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Title: Saving the World with Organic Agriculture: Environmental Peacebuilding in the Nascent Democracy of Myanmar
Contributor(s): Garnett, Johanna (author); Branagan, Marty  (supervisor)orcid ; Spence, Rebecca  (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2017
Copyright Date: 2016
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: In Myanmar, a history of structural and ecological violence has resulted in environmental degradation, loss of livelihoods and food insecurity for agrarian populations. This is resulting in the breakdown of traditional communities. It is anticipated that industrialised, modernisation processes will exacerbate the situation. This thesis is based on a case study into a unique environmental peacebuilding initiative that has been developed by Myanmar nationals, in an effort to address some of these socio-ecological issues. A grassroots, environmental, social movement organisation, the Network for Environment and Economic Development (NEED), has established a school and eco-farm in Myanmar, and has designed an environmental adult education (EAE) program, aimed at agrarian youth. EAE is a transformative education that is a hybrid of environmental education (EE) and adult learning theory. EAE is an effective tool in addressing localised environmental problems. Also, its praxis, when applied widely at the local level, has the potential to influence regional, state and global social and political institutions. NEED is educating young adults from a variety of ethnic groups, in land law, human rights, environmentalism, and the practice of permaculture. NEED has created a learning community; a space for new ecological voices and perspectives. The objective of this research is to see how this particular EAE model is contributing to environmental peace in Myanmar. This is important with regard to environmental and food insecurity issues in this rapidly developing nation. It is also important in light of the global systemic crisis of inequality, environmental injustice and climate change. The thesis discusses attempts to live simply and peacefully in a world that, despite 'sustainability' rhetoric, often forces us to do just the opposite, and is a unique contribution to the research into informal critical adult education for social action, and for environmental peacebuilding. It is also an example of grassroots activism emerging from the global South. The study utilizes Paulo Freire's notion of 'conscientization' (critical consciousness), critical social theory, as well as the writings of critical theorist Herbert Marcuse, and a Marxist theory of social movements, as lenses through which to analyse the learning that is occurring within this program, as well as the potential it has for broader, transformative social action.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research Codes: 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
Rights Statement: Copyright 2016 - Johanna Garnett
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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Appears in Collections:School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Thesis Doctoral

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