Keynote Address by Professor Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood
Panel 1: Planetary Health: Experiences from Asia
Panel 2: Planetary Health: Crises, Repercussions and Governance
There are a number of theories that attempt to explain the start and the spread of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. One of them points to environmental degradation as a plausible cause. The link between environment health and human health is captured in the planetary health concept. Proposed by the medical field, the concept argues that humanity will only thrive within a healthy planet. Placing the health of the planet as a pre-condition for human survival calls for the minimisation of policy trade-offs. To this end, the adoption of the planetary health concept which embodies systems-level thinking can likely facilitate the formulation of synergised actions across sectors.
Recognising converging risks that pose threat to the health of the planet becomes an important starting point. Aside from existing environmental issues such as pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and biodiversity loss, other activities such as wars, international trade, urban development, pandemic response, humanitarian action, among others, likewise affect the environment. These need to be managed simultaneously to mitigate their overall impacts on planetary health.
Against this backdrop, the 6th NTS-Asia Consortium Annual Conference brings together members of the Consortium to exchange their views on the different aspects of planetary health across countries in Asia. These include, among others, the different interpretations of and responses to the concept in each country, specific risks to planetary health in each country, and existing and/or hypothetical measures to operationalise the concept in each country.
This Conference aims to engage members of the Consortium and the wider audience in conversations on planetary health and present the different perceptions of opportunities and challenges in adopting the concept in the region.
About the Keynote Speaker
Dr. Mahmood is a medical professional with more than two decades experience managing crises in health, disasters and conflict settings. She is currently Professor and Executive Director of the newly established Sunway Centre for Planetary Health at Sunway University in Malaysia. She is also the Pro-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University Malaysia. She had been the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia on Public Health from April 2020-September 2021. She was also a member of the Government of Malaysia’s Economic Action Council, and currently on the Malaysian Climate Action Council and Consultative Council for Foreign Policy. In 2020, she was appointed a Senior Fellow of the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Centre.
Her previous appointments include the Under Secretary General for Partnerships at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Chief of the World Humanitarian Summit secretariat at the United Nations, and Chief of the Humanitarian Response Branch at UNFPA. She is the founder of MERCY Malaysia, a southern based international humanitarian organisation.
Dr. Mahmood is currently on the board of the Employees Provident Fund of Malaysia, National University of Malaysia and ALAM Foundation in Malaysia and was the first independent Chair of Oxfam International until end 2021. Since March 2022, she has also joined the board of Roche in Basel, Switzerland.
She is the recipient of numerous national and international awards for her work including the Merdeka Award, Isa Humanitarian Award, as well as the Gandhi, Ikeda, Luther King Award for her contribution to peace, community development and humanitarian work.
Dr Mahmood graduated as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) , has a Masters in Obstetrics & Gynaecology from the same university and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists United Kingdom. She also completed executive education at the International Management and Development Centre, IMD Lausanne.
About the Speakers
Panel 1: Planetary Health: Experiences from Asia
Mr Arisman is the Executive Director of Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Indonesia. He has 21 years of experience in teaching and research supervision positions in two public universities in Indonesia including Faculty Member at Department of Development Economics, Faculty of Economics and Business, The State Islamic University (UIN) Jakarta and Adjunct Lecturer at University of Indonesia. Visiting Lecturer at Prince Songkhla University, Thailand and Western Sydney University, Australia.
Arisman has been involved in various research projects and consultancies to ASEAN, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), European Union (EU), Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), German Development Agency (GIZ), Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). Currently, He held the position of Executive Director of Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Indonesia.
Dr Toshie Manabe holds Ph.D. (Medicine), Ph.D. (Human Care Science), Master of Public Health (MPH).
Currently, she is Associate Professor of Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Science and the Vice Director of Clinical Research Center, Nagoya City University West Medical Center.
Her research interests include Clinical Epidemiology, Emerging Infectious Diseases, and Global Health.
Major General Dipankar Banerjee saw active service for four decades in the Indian Army before assuming a second career in security studies, peace building, disarmament and non-traditional security post retirement. He headed a number of research institutes in India and South Asia. In recent years Banerjee was a Jennings Randolph Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, Wash DC in 2003-04. He founded and headed the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, the leading autonomous think tank in India, for over a decade.
Banerjee has held a number of important positions in international organisations, including the ICRC, Geneva. Was a consultant to the UN Group of Government Experts on Conventional Arms. He led the campaign for global elimination of land mines and addressed the plenary session at the UN Treaty signing conference at Ottawa. He was involved in numerous international initiatives to prevent proliferation of small arms, unexploded bombs, nuclear weapons elimination, Land Mine Monitor and others. He has led many strategic initiatives involving major countries around the world, promoting peace, conflict resolution and disarmament. Banerjee led a major Ford Foundation project on Pan Asian Non Traditional Security issues from 1999-2003, culminating in a presentation in Singapore and at the United Nations HQ in New York in 2002 & 2003.
