Book Review by Dr Rory Padfield

Dr Rory Padfield, formerly of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and currently at Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom very kindly wrote a review of my book, “The Haze Problem in Southeast Asia: Palm Oil and Patronage”. An early, condensed version of this review was read out at my book launch at University Malaya last year (by Dr Roy Anthony Rogers), and the full-length version has been recently published in the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography.

A (quite amusing, if I do say so!) excerpt:

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Keynote Speaker at ICSHGS 2017 and Public Lecture at Universitas Tamansiswa, Palembang

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

British Academy Evidence-Based Forestry Project (Phase 1)

I am fortunate to be the co-Principal Investigator for a three-year British Academy Grant for a project entitled “The Design, Communication and Impact of Evidence-Based Forestry in Indonesia”. Other members of the group include Assoc. Prof. Dr Adam Tyson (co-PI) from Leeds University, Dr. Shofwan Albana from Universitas Indonesia, and Ms Ratih Indraswari, Mr Apresian Risadi Stanislaus, and Mr Albert Triwibowo from Universitas Katolik Parahyangan.

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Public Lecture at ASEAN Studies Centre (30 November 2016)

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.

Press Release: Denial of long-term issues with agriculture on tropical peatlands will have devastating consequences

Following the 16th International Peat Congress (IPC) in Kuching (Sarawak), Malaysia, widely read media reported that the congress supported the view that current agricultural practices in peatland areas, such as oil palm plantations, do not have a negative impact on the environment. However, this view is not shared by many of the participants, and does not reflect the broad message conveyed by the research presented at the congress.

In an effort to correct these statements, a number of the world’s leading researchers researchers and practitioners from around the world (including myself) have come together to publish a letter in Global Change Biology, one of the world’s leading environmental science journals. The 139 authors represent 115 government, academic, industry and non-governmental organizations from 20 countries. Forty of these organizations are based in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore; the countries most directly impacted by the adverse consequences of unsustainable management of tropical peatlands.

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