Displacement Solutions Director, Scott Leckie, was recently interviewed by Deutsche Welle on the immediate need for international awareness and aid for climate displaced people across the globe.
Melbourne (12 Dec) – Students in Year 5 and 6 from Sorrento Primary School in Victoria, Australia and the William Carey Academy in Chittagong, Bangladesh were invited to write a 500-word essay on the topic of “What Climate Change Means to Me, My Community, My Country and My World” as part of the First Annual Coastal Kids Writing competition run by Displacement Solutions.
More than 70 essays were submitted by the students from Sorrento Primary, who range in age from 10 to 12 years old, and were evaluated by a panel of teachers and representatives from Displacement Solutions based on their creativity, quality of writing and genuine effort.
Considering the complex nature of the issue of Climate Change, the panellists were extremely impressed by the students’ insight and grasp of the concept and how it directly affects their environments.
After a lengthy review process, Scott Leckie, on behalf of Displacement Solutions, is delighted to announce five winners of the First Annual Coastal Kids Writing Competition:
First Place: Tom Maltby
Second Place: Grace Edwards
Third Place: Markus Christiansen
Honourable Mentions: Patrick Forrester and Tom Pardy
Essays written by students from Sorrento Primary School’s sister school, William Carey Academy in Chittagong, Bangladesh, are currently being reviewed. The winning essays from both schools will be available on the Displacement Solutions website in the coming weeks.
The Coastal Kids project put Australian students living in coastal regions in direct contact with similarly aged children from other countries affected by Climate Change. The Coastal Kids project has been established with students from Australia and Bangladesh and is looking to expand globally in future.
Dvb.no. Interview with Scott Leckie: ‘Burma could very easily become the displacement capital or Asia.’
The Irrawaddy. Article. Report Urges Govt to Address Land Grabbing Issue.
Myanmar Times. Article. Government needs to act on land, says NGO.
Yangon (26 Oct) – A highly anticipated report released today in Yangon by Displacement Solutions urges the government, opposition parties and civil society groups to urgently convene a national summit to urgently discuss the housing, land and property rights crisis in Myanmar.
The report – Myanmar at the HLP Crossroads – details growing problems of land grabbing, land speculation, housing unaffordability and the lack of adequate housing and basic services in the country and calls for a unified and concerted approach to tackle these vital issues for the countries future.
Myanmar at the HLP Crossroads is the first comprehensive report to focus on housing, land, and property rights (HLP rights) in Myanmar since President Thein Sein took office in March 2011. According to the main author of the report, Scott Leckie, “Myanmar now finds itself at a critical juncture. Whichever way the country decides to go will decisively shape the housing, land and property realities of everyone in the years to come. The decisions taken now need to well-informed, inspired by the best practices of other countries that have undergone structural political transition and based squarely on the will of the people”.
The report outlines four specific recommendations that it beleives can greatly improve the HLP prospects of the country in the coming period. Beyond calling for a National HLP Summit, the report also urges that work commence immediately to reform the inadequate and outdated HLP legal code in the country (including the revision of the two 2012 land laws) resulting in a consolidated National HLP Law, and for far greater attention to be paid to the consequences of land grabbing and speculation.
“With political will and commitment from all political actors, there is every reason to believe that Myanmar can become a showcase for how to address questions of HLP rights in a manner that benefits everyone in the country. Likewise, with targeted donor support to these vital sectors, the international community is ideally situated to assist the people of Myanmar to achieve the aim of HLP rights for all within the foreseeable future”, added Leckie.
A full copy of the report is available here
DS hosted an international workshop on land solutions to climate displacement in Auckland, New Zealand on 4 October. The workshop brought together experts and government officials from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and New Zealand to discuss and examine legal and policy solutions to climate displacement in seven focus countries – Bangladesh, Kiribati, Maldives, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. An element of DS’ Land Solutions Project, the workshop examined the role of customary land law, internal relocation programmes and the construction of new housing, land and property options as solutions to ensuring the rights of climate displaced persons. The workshop will lead to the publication of seven papers on rights-based legal and policy solutions to climate displacement in each of the focus countries. These papers will be compiled into an innovative edited volume designed to provide policy-makers and affected groups with an in-depth understanding of the legal issues involved, how they can be approached and where work is already underway today to protect the rights of climate displaced persons. It is expected that this publication will be available in early 2013.
This year, as part of its Climate Change and Displacement Initiative, Displacement Solutions (DS) has launched the Coastal Kids Project to connect schools and students living in coastal areas in Bangladesh with schools and students in Australia who are also coastal dwellers. Today, 4 September 2012, the much anticipated, first ever Skype conversation between an Australian school (Sorrento Primary School, Victoria) and a Bangladeshi school (William Carey Academy, Chittagong) was facilitated by DS. Designed to increase understanding among all participants about the lives of coastal kids around the world and how climate change is affecting them, this classroom-to-classroom conversation was an exciting and insightful event for students and teachers alike, and was enthusiastically engaged in by all involved.This conversation marks the first of a number of Skype conversations which will be held between these two schools and, in time, similar conversations will be facilitated with schools from other climate-affected countries to further build awareness and engagement with the issue of climate change, and encourage transnational cooperation and learning among coastal kids everywhere. Make sure to keep checking for more news as the Coastal Kids Project continues to progress and expand! For further information, please email email@example.com.
Crimes against the home are commonplace in situations of armed conflict, both international and national in origin, as well as in non-conflict settings where the perpetrators of such abuses target housing, land and property assets as a means of securing economic gain or simply sowing terror in the hearts and minds of those victimised by these crimes. For too long these particular actions – forced displacement, the wanton destruction of property, land theft/grabbing, unlawful expropriation of land, ethnic cleansing, deprivation of basic services crucial for life such as water and electricity, and so many others – have been treated as unfortunate side effects of conflict, political transition or processes of economic development, rather than as the crimes these acts so clearly constitute.
International law is becoming ever more precise as to which practices constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes, and this publication – prepared by DS legal consultant Ezekiel Simperingham – outlines which acts and omissions satisfy the criteria for being labelled as such crimes, and more importantly, the judicial and other avenues that are now available to provide redress for this misdeeds. To access a copy of this publication, click here.