Climate-induced conflicts and vulnerabilities in Southeast Asia: Community-based adaptation, imagination, and interventions in space, to address socio-environmental challenges


Double Panel

Part 1

Session 1
Tue 09:30-11:00 REC A1.02

Part 2

Session 2
Tue 11:30-13:00 REC A1.02



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The failure of the climate change mitigation approach to keep global warming under certain limits has predicted irreversible changes to the earth, and people in the global South will be affected more than people in the global North. Southeast Asia consists of mainly developing countries whose struggles towards Sustainable Development Goals are the development of innovative social and policy goals rather than a mere reduction of the negative impact of economic growth.

At the same time, uneven development has caused rural-to-urban migration, and under the ‘growth’ paradigm, rural areas were despised for their low productivity. While rural development puts a tremendous effort into implementing climate change adaptation strategies, urban development places less emphasis on mitigation strategies. Albeit, rapid and dynamic urban expansion is taking place in the southern regions of the world with mega-cities of Southeast Asia hosting major proportions of the world’s urban population. The intricate landscape of urban space in these cities houses complex and multifaceted phenomena of informalities, climate-induced conflicts and vulnerabilities that affect millions. In the context of climate change, tensions, migration, demographic shifts, financial and technological transformations, pose unprecedented challenges and opportunities for people living in urban informality. With limited resources, over the years, residents survive using indigenous and informal ways of shaping public space, paving paths in community-based adaptation.

The focus on parsimonious practices of spatial adaptation and transformation does not aim to justify poverty as a reference for human life. Instead, it highlights the importance of versatile, resourceful self-organized spaces, without suggesting that its simplicity equates to accepting or condoning impoverished informal living standards. Nevertheless, global asymmetric distribution and expenditure of resources renders possible the reflection on efficient interventions that resort to low-tech, low cost, local-based solutions in harmony with nature cycles.

In hand with these local adaptation and transformation initiatives, to achieve development visions without harming future generations’ well-being and leaving no one behind, advanced social and environmental policy alternatives must be established, introduced publicly, and integrated within the policy process, especially to balance the dominant growth paradigm.

This panel aims to be a critical platform for experts, policymakers, researchers, and practitioners to come together to discuss and learn on the pressing socio-environmental issues associated with climate-induced conflicts and vulnerabilities, the significance of public space retrofits, as well as community-based practices and policy-making and implementation towards building the resilience of those most socially vulnerable. It also aims to foster a collaborative environment among these actors, showcasing successful case-studies and initiatives related to climate-induced conflict resolution and vulnerability reduction. It is expected that the end-result will help show-case the effectiveness of local community-based actionable strategies and innovative social and environmental policies to enhance climate resilience in both rural and urban Southeast Asia.