Equitable and sustainable development of coastal communities in Southeast Asia (EscSea)
This project aims to answer questions regarding the power structures within processes of sustainable development and global changes, these questions would need to be answered in order to tackle issues of equality and social equity:
How do the root causes of vulnerability and power relations at different scales create or reinforce inequalities of marginalised communities in coastal areas of Southeast Asia?
How do social and environmental processes and dynamic pressures associated with global changes and development processes help or hinder creation of enabling environments for transformations at local, national, and global scales?
What kind of transformations are necessary to enable marginalised groups to obtain, control, and maintain access to livelihoods assets, which will help them negotiate themselves vis-à-vis development and global changes, and ultimately, be agents of their own development process?
The overall objective of the project is to contribute to effective research for development—research that has concrete and long-term positive impact on the ground, and for this particular project, leads to equitable and sustainable development—among coastal communities in Southeast Asia.
By conducting research that address the above questions, the project aims to will achieve the following research and outreach objectives:
i. increase understanding of power structures and social differentiations that create and reinforce inequalities and vulnerabilities of coastal communities dealing with global changes in Southeast Asia, with a view to tackling them;
ii. increase recognition of root causes, dynamic pressures and livelihood assets to be addressed to create enabling environments for social and environmental transformations, in order to contribute to improved effectiveness of development interventions;
iii. strengthen capacities of communities in coastal areas of Southeast Asia to create their own strategies towards sustainable development based on their local and indigenous knowledge; and
iv. improve methodology to implement and assess equity-focused, transdisciplinary action research that empowers marginalised groups to take charge of their own development processes.