In February 2013 Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia (PISA) collaborated with Yangon based NGO, ALARM, to offer a week long pre-training program for 45 mid-level government officials from Burma’s line ministries with portfolios most likely to be impacted by climate change. The Myanmar Leadership Institute on Climate Change (MLICC) was designed to build capacity at the national level on mainstreaming climate change into development policies. The objective of the pre-training was to introduce the officials to what PISA terms, climate-wise development (CWD). CWD seeks the advancement of the community in tandem with responsible management of natural resources, investment in human capacity, and good governance. This methodology seeks to mitigate the tension inherent in development policies that seek rapid economic gain and the need for longer-term environmental and political stability.
As a practitioner housed within a leading academic institution Elliott School of International Affairs in a metropolitan center recognized for innovation in energy, security and environmental policy, I have the good fortune to occupy a perch that offers both a broad overview of what has grown to be the field of climate change as well as emerging thinking about its offshoots into security, governance, and sustainable development. Each time I return to the “field” for programming, most recently in Myanmar MLICC, I do so eager to apply new scholarship and test theories with practice. PISA works at multiple levels and across sectors so we also have the chance to explore which theories are “sticky” and which are not. I am on the lookout for new ideas that push boundaries and change the way we conceptualize challenges and solve problems.