Pilio and HIMA^Verte co-convene the Pakistan Field Research Programme (Pak FRP). Each year this programme gives two masters scholars from the University of Oxford’s School of Geography the opportunity to undertake their summer thesis projects in Pakistan with WWF Pakistan as their host institution. The Pak FRP provides valuable applied learning for scholars and practitioners on sustainability pathways.
The two University of Oxford School of Geography scholars in 2021 were:
Adnan Zikri Jaafar, a Rhode Scholar who earned his MSc in Environmental Change and Management. Adnan investigated and compared meanings of sustainable cotton certification between brands, certifying bodies, and farmers.
Emil Beddari, earning his MSc in Nature, Society & Environmental Governance. Emil studied the role of the farmer as an innovator in contributing to the transition to sustainable cotton practices.
In 2022, Pilio and HIMA^Verte is offering the opportunity for two new scholars to undertake the programme and be involved in the following two projects:
Influence of Risk Perceptions on the Implementation of Disaster Adaptation: Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs) in Bagrote Valley, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.
Despite being the 2nd most at threat country to GLOF risk, Pakistan lacks GLOF studies relative to other GLOF threatened countries (Taylor et al., 2023). This limited knowledge is even greater regarding risk perception studies, as most existing GLOF risk studies focus on identifying ‘objective’ risk through technical risk assessment studies. Therefore, this study aims to contribute to understanding of GLOF risk in Gilgit-Baltistan, by investigating GLOF risk perception and subsequent adaptive behavior of institutions and local communities in Bagrote Valley.
The 2022 monsoon floods had disastrous impacts in Pakistan, affecting more than 33 million people and causing an estimated £26 billion in damages. The floods are used as a key example of loss and damage from climate change, a topic of growing importance in international climate policy.
Jackson et al. (2023) delineate an emerging governmentality of Loss and Damage, using Dean’s (2009) Analytics of Government framework to examine the what is made visible, what technologies and forms of knowledge are used, and what identities are formed in the governance of Loss and Damage.
In this dissertation, I apply these frameworks to examine the governmentalities of Loss and Damage in the Indus Delta. My research took place in Pakistan over six weeks through qualitative interviews and focus groups with Delta communities and key stakeholders from government, NGOs, academia, and journalism.
I identify three main governmentalities of loss and damage in the Indus Delta. First, communities affected by loss and damage are largely self-governing, and cope with environmental hazards through their own networks and by relying on a cycle of debt. Second, the government is present in Indus Delta communities only at times of disaster; they evacuate people against their will but otherwise provide little to nothing in terms of basic services or reconstruction; and they actively deprive communities of freshwater, contributing to their underlying vulnerability. Third, WWF is one of the only NGOs engaged in the Delta communities; as a conservation organisation-turned-service provider it aims to build community resilience but is very limited in its capacity to reduce vulnerability in the region.
I argue that communities in the Delta are facing loss and damage due to human-induced environmental change, in addition to loss and damage from climate change. As this environmental loss and damage was inflicted by the Government of Pakistan, I argue that they owe compensation to communities in the Indus Delta.