanding Human Insecurities in Climate-conflict which examined climate change as a threat multiplier, explored the potential consequences of climate change on forced migration in Bangladesh and measured cooperation on cross border resource management in Southeast Asia.

Strategies discussed at the conference for dealing with climate change were multi-level as well as multilateral in nature, involving governments, regional institutions, local communities and non-governmental actors. The session on stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities discussed the roles of development agencies, non-governmental organizations and the military in addressing climate change. The session on Integrating Climate Change to Regional and National Policies examined the case of water security regime based on case study of Lower Mekong Basin and the need to integrate adaptation strategies for a sustainable development agenda. Professor Emil Salim highlighted the importance of building regional cooperation among governments, business and civil society as well as sharing of knowledge.

The conference concluded that a new way of thinking is needed in addressing the unorthodox security consequences of climate change which must take into consideration existing societal layers within communities and power asymmetry in the region. It was also acknowledged that there is an urgent need to translate this knowledge into policies and to a wider public.

A report on the conference proceedings and interviews conducted on the sidelines of the conference are now available online.


Please scroll below for individual presentations and speeches

Opening Remarks

Welcome Address
Ambassador Barry Desker (Dean, RSIS, Singapore)

Opening Address
Assoc. Prof. Mely Caballero-Anthony (Head, RSIS Centre for NTS Studies, Singapore and Secretary-General, NTS-Asia)

Session on Balancing Knowledge and Policy on Climate Change

Climate Change and Human Security: An Overview
Dr Lorraine Elliott (Visiting Senior Fellow, Lead Researcher for Climate Change and Environmental Security, RSIS Centre for NTS Studies, Singapore; and Senior Fellow, Department of International Relations, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia)

Science –Based Policy for Climate Change Mitigation: a Bridge too Far?
Assoc. Prof. Shreekant Gupta (Associate Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore)
The Economics of Climate Change in Southeast Asia: A Regional Review
Mr John Pearson (Head, Southeast Asia Climate Change Network, British High Commission, Singapore)

Session on Vulnerabilities of Communities in Northeast/Southeast Asia to the Security Implications of Climate Change

Climate Matters: Vulnerability Mapping for Southeast Asia
Dr Arief Anshory Yusuf (Lecturer/Researcher at Faculty of Economics, Padjadjaran University, Indonesia and a Senior Economist at Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia, Singapore) and Dr Herminia A. Franscisco (Director of the Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia, Singapore)

Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise in Southeast Asia: Some Management Considerations
Dr Beverly Goh (Natural Sciences and Science Education, National Institute of Education, Singapore)
Vulnerabilities of Forest Communities in Southeast Asia: Governance and implementation challenges to the “Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)” - The case of the demonstration activity of Ulu Masen, Aceh, Indonesia
Dr Enrique Ibarra Gené (Forest Conservation Policy Researcher, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Tokyo, Japan)
Vulnerabilities of Urban Poor Communities in Northeast and Southeast Asia
Prof. Devanathan Parthasarathy (Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India)
Vulnerabilities of Women in Southeast Asia: Gender, Human Security and Climate Change Adaptation in Southeast Asia
Dr Bernadette P. Resurreccion (Associate Professor of Gender and Development Studies, The Asian Institute of Technology, Pathumtani, Thailand)
Session on Understanding Human Insecurities in Climate-conflict Nexus in Northeast/Southeast Asia

Climate Change, Threat Multiplier and Internal Conflicts in Northeast and Southeast Asia
Dr Lorraine Elliott (Visiting Senior Fellow, Lead Researcher for Climate Change and Environmental Security, RSIS Centre for NTS Studies, Singapore; and Senior Fellow, Department of International Relations, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia)

Climate Change and Population Movement: the Bangladesh Case
Dr Tasneem Siddiqui (Chair of Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Cross-border Resource Management in Southeast Asia: the Cases of Greater Mekong region, the Heart of Borneo and Coral Triangle
Mr Fitrian Ardiansyah(Programme Director for Climate and Energy, World Wildlife Fund, Jakarta, Indonesia)

Session on Stakeholders’ Roles and Responsibilities

Integrating the Security Aspect of Climate Change in Development Agenda: The Role of Donors in the Asia and the Pacific
Mr Masakazu Ichimura (Chief of Environment and Development Policy Section, Environment and Development Division, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand)

Building Community Resilience to the Security Implications of Climate Change: The Role of Faith-based and Environment NGOs in the Region
Dr Henri Bastaman (Deputy on Environmental Communication and Society’s Empowerment, Ministry of Environment, Indonesia)
Climate Change, Human Security and the Role of the Military in the Coming Global Politics of a Carbon-constrained World
Prof. Richard Tanter (Director, Nautilus Institute, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)

Session on Integrating Climate Change to Regional and National Policies

New Challenges and Regime Resilience: Climate Change and Water Security for the People of the Lower Mekong Basin
Dr Keokam Kraisoraphong (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand)

Climate Change Adaptation Measures in Sustainable Development
Prof. Emil Salim (Member of the Advisory Council to President Yudhoyono, as the Adviser for Environment and Sustainable Development Issues, Jakarta, Indonesia)

 

Closing Remarks

Closing Remarks: The Asian Way Forward
Assoc. Prof. Mely Caballero-Anthony (Head, RSIS Centre for NTS Studies, Singapore and Secretary-General, NTS-Asia) & Dr Lorraine Elliott (Visiting Senior Fellow, Lead Researcher for Climate Change and Environmental Security, RSIS Centre for NTS Studies, Singapore; and Senior Fellow, Department of International Relations, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia)


Posted on: 27/8/2009 8:30:00 AM  |  Topic: Climate Change, Environmental Security and Natural Disasters


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