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 Conflict - a study of Power and Politics in Southeastern Myanmar

Climate change is expected to increasingly pose a risk to human security, not only as a direct result of changing environmental conditions in themselves, but also as an indirect effect of policies and practices implemented ‘in the name of’ climate change. These measures are usually framed as neutral, apolitical and technocratic interventions. Yet, they become embedded in socio-political development processes characterized by conflicting interests and asymmetric power relations. Failing to recognize the importance of power and politics in shaping the outcomes of adaptation and mitigation efforts may potentially lead to unintended negative consequences for vulnerability patterns and conflict dynamics.
In Myanmar (formerly known as Burma), a number of policies and action plans are currently being developed and implemented with the aim to ensure the country “transform itself into a climate-resilient, low-carbon society”. We know however little about how these will manifest themselves on the ground in a context of contested ceasefire agreements and profound political transitions. Through a multi-level case study approach, I am in this PhD project delving deeper into these issues and exploring how climate change policies and practices interact with existing power relations, vulnerability patterns and conflict dynamics in Southeastern Myanmar. By combining theoretical insights and analytical tools from political ecology and socio-political research on climate change, the project will provide a better understanding of the power and politics of climate change adaptation in a post-conflict settingThe main objective of the research is to strengthen our understanding of how climate change policies and practices may open up space for transformation towards more climate-resilient development pathways, without exacerbating conflict dynamics or marginalization processes in ‘fragile’ contexts.