Monthly Archives: December 2016

Iceland’s food system at risk

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Photo by Holly Jacobson, 2016

There is no doubt that islands are particularly vulnerable to climate change. This leads to an array of risks, one being threats to food security. Cheap agricultural imports, one way of trying to ensure food security, can undermine the financial stability of small farm businesses in a country like Iceland. Farmers around the world are already a vulnerable to the physical effects of climate change, but in a country like Iceland the lack of a contingency plan and the failure to adopt adaptation measures for food security are shocking. Holly Jacobson, MCP’16 investigates why Iceland is in this situation. She explores the way governmental and non-governmental actors think about risk and resilience. Understandably, economic concerns are at the top of many people’s list. However, moral, sentimental and ideational values also shape risk perception and ought to be taken into account. How can planners take account of different kinds of vulnerabilities in formulating resiliency plans?

 

Continue reading Holly’s thesis by downloading it here.

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Implementing the International Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in South East Asia

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International treaties can exert pressure on national governments to pay attention to certain policy goals, how they choose to implement these goals is up to them. Kelly Heber Dunning (PhD ’16) examines the challenges facing countries that have signed on to the International Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Using a comparative case study of relatively similar (endangered) coral reefs in Indonesia and Malaysia, Kelly looks at the results in the two countries. She discovers (using a variety of underwater monitoring strategies and detailed surveys and interviews) that Indonesia’s co-managed system (government and villages) is more effective than Malaysia’s uses a top-down network of federally managed Marine Parks. Her findings go beyond what the research community has been able to document thus far regarding the advantages and disadvantages of alternative common pool resource management strategies.

If you’d like to learn more about Indonesia’s model and the likelihood it can be replicated, you can download Kelly’s dissertation here.

People’s Climate March: Frontlines of Crisis, Forefront of Change

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On September 21, 2014, 400,000 people converged on the streets of Manhattan for the People’s Climate March (PCM), making it the largest climate change demonstration in U.S. history. The PCM was led by low-income people of color and indigenous people — those most likely to be affected by the health, environmental, and economic impacts of climate change.

Lisa Young, MCP 2015, begins her thesis by telling the story of the “climate movement” starting in the early 1990s. This leads her to expose a deep division between two streams of the movement: the mainstream Climate Action (CA) camp, led by privileged white environmentalists, and the more radical Climate Justice (CJ) camp, led by communities of color. Their ultimate partnership offers an example of how the competing movements were able to developed a collaborative framework by conftonting issues of trust, leadership, funding, framing, and strategy. To learn the full story of how the CA and CJ camps were able to overcome the barriers between them, and grow the size and diversity of the climate movement, you can read Lisa’s thesis here.