World Water day 2017

22 Mar

Bangladesh 3 - Development Planning Unit University College London

By PISA Staff Assistant, Leeann Ji

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly designated March 22 as “World Water Day”, a day dedicated to initiating dialogue over the global water crisis. While this year the focus is on wastewater, it is important for the world to continue to address the issues surrounding access to clean water and water security. As the lifeline of humanity, water is a sacred resource, but it is finite. It is imperative that governments and society recognize and take action to ameliorate the current shortage in the global water supply, which threatens national security and our very existence.

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International Women’s Day 2017

8 Mar
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Women attend PISA’s 2014 Myanmar Advanced Leadership Institute on Climate Change (MALICC) in Washington, D.C.

By PISA Staff Assistant, Leeann Ji

As the world becomes increasingly intertwined through trade and politics, the international community has come together to address important global issues such as gender inequality. Every year on March 8 for International Women’s Day, the world commemorates the achievements of women in various disciplinary fields and occupations from around the world. While celebration stands at the forefront of International Women’s Day, this holiday also serves to bring to light issues that continue to face women today. Since the first International Women’s Day in 1909, women’s rights have progressed exponentially, but many communities around the world still have a ways to go.

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Legacies of the Cold War in Asia: China – Part 1

27 Feb

By PISA Staff Assistant, Leeann Ji

In recent years, China has made headlines with its economic growth and prowess. Before the late 1970s, however, China remained a predominately closed economy ruled by a communist government. China’s emergence as a communist nation took place during the Cold War, with China maintaining an important role in both the U.S. and Soviet Union’s foreign policy. During the Cold War, the global ideological divide between communism and democracy transformed Chinese society, with a lasting legacy that is still being felt in the country – and around the world – today.

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Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in Asia: Singapore

24 Feb
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Flickr: nathanhayag

By PISA Program Assistant, Dr. Miriam Grinberg

With a population of over 5 million in a country smaller than New York City, Singapore boasts the seventh-largest gross domestic product per capita in the world. The country’s wealth suggests that it has the financial capacity to combat the effects of climate change (unlike previous countries highlighted in this series) and reduce its carbon footprint. Moreover, given the fact that Singapore lies only 15 meters above sea level on average – and that mean sea level in the surrounding Straits has risen at about 1.2 to 1.7 mm per year between 1975 and 2009 – ignoring the consequences of climate change could prove perilous.

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Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in Asia: Thailand

13 Jan
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Flickr: dany13

By PISA Program Assistant, Dr. Miriam Grinberg

Where for the other countries in Southeast Asia covered so far in this series sea level rise is a more recent concern, in Thailand, it has long been cited as an important factor behind the oft-discussed “sinking” of its capital, Bangkok. Local data from around the country has shown an increase in sea level of about 5 mm in the last 25 years, a rise that has been accompanied by increased incidents of cyclones, flooding, and deadly storm surges. The country’s devastating 2011 floods, for example, not only impacted over 1.69 million hectares of land, resulting in economic losses of over $2 billion — it also caused global industrial production to decline by 2.5%, as seven major industrial parks and the 800+ companies therein (largely producing automobile parts and electronics) were inundated.

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“The New Myanmar”: Full Transcript

6 Jan

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On December 12, 2016, PISA hosted Myanmar Ambassador Aung Lynn at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs as part of our PISA-ASEAN Southeast Asia Roundtable Series and the Elliott School’s Ambassador Forum Series. He gave an address entitled “The New Myanmar,” followed by a question and answer session with GW students, faculty, and non-GW affiliates from the media, civil society, and more.

You can read a full transcript of his remarks and the following Q&A below the cut, or download it here.

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Climate Change and Sea Level Rise in Asia: Myanmar

29 Dec

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By PISA Program Assistant, Dr. Miriam Grinberg

Following Myanmar Ambassador Aung Lynn’s visit to the Elliott School of International Affairs on Monday, December 12, PISA provides critical background information on the country through our blog. Previously, we discussed the country’s challenges in natural resource governance and the continued consequences of the Cold War. This post concludes the series with a focus on the impact of sea level rise and climate change on Myanmar’s future.

In my previous post’s overview of the difficulties that Burmese policymakers face in managing and distributing natural resources equitably, I noted that Myanmar is well-known for its rich biodiversity and wealth of resources, such as natural gas and jade. As the country continues to undergo political and economic transformation – including the development of its energy and industry sectors, urban areas, and agricultural production – the sustainability of its new enterprises has increasingly come into question, not to mention their environmental impact. Combined with its geographical location (sandwiched between two of the world’s largest polluters, China and India), it is no wonder that the country was recently called the second most vulnerable in the world to the impacts of climate change.

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