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Climate Futures #1: Cultures, Climate Crisis and Disappearing Ecologies

To better understand the decline in cultural and ecological diversity in the region, NTU CCA Singapore and KONNECT ASEAN proposed to look at how the endangerment of traditional cultures and knowledges in the face of ecological challenges affects the region of Southeast Asia. The three-day summit “Climate Futures #1: Cultures, Climate Crisis and Disappearing Ecologies” aimed to address the various relationships and links to the environment, ecologies, and biodiversity.

Environmental transformations change ancestral relationships to water, forests, soil, animals, and plants. It affects indigenous philosophies and their irreducible oneness of nature and culture, and of human and non-human. The loss of habitat and ecosystems take away the community’s kin, identity, belonging, and dignity and impacts future generations to come. Communities increasingly feel threatened in their collective capacity to thrive and survive. In this moment of significant change, it is essential to discuss possible climate solutions and explore ecologies of care.

The summit intended to map how the climate crisis informs our contemporary world and how diverse cultures can adjust or adapt without losing a sense of purpose. It comprised of discussions into alternative approaches to regional studies focusing on urgencies such as rising sea levels and temperatures and the impact on natural resources of the region. There is a particular focus on areas such as the Mekong River and Delta (Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam) and its water street to Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines including the Straits which plays an essential role in the region’s shared history.

The holistic approach of “Climate Futures #1: Cultures, Climate Crisis and Disappearing Ecologies” was to stimulate a debate between artists, designers, architects, scientists, environmentalists, as well as local voices and policymakers. The conference sought to reach out to a wider public including younger scholars and practitioners, as well as community leaders and policymakers from the ASEAN region.

Link to Climate Futures #1 video – Day 1

Link to Climate Futures #1 video – Day 2

Link to Climate Futures #1 video – Day 3

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