Press Release: The 2nd Annual Workshop of UCRSEA in Hanoi, April 2016

Opening the Second Annual Workshop of Urban Climate Resilience in Southeast Asia Partnership programme (UCRSEA) in Hanoi, H.E. David Devine, Canadian Ambassador to Viet Nam, highlighted the importance of building resilient urban futures for the countries in the Mekong region. With extensive droughts and record high temperatures across Asia, the threats of climate change are increasingly apparent. As one of the most rapidly urbanising regions in the world, Mekong cities face changing risks and vulnerabilities; there is an urgent need to reshape critical urban systems and infrastructure for safe service deliveries.

Academics, civil society, government officials and post-graduate students from Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Canada came together at the workshop, co-hosted by the Centre for Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (CRES), to discuss the implications of regionalization, urbanisation and climate change and to address the challenges of addressing climate vulnerability. Funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada, UCRSEA is a partnership between the Universities of Toronto, York and Ottawa in Canada, and the Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) and key universities and NGOs in the region. The programme aims to develop innovative research partnerships and contribute to influence policy change by generating scientific evidence, and providing space for informed public dialogue.

UCRSEA benefits from a distinguished International Advisory Board. Dr. Bhichit Rattakul, formal Bangkok governor and director of Asian Disaster Prepared Centre (ADPC), highlighted the importance of engaging with the eight selected cities to translate research on resilience into practical solutions that can be taken up by other cities in the region. Prof Nay Htun, warned of the urgency of addressing climate futures, and the risks of a world that is 4 degrees warmer than pre-industrial times. Dr Bach Than Sinh from NISTPASS reminded the programme partners of the need to ensure that urban futures are ecological viable and socially just.

During the workshop programme partners presented research findings and agreed on priority steps for the coming year. A key element of the UCRSEA partnership is to fund research projects for early career academics and post-graduate students. For example, on Thursday April 28th, UCRSEA sponsored a Writeshop at Vietnam National University to build up the capacity of Vietnamese graduate students to better design research proposals and projects. Calls for funding will be made available on the UCRSEA website – for further details please go to:

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