The Urban Climate Resilience in Southeast Asia Partnership (UCRSEA) addresses vulnerabilities to climate change in urbanizing areas of Southeast Asia with the goal of enhancing resilience and, hence, economic and social well-being. Individual and community vulnerabilities in the region are linked to global environmental change and to the rapid pace of urbanization and economic integration of the region. Specifically, we seek 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.
UCRSEA involves international collaboration between academics in Canada and partners located in four countries that are experiencing both rapid urbanization and the severe effects of climate change: Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. UCRSEA members include universities, NGOs, local organizations, and local government officials. UCRSEA is 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 initiating partners include the Thailand Environmental Institute Foundation (TEI), a non-government think tank focusing on scientific and policy issues in Southeast Asia, the University of Toronto and York University.
The project will focus on eight secondary cities: Koh Kong and Battambang, Cambodia; Dawei and Bago, Myanmar; Khon Kaen and Mukdahan, Thailand; and Lao Cai and Ninh Binh, Vietnam.
The UCRSEA is undertaking a range of research and programme activities, such as:
- conducting original, independent, academic research that views urbanization as a transformative process in terms of poverty, vulnerability, growth, and climate change impacts;
- promoting and sharing our research through publications, as well as through workshops, conferences, webcasts, and presentations;
- convening roundtables and public events to engage discussion among scholars, policy makers, and community leaders in cities of Southeast Asia and Canada;
- supporting graduate and post-graduate students to thereby build Canada and Southeast Asia’s expertise in the field of urban climate change impacts and responses.
The Partnership is supported by a five-year International Partnerships for Sustainable Societies (IPaSS) grant, funded by both the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).