Southern Asia Seminar: The Political Ecology of Flood and Migration in Cambodia: A Comparative Case study of Rural-urban center

March 30, 2023

Foster Hall 103

Try Thoun

Lecturer/researcher and program coordinator for the Department of Sustainable Urban Planning and Development (DSUPD), Faculty of Development Study, Royal University of Phnom Penh 

Like many other cities in Southeast Asia, Cambodia cities are experiencing rapid growth of urban center and the growth poles along the bordering cities and those in the center. Increased frequent floods and migration have also been increasing, not only in the capital city, but those within secondary cities located along the river system and the border sections. Contested claims over the causes of floods being caused by climate change or the conversion of urban wetland lake in paving the way for real estate speculation and the natural of restoration and the repaired of those ruined built environments remained unseen and less discovered. In Phnom Penh, the contested views between climate change and wetland encroachment and real estate speculation impact on people are migration will be examined. In Battambang, the talk will focus on the unequal development in pushing for rural and cross border migration and the increased informal settlement on the high-risk flood prone areas. River system is built by dikes divert water for irrigation and modernization of agriculture, pushing more people into investing with high risk of crop losses and being destroyed, thus putting more pressure on cross-border migration. The politics of repair is seen as the process of legitimizing ruling party actions and securing control over the supporting citizen. The case will illustrate my previous research work on urban informal settlement, migration and rural migration through climate diary study conducted in 2020. Different forms of migrations will be discussed as rural-urban migration, cross-border migration. The studies argue the need for autonomous stat action, trusted civil society and active participation from the residents to overcome climate injustice, and the search for better transformative responsibility and restoration toward resilient living conditions and livelihoods of the resident and migrants.