Dr. Suppakorn Chinnvano (SEA-START) joined on the first day for a lecture on climate change and adaptation. He stressed the importance of understanding different and often confusing climate-related concepts, such as risk, threat, and impact in order to move forward with policy. He said that although climate projections are often a tool for planning, it is also essential to choose the most extreme scenarios in order to plan properly and thoroughly. In the context of Southeast Asia, he said that climate projections predict that it will be hotter and wetter in future. The same day, Dr. Patrick Sakdapolrak (TransRe) and Vera Tolo (“Resilience, Collapse and Reorganisation in Social-Ecological Systems of East- and South Africa's Savannahs”) gave an overview of the topic, including discussing a range of shifting terms (e.g. “environmental refugee” to “climate migrant”) and the media’s presentation of the topic.
The second day featured presentations on central concepts to the intersection of climate and migration. Dr. Panomsak Promburom (CARSR) focused on the concept of livelihoods, using the sustainable livelihoods framework as a focal point for discussion. He was able to untangle all of the complicated facets of the framework for participant accessibility and engender lively discussion through an activity on personal livelihoods. Simon Peth (TransRe) and Luise Porst (TransRe) led discussions on migration theories and translocality. Many of the participants hadn’t heard of translocality before, but found it a useful topic for further research to link up often disconnected issues of environment and migration.
Participants were introduced to various methodological tools on the third day in order to put their understandings of concepts into action. Dr. Promburom presented on Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), Till Rockenbauch (TransRe) focused on Social Network Analysis, and Luise Porst introduced multi-sited ethnography. The participants were encouraged to use relevant methods in the field—by traveling to rural villages in Lamphun, led by Sopon Naruchaikusol (TransRe), Tachai Akarawongwiriya and Sarinthip Promrit (Raks Thai). Participants chose to use seasonal calendar, risk mapping, and mobility maps as their main tools and gleaned a range of insights about rural Thai livelihoods and risks.
The last day, discussions turned to policies and stakeholders. Kayly Ober (TransRe) focused on public policy theory, stakeholders involved with climate and migration, and existing and proposed policy frameworks. Sabira Coelho (IOM) presented on current IOM policies and future strategies related to climate and migration. This portion of the module allowed students to see how real world organizations navigate making meaningful policies in a contested space.