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Latest Policy Briefs and Reports
Policy Brief No.79 - June, 2020
While migration as an adaptation strategy appears to be a possible solution for Pacific communities vulnerable to the effects of climate change, without proper planning and preparation, and the involvement and consent of people, it could also potentially lead to forced displacement. This paper reflects on the relocation of the Gilbertese from the Southern Gilbert Islands to Phoenix Islands, and eventually to the Solomon Islands in the 1960s. The planning of the relocation, especially from the Phoenix Islands to the Solomon Islands, and the experiences of the people, provide important lessons that can be used to inform future climate change induced migration and displacement in the Pacific Islands.
Policy Brief No.78 - June, 2020
While social media opened up Myanmar’s information and communication ecosystem in an unprecedented way, it also came with its share of challenges. Low levels of digital and media literacy, amidst a context of political transition, dominated by rising inter-communal tensions and the formalisation of a Buddhist nationalist movement, made for a dangerous cocktail. Facebook dominated the Myanmar internet ecosystem. This case study looks at the role of Facebook in fomenting violence in Myanmar, exploring how the social media platform was weaponised and reviewing Facebook’s response to the situation. It concludes with learnings and recommendations for how risks may be better mitigated.
Policy Brief No.77 - June, 2020
This policy brief explores the role of the military in responding to natural disasters. It first draws a linkage between disasters and security broadly, then examines the ways in which military and defence resources might be mobilised in response to these disasters. It looks at the important role of perceptions of the military’s role in responding to natural disasters—their own and those of others—and concludes with an assessment of how different countries have navigated this issue and carved out a specific role for the military in responding to natural disasters. The policy brief refers to two case studies, the bushfires in Australia in 2019-20 and floods in Myanmar in 2015, and concludes with policy recommendations.
Policy Brief No.76 - May, 2020
This Policy Brief tries to do the seemingly impossible: to lay open the relations between spheres of experiences and activities that at first sight are worlds apart, such as debates in the UN Security Council and stories told in a village on a small Pacific island, decisions taken (or not taken) by so-called world leaders in New York and by local village elders; and it tries to explain why revealing these relations matters for peacebuilding and policy advice in our current era of climate change. The paper commences with a comparison between the two existential threats mankind is confronted with today: nuclear threat and the threat of climate change, and builds a case for peace research to engage with climate change. Flowing from the identification of gaps and shortcomings in the debate, an innovative Pacific eco-relational approach is presented.
Policy Brief No.75 - May, 2020
The near-universal response to the panic created by COVID-19 leads to the conclusion that the number of ICU beds needed to deal with a disaster should become a new norm, and a new way to judge when radical action is needed to respond to a global threat. So what other types of global catastrophes could call for more hospital infrastructure and personnel than is now available? The nuclear bomb is one obvious answer. This Policy Brief, first published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (28 April 2010), applies the number of available intensive care beds as the new measure for potential nuclear catastrophes.