The MyClimate project (2021-2026) produces new empirical knowledge on how local communities perceive and adapt to climate change and how state actors, civil society organizations and political movements across Myanmar and its border regions address climate change within the interlinked fields of environmental conservation, natural resource use, energy, and pollution. The research combines digital ethnographic methods with in situ qualitative fieldwork in the Thai-Myanmar and Indo-Myanmar border regions in collaboration with civil society organizations and community researchers.
Theoretically, the project deepens existing analysis of the climate-conflict nexus by investigating the various ways that identity politics and a plurality of institutions shape actions and discourses linked to climate change issues within contested political contexts with ongoing violent conflict. This will be done by focusing on different topical areas like conservation, agrobusiness, renewable energy, weather, and mining, as well as by researching diverging policies, actions, and norms of different institutional actors. We for example explore state framings of climate change and investments affecting the environment, and we study non-state environmental activism centered on climate justice for the poor and preservation of indigenous land use and management. The findings of the project feeds into policy discussions and international climate change support that focus on developing more context-specific, user-oriented, and conflict-sensitive climate change actions.
The project builds institutional and individual research capacity through PhD and Master scholarships and extensive training courses with Myanmar and border-region researchers on climate change, methodologies, and academic writing skills. A core part of the project is also to train community researchers to co-produce knowledge of local perceptions and ways of adapting to climate change. Theoretical and empirical findings will be disseminated through international academic publications, policy briefs, participation in international conferences, and online webinars, and stakeholder dialogue meetings.
The project is a partnership between the Danish Institute for International Studies, the Nyan Corridor, the Regional Centre for Social Science and Sustainable Development (RCSD) at Chiang Mai University (Thailand), and the Highland Institute in northeast India.