ASEAN forum 2018

Environmental sustainability in ASEAN

Now in its sixth iteration, this year’s ASEAN Forum explores the challenges of balancing environmental sustainability and economic growth in the ASEAN context. 

Co-hosted with the Sydney Environment Institute, the Forum will bring together leading academic thinkers, practitioners and policy-makers to discuss and debate how ASEAN countries can better protect common environmental goods; the role of leaders in negotiating the tensions between environmental sustainability and economic growth; and the wider implications of creating and maintaining sustainable practices for the region’s forests, oceans and air.

When: 11.45am for a 12pm start–5pm, Friday 5 October 2018

Where: Law  School Foyer, Sydney Law School, University of Sydney

Download the program booklet here.










Professor Michele Ford, SSEAC


Keynote address: Ecosystems and enforcement: what can we learn from the Southeast Asian experience?

Professor Lorraine Elliott, Australian National University





Individual papers: Protecting common environmental goods and maintaining sustainable development in ASEAN

Professor David Schlosberg (Chair), Sydney Environment Institute


Assoc/Prof Geoff Morgan, University of Sydney


Dr Manuel Solis, University of Adelaide


Dr Rini Astuti, National University of Singapore


Panel discussion: Balancing economic growth and environmental sustainability in ASEAN

Dr Arunima Malik, University of Sydney

Dr Cat Dorey, Fish & Fisheries Science & Policy Campaigns

Dr Pichamon Yeophantong, UNSW Canberra

Ms Natali Pearson          (Chair), SSEAC


Closing remarks and wrap-up

Professor Bill Pritchard, University of Sydney


Afternoon tea

5.00pm Event ends  



Ecosystems and enforcement: what can we learn from the Southeast Asian experience?

By Lorraine Elliott, Professor Emerita, Department of International Relations, The Australian National University

ASEAN – the term is used here to capture the formal institution, individual member states, and Southeast Asia as a region – faces a range of complex environmental sustainability challenges. The scholarly and policy literature often focuses on (i) the limitations that ASEAN faces in instigating or sustaining regional cooperation or (ii) ways that ASEAN can learn from experience elsewhere in meeting these challenges. This keynote explores examples of sustainability regulation and practice that either have their genesis within the Southeast Asian experience or that have been locally adapted to generate lessons learned that are now being paid attention by policy-makers and communities of practice elsewhere. In showing how these have the potential to respond to challenges of scale and local adaptation, it also offers some critical thoughts on the co-production of (sustainability) knowledge and the science-policy interface. 

Speaker's bios

Rini Astuti is a Research Fellow at Asia Research Institute. She is part of the multidisciplinary team researching transboundary environmental governance commons in Southeast Asia hosted at National University of Singapore. Her current research focuses on the emerging peatland governance apparatuses in the Southeast Asia region (Indonesia in particular) and its implications for the mono-agricultural sector both on the large scale and for smallholder plantations. Rini obtained her PhD in Geography from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She previously worked as a Research Fellow at RSIS in Nanyang Technological University and as a Climate Change Program Coordinator at the United Nations Development Programme Indonesia. She has published articles relating to forest governance, climate change mitigation and land politics in numerous journals such as: Journal of Peasant Studies, Asia Pacific Viewpoint, Environment and Planning A, and Third World Quarterly. She has also published opinion editorials and commentaries on broader environmental issues through numerous publication outlets.

Dr Catherine (Cat) Dorey has been working on fisheries and seafood sustainability for 15 years, primarily with Greenpeace, and in the past year as an Independent Advisor. Cat works with NGOs, industry, governments, and academics to provide up-to-date analysis of current and emerging science and policy development for fisheries management, sustainable & equitable seafood sourcing practices, and most recently fish welfare. Cat is also a regular guest lecturer and public speaker on fisheries and aquaculture issues, including for the Law, Policy and Sustainability Unit at Sydney University Law School. Cat’s mission is to draw together the best wisdom from the fields of marine ecology and conservation, permaculture, human rights, and animal rights to bring greater understanding and protection of all life within, and at the edges of, our oceans.

Lorraine Elliott is Professor Emerita in the Department of International Relations at The Australian National University. Over the last 20 years she has published extensively on global and regional (Asia Pacific) environmental governance and ethics, green economy and valuing nature, human security, climate change and migration, transnational environmental crime, and Australian foreign policy.  Professor Elliott has worked with several research and policy institutes in Southeast Asia, including the Institute of Strategic and International Studies in Malaysia, the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, and the Thailand Institute of Justice. She is also Lead Faculty with the Earth System Governance program and non-resident Senior Fellow with the Asia Research Institute at the University of Nottingham. She has just completed a three-year term as Chair of the Academic Council on the United Nations System. 

Arunima Malik is a Lecturer at ISA, School of Physics and the Sydney Business School. She coordinates and teaches a number of postgraduate units for the Masters of Sustainability program. Prior to joining the University of Sydney, Arunima has held a range of administrative, research and teaching positions. Arunima's research interests include full supply-chain sustainability analysis of introducing new industries in an economy, triple bottom line and footprint assessments, and hybrid life cycle assessments. She has analysed the economic, social and environmental impacts of potential biofuel industries in Australia. Additionally, she has quantified the drivers of a change in global energy use, carbon dioxide emissions and nitrogen emissions using input-output based structural decomposition analysis (SDA). Arunima's work involves manipulating global and sub-national trade data-sets to assess the environmental, social and economic consequences of human consumption. She analysed carbon emissions embodied in Australia's health care sector using comprehensive supply chain models. 

Geoff Morgan is an Associate Professor at the Sydney Medical School's Centre for Rural Health in Lismore. He has more than 25 years experience in epidemiological research, as well as environmental health policy and education.  He specialises in the use of spatial epidemiological techniques to investigate environmental health risks using routinely collected health data linked to socio-demographic factors and environmental exposures. The results of his research have been translated into environmental health and health services policy.  His current work includes: epidemiological studies into the effects of long term exposure to air pollution on health; health impact assessment of source specific air pollution including fire smoke, wood heaters and energy generation; the relation between the urban environment and health.

Manuel Solis is a lecturer at the Adelaide Law School. After almost two decades as a lawyer in the Philippines and working as a legal and policy adviser to multilateral financing and development institutions such as the World Bank and United Nations Development Programme, among others, Dr Solis decided to join the Australian legal academy as a Lecturer in the University of Adelaide Law School in 2015. He is also a Visiting Faculty in the University of Sydney Law School in 2016 and 2018. Dr Solis serves as the University of Adelaide's Designated Contact Point to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Adelaide Law School's Indigenous Student Liaison Officer. Notably, he was a member of, and legal adviser to, the Philippines Delegation, and thus, granted a party or negotiator status in the 22nd and 23rd Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in 2016 and 2017. 

Dr Pichamon Yeophantong is an ARC DECRA Fellow and Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Development at UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy. She leads the HASS Environmental Justice and Human Rights Project, and the Responsible Business Lab. Previously, Pichamon was an ASEAN-Canada Senior Fellow at the RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, as well as a Global Leaders Fellow at Princeton University and the University of Oxford. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in China and Southeast Asia on the impacts of Chinese investment in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, and has also consulted with a range of organizations, including the Overseas Development Institute and the African Progress Panel. Her work appears in such publications as Pacific Affairs, Chinese Journal of International Politics and Asian Survey.

Bill Pritchard is a Professor in Human Geography at the University of Sydney specialising in agriculture, food and rural places. He is interested in the ways that global and local processes are transforming places, industries and people's lives. He remains a skeptical internationalist - believing in the promise of a better world but frustrated by the obstacles that beset this objective.