In recent years Banerjee has been studying the impact of Covid-19, environmental challenges and global warming and health on human security around the world.
Dr Sufia Khanom is a Senior Research Fellow at the Bangladesh Institute of International andStrategic Studies (BIISS). For more than 15 years, she learns through the extensive research works under the b road umbrella of environmental security and gender studies. She is interested in examining the geopolitical and cultural dynamics of natural resources management under changing climatic condition. She is particularly interested in security perceived by the different marginalised groups specially environmentally induced migrants in their everyday spaces and the hydro politics of trans-boundary water resources in South Asia and beyond. Her research fieldworks prefer creative methods and methodologies that bring out alternative narratives which may remain hidden through conventional methods.
She has been involved in research collaborations between the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the Asian Institute of Technology. She was the team leader of research projects by the Norwegian Council, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Manusher Jonno Foundation. She did her BSc in Environmental Science from Khulna University and MSS in Women and Gender Studies from Dhaka University, Bangladesh. She has completed her second MSc in Gender and Development Studies from Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand and PhD in Geography and Planning from Macquarie University, Australia.
Panel 2: Planetary Health: Crises, Repercussions and Governance
Dr. Dhanasree Jayaram is a Research Fellow at Centre Marc Bloch (CMB) and Guest Researcher at Freie Universität Berlin – under the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s International Climate Protection Fellowship (for postdocs) 2022-23. She is an Assistant Professor, Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, and Co-coordinator, Centre for Climate Studies, Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Karnataka, India. She is also a Research Fellow, Earth System Governance; Member, Climate Security Expert Network; and Member, Planet Politics Institute. She holds a PhD in Geopolitics and International Relations from MAHE. She pursued a visiting fellowship (Erasmus Mundus – short-term PhD) at Leiden University, the Netherlands during 2014-15; and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, under the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship during 2018-19. She managed a project of adelphi (Berlin) on “Climate Diplomacy”, sponsored by the German Federal Foreign Office during 2015-20. Her primary fields of interest include climate politics and diplomacy, environmental security and military, regional environmental policy in Asia, and environmental peacebuilding.
Dr. Zhou Zhanggui, is Senior Research Fellow of Overseas Safety and Security Programs, NTS-PD, Zhejiang University. He was the Program Officer, at International Center on small hydropower, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (October 2005 – July 2011). He co-founded the International Forum on Non-Traditional Security(Hangzhou) and the Overseas Safety and Security International Collaboration Mechanism (Center) and chaired the secretariats. He also served as Mentor of Global Competency Center at Zhejiang University and Judge of All China Universities Contests of Future Elites for International Organizations(Since 2019). His main research focus on non-traditional security risk management. He has published books and papers on Non-Traditional Security including energy, environment and climate security, private security, etc. translated cored documents of private security standards into Chinese including ICoCA core documents and ISO 18788, etc.
Dr Jyoti M. Pathania is Founding Editor – Online Indian Journal of Peace & Conflict resolution- oijpcr.org and broadcasts her podcast titled- ‘Indian Conflict Resolution’. Currently she is Senior Fellow & Chairperson Outreach at the Centre for Land Warfare Studies, India. She graduated in Political Science (Hons) from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, A topper from Delhi University. She obtained her M.A. and M.Phil degree in “International Politics” from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, and was selected to go on a scholarship to the European Peace University in Austria, Spain and Ireland, where she pursued an advanced Master’s degree in “Peace and Conflict Studies” She has earned her Ph.D. in Political Science and has 23 years of teaching and research experience in various universities in India and abroad. Recipient of Prof. Randhir Singh Award, Prof. N. N. Aggarwal Memorial Award and received commendation by then India’s Chief of the Army Staff, late Gen Bipin Rawat for excellence in research and academic engagements with foreign institutions. She is an esteemed member of the NTS consortium, at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies. NTU, Singapore. She has various national & international publications to her credit. Her areas of specialization are Conflict Resolution & Peace Studies, Non-traditional Security issues, Women studies, International Politics, United Nations and South Asia. Her first book “India & Pakistan , Confidence Building Measures” (2012) had earned good reviews. She has earned a trademark for the word- “Uniformed democracy” while writing her second book- “Deep State Continuum in Pakistan & its Implications for India” which is under publication.
Ms Novia Xu is a researcher at Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Indonesia in which she takes focus on the issues at the nexus of climate change and trade policy. Prior to working as researcher at CSIS, she was research assistant to Prof. Mari Elka Pangestu. Novia obtained her Bachelor of Economics from University of Indonesia and Master of Climate Change Science and Policy from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.