Call for papers: Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting 2015

Call for Papers: Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, 21-25 April 2015, Chicago

Livelihoods, vulnerability and resilience in South and South East Asian Deltas

Session organisers: Amelie Bernzen, Boris Braun (University of Cologne, Germany), J. Craig Jenkins (Ohio State University, USA)

Delta areas of South and South East Asia have been subject to increasing climatic and anthropogenic challenges. Natural impacts on densely populated, low-lying coastal areas include more frequent flooding, higher rainfall, tropical cyclones and storm surges as well as increasing saltwater intrusion triggered and augmented by sea-level rise. At the same time, population is growing and pressure on land for agricultural purposes and settlement areas is increasing. Exposure to these circumstances potentially increases the coastal population’s vulnerability, threatening livelihoods, food security and fresh water availability.

Coping and adaptation strategies of the coastal population on household- and community level are manifold, with migration and land use (intensity) changes gaining momentum. While it is clear that many human activities are degrading coastal forests, transforming traditional cropping patterns, and creating new settlements in exposed areas, their socio-economic driving forces and consequences on resilience are still not fully understood. There are good reasons to assume that they are not linked merely to local and national decision-making processes. Rather, land use changes appear also due to external forces, for instance in the shape of global buyers who urge conversion from rice paddies and forests to aquacultures to meet rising demands of consumers in the Global North.

In this session, we will address the complexity of socio-economic processes in South and South East Asian Deltas, contributing to a broader understanding of the observed changes and more specific questions around how the coastal population copes and adapts to changing environments and increasing vulnerability.

We welcome both more conceptual and more empirical papers on specific case study areas (e.g. Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta, Mekong Delta, Irrawaddy Delta, Pearl River Delta).

Anyone interested in presenting a paper in this session should submit an abstract of up to 250 words to Amelie Bernzen (, Boris Braun ( and Craig Jenkins ( by Monday 20th October 2014. If available, please include your PIN registration number for the AAG.

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