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Southeast Asia's challenges to sustainable and inclusive development

About this event

Conference Southeast Asia's challenges to sustainable and inclusive development

30 September – 1st October 2021

Southeast Asia is currently facing major challenges regarding climate change, biodiversity loss, and increasing inequalities reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Donors, regional and international organisations, and the private and public sectors are all working towards the same goals and facing the same challenges.

Aiming at sharing their experience and discuss solutions for a sustainable future in the region, this conference will bring together key development actors present in France and Southeast Asia.

On the first day, after a plenary session to present the development challenges in the region, panelists will discuss cooperation between ASEAN and development actors to support Southeast Asian countries in their transitions.

On the second day, several round tables will explore three key issues, in line with the main priorities identified in AFD's strategy to the region:

· The cooperation between private and public sector for promoting the energy transition in Southeast Asia;

· The importance of biodiversity preservation in the context of the permanent transformation of the Mekong basin;

· The challenges of ensuring access to environmental justice for all in Southeast Asia.

The conference will be held online, in order to gather people based in France and in Southeast Asia. It will be divided over two half days, in the morning in France and in the afternoon in Southeast Asia, to take into account the 5-hour time zone difference. The conference will be held in English only.

30 September 2021

1. Plenary - Southeast Asia's challenge to sustainable and inclusive development

Different development level, great vulnerability to climate change, reliance on Mekong River as a source of income, increasing inequalities, alongside a huge impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on economies… Southeast Asia faces many challenges and donors, including AFD, have a crucial role to play in supporting countries in their sustainable and inclusive development.

Speakers :

  • Philippe Lacoste, Director for Sustainable Development, French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs
  • Joseph Zveglich, Deputy Chief Economist, Asian Development Bank
  • Jean-Pierre Marcelli, Director of Operations, AFD
  • H.E. Long Naro, Director General, Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA)

Round table 1 - What cooperation between ASEAN and development actors to support Southeast Asia in its transitions?

The objective of this session is to explore cooperation between ASEAN and development actors as a powerful tool to accelerate transitions, first by presenting the functioning of ASEAN, then its challenges and its articulation with development actors. Various ASEAN partners will present tools and initiatives to fuel this discussion.

Speakers :

  • H.E. Robert Matheus Michael Tene, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN
  • H.E. Igor Driesmans, EU Ambassador to ASEAN
  • H.E. Armida S. Alisjahbana, Executive Secretary, UNESCAP
  • Minh Di Tang, Sub-Director for Southeast Asia, French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs

1st October 2021

Round table 2 - What cooperation between private and public sector for promoting the energy transition in Southeast Asia?

Energy transition is one of the sub-priorities of AFD' strategy in Southeast Asia. This transition, which has been timidly initiated in a number of countries in the region, must not only allow for the gradual shift from fossil fuels to renewable energies, but also promote energy efficiency in the production sector, in buildings and in electrical systems. The scale of the challenges to be met requires the involvement of both the public and private sectors, and cooperation between these two types of actor is essential to remove the obstacles to investment.

The aim of this round table is to invite different actors in the energy field to present their vision of cooperation between the private and public sector and of its importance, but also to question the way of making this cooperation as efficient as possible.

Speakers :

  • Beni Suryadi, Manager of Power, Fossil Fuels, Alternative Energy and Storage (PFS), ASEAN Center for Energy
  • Sirpa Jarvenpaa, director, Energy Transition Partnership
  • Raphaël de Guerre, Regional Director for Southeast Asia and North Asia, Proparco

Round table 3 - Mekong: how to ensure biodiversity preservation in the context of a river in permanent transformation?

Millions of people from Myanmar, China, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam depend on Mekong River water resources for agriculture and fisheries. However, the Mekong Basin and especially its biomass is impacted by many dam-building projects, overfishing, intensive aquaculture, pollution from growing cities, excessive groundwater extraction and sand mining. This environmental degradation is compounded by climate change, which makes the region even more fragile.

This session will attempt to discuss how biodiversity in the Mekong Basin can be protected, despite its constant evolution, notably through integrated management and community-based approaches.

Speakers :

  • Carl Middleton, Director at the Center for Social Development Studies, Chulalungkorn University (TH)
  • Dr Thim Ly, Chief River Basin Planner of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Secretariat
  • Jake Brunner, Head of IndoBurma Group, IUCN

Round table 4 - Ensuring access to environmental justice for all: challenges and opportunities in Southeast Asia

Although everyone is entitled to justice, inequalities in access to the law persist. Vulnerable populations are the first victims of the effects of climate change and environmental degradation, yet they encounter difficulties in making their voices heard and asserting their rights. Factors limiting their access to environmental justice include lack of access to information, lack of consultation and lack of resources.

This round-table therefore aims to highlight, on the one hand, the importance of defending rights and, on the other, the obligations generated by environmental and climate law. Given the exposure of Southeast Asia to climate hazards and environmental degradation, as well as the discussions already underway on this topic at the regional level, this session will open a discussion on the means available to States, local authorities and populations to strengthen access to environmental justice in the region.

Speakers :

  • Georgina Lloyd, Regional Coordinator, Environmental Law and Governance, UNEP
  • Jean Philippe Rivaud, general substitute of the General Attorney at the Paris Court of Appeal, co-founder and President of the Association of Magistrates for Environmental Law and Environmental Health Law
  • Christina Pak, Principal Counsel, Asian Development Bank

Join us for the two days of the conference !

Hosted by

  • Guest speaker
    GL G
    Georgina Lloyd UN

  • Guest speaker
    JB G
    Jake Brunner

  • Guest speaker
    YB G
    Yazid Bensaid

  • Guest speaker
    BS G
    Beni Suryadi ASEAN Center for Energy

  • Guest speaker
    DL G
    Dr Thim Ly MRC

  • Guest speaker
    SJ G
    Sirpa Helena Jarvenpaa ETP

  • Guest speaker
    RW G
    Rene Wyndham

  • Guest speaker
    KC G
    Karen Coleman

  • Guest speaker
    Rd G
    Raphael de Guerre Proparco

  • Guest speaker
    CM G
    Carl Middleton Chulalungkorn University

  • Guest speaker
    CP G
    Christina Pak ADB

  • Guest speaker
    JR G
    Jean-Philippe Rivaud

Agence Française de Développement

World In Common

The Agence Française de Développement Group funds, supports and accelerates the transition to a fairer and more sustainable world. Our teams carry out more than 4,000 projects in France’s overseas territories and another 115 countries. In this way, we contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.