I am leading a research project on Environmental Governance at the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS), University of Malaya.
As part of this project, and together with our partners SUSTAINPEAT at the University of Leicester, we organised a Workshop to compare Environmental Governance in the Palm Oil Sector in the regions of Latin America and Southeast Asia. From the 5th-6th of June, scholars working on Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines gathered at the University of Malaya to share their draft papers. Local experts were also in attendance to act as paper discussants.
I led the Malaysia country paper, entitled “State Autonomy and Peatland (Mis)Governance in Sarawak, Malaysia s Final Frontier for Oil Palm”. Ms Yasmin Rasyid, founder and president of EcoKnights, kindly acted as the discussant for the paper. Other contributors included Prof. Daniel Sombra (Brazil), Dr Inrid Fromm (Honduras), Dr Erin Pischke (Mexico), prof. Gusti Z. Anshari and Dr Patrick O’Reilly (Indonesia), and Prof. Michael Pido (Philippines).
We concluded the workshop with a focus group round-robin style exercise where the presenters and discussants paired up to come up with keywords that were raised during the two days. This was later grouped into major themes (see photos), which we hope will serve as the basis for a cohesive collection of papers.
Moving forward, based on these themes, the presenters agreed to continue working on the presented papers to be published as a special issue for a relevant journal. We later intend to invite more country paper contributors to further expand the collection into an edited volume, edited by Dr Patrick O’Reilly and myself.