Marianne Mosberg

Department of International Environment and Development Studies (Noragric), Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

Marianne Mosberg
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Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation - A Case Study from Southeastern Myanmar

The Republic of the Union of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) is generally considered to be one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to the adverse impacts of climate change and extreme weather events. In the Global Climate Risk Index 2018, Myanmar is ranked as the third most affected country by extreme weather events between 1997 and 2016. During the last 60 years, Myanmar has experienced changes in the amount, timing and intensity of rainfall, a general rise in temperatures, and more frequent and severe cyclones, floods and droughts. These patterns are expected to continue to magnify in coming years. With the majority of the population depending on rain-fed farming, these changes might have extensive implications for livelihoods and food security, and the overall economy of the country. The challenge for Myanmar in the coming years will therefore be to reduce vulnerability to climatic stressors and meet the basic needs of a growing population, while at the same time conserving the environment. With these realizations in mind, the Government of Myanmar has recently embarked on an ambitious process to make the country more resilient in the face of rising disaster risks and climate change. A range of new climate change-related policies and projects have been launched, primarily focus on promoting mitigation and adaptation measures in the forestry-, agriculture- and energy-sectors.

In this PhD project, I will delve deeper into these issues and explore how these climate change-related interventions unfold in a subnational context characterized by high levels of vulnerability and contestation. The project will focus on the southeastern part of Myanmar (primarily Kayin state and Tanintharyi region), an area slowly recovering from nearly seven decades of civil war between the national state and different Ethnic Armed Organizations. The project will follow a process-oriented approach that focuses on how social phenomena unfold dynamically in a contested context. The main objective is to contribute to strengthening our empirical and theoretical understanding of how the politics of climate change might come to unfold in a ‘fragile’ context. The methodological approach will be qualitative and based on multi-sited fieldwork in Myanmar in 2018 and 2019.