Climate, Displacement & Development: Perspectives from and on Asia

Global challenges relating to climate change—including challenges of mass displacement of populations, migration, sustainable development, and intersectional questions of gender—come together in unique and challenging ways in Asia. On the climate front, the melting of the glaciers in the Himalayas creates serious hydroelectric, water management, and agricultural challenges downstream, in lower-lying areas; likewise, sea level rise is causing salination of once-fertile deltas across the region, from Bangladesh and Myanmar to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Mass displacement of populations has had compound effects on livelihoods and food security. Governments across the region have responded with a range of initiatives, many of them in partnership with international agencies, development banks, and other governments in the region and beyond, including green financing projects and development assistance targeted in particular at women and children. This webinar examines the context in which these changes are taking place and the complex policy responses that they require. We approach these complex issues by asking our panelists a series of interrelated questions to guide the discussion:

  1. How is climate affecting living conditions in the South and Southeast Asian region in particular, and what are the possible social and human consequences?
  2. How are governments in the South and Southeast Asian region responding through their national sustainability/development policies and the SDGs?
  3. What are the gender dimension of climate change and how might governments respond in terms of foreign policy and development?
  4. Could you please give examples of how SDG #5 on Gender Equality intersects or galvanizes the work you are doing to change the trajectory of our world toward low carbon societies?


Dr. Victor V. Ramraj, Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives (CAPI)

Webinar #11

Date: Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020
Time: 09:00 PT, 12:00 EST, 16:00 GMT

The Virtual Victoria Forum 2020, the webinars and the Victoria Forum 2021  are jointly hosted by the University of Victoria and the Senate of Canada.

This webinar is presented in partnership with:

Founding partners:


Senator Marilou McPhedran


Her Excellency Ambassador Doma Tshering

Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Bhutan to the UN, New York

Professor Patricia Galvão Teles

Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Centre for International Law, NUS, Singapore

Sue Szabo

Director General, Innovative and Climate Finance Bureau, Ottawa

Past Webinars

Webinar #1

Our shared future in the wake of a global pandemic: Impact on economic, social and environmental divides

The coronavirus pandemic affects us all. We fully expect it to have a much wider and deeper impact on our economies, our health care systems, our societies and social systems, our environment and our business operations. The virus is exposing and exacerbating economic and social divides already present around the world, both within and between countries.

Webinar #2

Whither cities: Addressing economic, social and environmental challenges during and beyond Covid-19

Why do civilizations decline or disappear? Some historians would suggest that inequality is one key reason why this happens. Some scholars have suggested that when less privileged members of a society feel particularly aggrieved by inequality they might just tear an entire society down.

Webinar #3

Systemic Racism & Inequality in the Middle of a Global Pandemic

Many countries around the world have found a strong call to action, a quest for change and a clarion call for solidarity as new pathways emerge from the shared struggles in the face of racial discrimination, police brutality and race-based violence around the world. 75% of Americans believe racial and ethnic discrimination is a big problem in the U.S.

Webinar #4

Power of Community Sport to Heal Social Disruptions

Sport underpins the unique connections and friendships which bring together a large part of the world’s populations.

In 2001, the united nations secretary-general, Kofi Annan, founded the office on sport for development and peace, noting that sport has “an almost unmatched role to play in promoting understanding, healing wounds, mobilising support for social causes and breaking down barriers”.

Webinar #5

Bridging Divides: Trust In Multilateralism

The global COVID pandemic has led to unprecedented measures of forced lockdowns and border closings. It halted movements of people and reduced flows of goods around the world. Yet, COVID has also demonstrated the need for international cooperation in developing a global health response to the pandemic, and mitigating its menacing economic and social impact around the world.

Webinar #6

Data-driven decision-making: truth and trust in science

The emergence of COVID-19 and its impact on individuals and societies across the world have driven home the totalizing effect of global risks, a critical element of what Ulrich Beck once called our modern day “risk society.” Beck was interested in the interconnectedness of risk and society’s response to uncertainty, both key elements of today’s pandemic.

Webinar #7

The “Great Reset”: Making Finance Work for an Inclusive and Resilient Future

The Covid-19 pandemic forced governments around the world to put in place unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus packages in response to the devastating effects of the global pandemic.

Webinar #8

Bridging Divides: Trust In Globalization

Globalization is about the (relatively) free movement of ideas, people, goods, and capital across borders. All of these flows, and their impact, were being questioned before COVID-19 but take on renewed focus in its aftermath. There are those who celebrate a reversal of some or all of these flows, and others who lament the consequences of such actions.

Webinar #9

The future of business and banking, post-pandemic

Covid-19 has exposed and exacerbated the divides facing our world, and businesses are considering how to recover from the immediate effects, respond to medium- and long-term changes that the pandemic may have precipitated, and use the opportunity to redress some of the imbalances that existed previously. Financial institutions are key players in responding to these changes.

Webinar #10

Bridging gender divides: the impact of Covid-19 on equality

Covid-19 poses different challenges for women all over the world. Often, women are caught between seemingly contradictory trends. Depending on who they are, where they are and what situation they find themselves in, women are experiencing the pandemic as a time of regress or progress, with traditional gender roles becoming reinforced for some while others are able to access online education and networks in unprecedented ways