People for Peat Regional Symposium 2021: Series 1

I am pleased to have been invited to speak in the first PFP Regional Symposium on “Peatlands: Why are they important?”. My talk was titled “Peat & Haze: Why haen’t we solved this?” and I spoke on the link between peatland governance and transboundary haze. The other speakers were extremely renowned peat scientists, Dr Salmah Zakaria (Akademi Sains Malaysia), Prof Sue Page (Leicester), and Prof Hans Joosten (Greifswald Mire Centre). You can view a recording of the event here.

EU-ASEAN Business Council Webinar

I was invited to be part of a panel discussing “EU & ASEAN: Working Together for a Green Recovery” organised by the EU-ASEAN ABC on 23 February 2021. The panel was moderated by Don Kanak, Chairman, EU-ASEAN Business Council and other members of the panel were H.E. Igor Driesmans, Ambassador of the European Union to ASEAN, Lars Tveen, President, Developing Regions, Danfoss, and Ann Mettler, Vice President, Europe at Breakthrough Energy.

The virtual webinar provided an overview of ongoing actions in the EU and ASEAN to support the EU green deal priorities and green agenda and presented the opportunities that the EU green deal offer to business and civil society in ASEAN. We focused on areas where the two regions could step up their cooperation to achieve results in a short term (such as decarbonisation of the energy sector; sustainable finance; circular economic and fight against plastic pollution).

The full webinar recording can be found here and a review of the event can be found here.

The Vibes Opinion: Leveraging soft power in sustainable palm oil branding

I co-wrote a piece with Ms Sujatha Spaapen on soft power aspects of Malaysian sustainable palm oil, which was published here in The Vibes on 3 February 2021. We argued that Malaysia should leverage soft power strategies to co-opt rather than coerce countries to be more receptive to the Malaysian brand of sustainable palm oil, with the broader goal to push the sustainable palm oil agenda forward in a more inclusive manner for the global South.

CILD Thinker-of-the-Week Panelist, 23 January 2021

I was invited to share my thoughts on the topic of “Reassessing ASEAN’s Capability in Multilateral Climate Governance” for the Council for International Law & Diplomacy’s (CILD) Thinker-of-the-Week series. CILD is a student-led initiative based in Brickfields Asia College. I shared my thoughts on hand use change, fires, and haze in Southeast Asia, and how this bears on ASEANs capacity for climate leadership in the region. The session was moderated excellently by Mr Shawn Tan.

LSE Southeast Asia Week 2020: Environmental Resilience and Southeast Asia

On Friday, 30th October 2020, I spoke at the LSE Southeast Asia Week 2020 as part of a panel on Environmental Resilience and Southeast Asia. My topic was on “Transboundary Haze Governance in Times of Change: A Malaysian Perspective”. Other members of the panel were Dr Michelle Miller from the National University of Singapore, Dr Rory Padfield from the University of Leeds, and Dr Winston Chow from Singapore Management University. You can find a writeup of my talk here.

Fulcrum Commentary: The Value(s) of Palm Oil

I co-authored a piece for Fulcrum (formerly known as ISEAS Commentaries) with Dr Patrick O’Reilly from the University of Leicester, Dr Shofwan Al Banna Choiruzzad from Universitas Indonesia, and Dr Rory Padfield from the University of Leeds. We reflect on the EU-Southeast Asia palm oil dispute:

“This dispute goes deeper than environmental and economic trade-offs. It is essentially a conflict over values. Each side focusses on different types of goods vested with different meanings, which each seeks to protect. Progress towards resolution is extremely elusive as each selects particular facts while ignoring others to support their respective black-and-white positions.”

The full commentary is available here.

MYLCOY2020: Multilateral Climate Action & Governance in ASEAN

The Malaysian Local Conference of Youth 202 was organised by the Malaysian Youth Delegation. The MYD is a Malaysian civil society organisation representing Malaysia’s local youth climate movement and raising awareness of climate policies among Malaysians.

I was invited to share my thoughts on “Peatland Governance and Climate Change in ASEAN” in the session on Multilateral Climate Action and Governance in ASEAN. Pristine peatlands are a major source of land-based carbon sink, and therefore ASEAN’s intact peatland resources play a very important role in the region’s carbon balance. The session was moderated by Ms Josephine Koay from MYD, and the other speakers were Mr Rizki Fauzianto from GIZ AGEP who spoke on energy policies in ASEAN and Ms Saloni Kapoor from Singapore Youth For Climate Action who spoke on adaptation strategies in ASEAN countries.

An executive summary of the conference can be found here.