Princetonlaan 8a, 3584 CB, Utrecht +31 30 253 13 63

Elsevier, World Development | Climate change and land: Insights from Myanmar

In a recently published paper (2020), Saturnino M. Borras Jr., Jennifer C. Franco and Zau Nam outline the (political) links between climate change and land. You can read the full paper (open access) here.


Climate change and land are linked – politically. Climate change politics intersects with the global land rush in extensive and complex ways, the impacts of which affect villagers profoundly. These interconnections occur in direct and indirect ways and are often subtle, but that does not make them less important; it only makes the challenge of governing such dynamics in the interests of marginalized working poor people even more difficult. In this paper, we focus our analysis on indirect and subtle interconnections. Examining empirical cases in Northern Shan State in Myanmar, we conclude that these interconnections occur in at least three broad ways, in which climate change politics can be: (i) a trigger for land grabbing, (ii) a legitimating process for land grabs, or (iii) a de-legitimating process for people’s climate change mitigation and adaptation practices. These interconnections in turn stoke old and provoke new political axes of conflict within and between state and social forces.