I was recently invited to participate in a UNESCO Forum searching for transboundary haze solutions from a bioethical and sustainability science perspectives. This forum was a continuation from the National Bioethics Committee meetings held in respective countries beforehand (see here). The forum was held at Le Meridien Jakarta and had an impressive mix of participants, not only from academia, NGO and government sectors, but also many from community leaders and farmers directly involved and affected by practices on the ground.
The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya received a delegation of 8 academic staff and 28 students from Universitas Abdurrab, a private university in Riau, Indonesia, on 29 December 2017. The delegation was headed by Dr. M. Saeri, Deputy Rector for Academic and Alumni Affairs. The students were from the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, majoring in international relations, communications and government.
As part of the study visit, a Public Lecture on the theme of Trasboundary Haze Governance was organized. I gave a presentation based on my book, “The Haze Problem in Southeast Asia: Palm Oil and Patronage” and Pak Alfajri, MIA, the Dean of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Abdurrab, who is also interested in this topic, gave his own views on the subject with a presentation on “Riau Government Policies to Realize the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution Goals (2015-2016)”. Students in attendance engaged in an interesting discussion with the speakers after the presentation, before concluding their visit with a campus tour.
The 2017 US-ASEAN Conference on Legal Issues of Regional Importance was held at Marina Mandarin, Singapore on 8-9 May. It was organised by the US Embassy in Singapore, The Asia Foundation and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. I was invited to participate in the conference and speak on the Environment Panel about the Transboundary Haze as a case study of a regionally important legal issue.
The panel was led by Professor Koh Kheng Lian, Honorary Director of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law, Singapore. Prof Koh gave an extensive overview of the legal structure for environmental governance in ASEAN. The other panelist was Dr Jay Batongbacal, Director of the Institute for Maritime Affairs and the Law of the Sea, the Philippines. He spoke on the governance of maritime environmental issues, particularly focusing on illegal fishing and maritime sustainability in the region. It was an honour speaking on such an esteemed panel and being able to take part in an important academic discussion on the future of our region.
I was invited to be the Keynote Speaker at the International Conference of Social, Humanities, and Government Sciences (ICSHGS) 2017, organised by Universitas Tamansiswa, Palembang, Indonesia. The COnference was held alongside the annual meeting of Asosiasi Dosen Ilmu Pemerintahan Seluruh Indonesia (ADIPSI).
I presented a paper entitled “In Three Years We Would Have Solved This: Jokowi, ASEAN and Transboundary Haze”. This paper was also awarded best paper of the conference, and is due to be published in the ADIPSI journal, Jurnal Studi Penerintahan: Journal of Government and Politics later this year. The Prezi for the presentation can be found here
. I also had the opportunity to present the same paper to a public audience at Universitas Tamansiswa. Continue reading
I was invited by the ASEAN Studies Centre at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta to give a public lecture on “The Environment and Political Economy in ASEAN: Haze, Indonesia and Beyond”. The talk largely covered issues discussed in my 2016 book, but also provided some new analysis of latest developments on the issue, including Singapore’s new Transboundary Haze Pollution Bill and recent efforts by Joko Widodo. The Prezi from the lecture can be found here.
I was invited by the Nanyang Technological University Centre for Contemporary Art to give a talk on the ‘crime’ of haze, as part of their Exhibition (de)Tour public talk series. This talk was scheduled in conjunction with (and to draw parallels to) an exhibition by Amar Kanwar currently on display at the CCA, entitled The Sovereign Forest, which offers a creative response to the understanding of crime, politics, human rights and ecology in the context of the village of Odisha in India. As a follow up to the talk, a series of workshops entitled “The Haze: An Enquiry” is onging at The Lab, in the CCA. Do contact the CCA if you are interested to join this research project.
My book, ‘The Haze Problem in Southeast Asia: Palm Oil and Patronage’ was formally launched on 23 March 2016 at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Malaya. It was launched together with another Routledge Malaysian Studies Series book, ‘Cosmopolitan Asia: Littoral Epistemologies of the Global South’, co-edited by Professor Sharmani Patricia Gabriel. We were very lucky to have Professor Wang Gungwu, the renowned International Relations scholar and historian, present to formally launch our books. Other speakers included Associate Professor Shanthi Tambiah, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Professor Terence Gomez, editor of the Routledge Malaysian Studies Series, Professor Emeritus Abdul Rahman Embong from UKM, and Dr Rory Padfield from UTM. The event was a great success, with Professor Wang a definite crowd-puller. I would like to humbly extend my deepest gratitude for all those involved in making this event a success. Thank you!
Please click here to read coverage of the event by The Star (published 3 April 2016).