Southeast Asia is one of the fastest developing regions in the world. However the pace of development sometimes places the environment and local communities at risk. This theme encompasses a number of areas including, but not limited to environmental governance, UN Sustainable Development Goals in Southeast Asia and environmental resilience. In 2016/2017, research under this theme will focus on two main areas: haze governance and the implications of environmental degradation on community security.
Haze governance comprises elements associated not only with managing and preventing forest and peatland fires but also addressing its extreme effects to human security, including risk to health and livelihood that are transnational in nature. This research will examine how the different political, economic and ecological assemblages of practices, actors, knowledge, and techniques work to govern haze in the Southeast Asia. It analyses the scale to which effective haze governance should be enacted and what kind of environment at national and regional levels should be created for civil society organizations, universities, the private sector, and multilateral and international agencies to establish genuine and effective partnership.
The two key research topics under this theme are:
- Building strategic partnerships for effective haze governance in ASEAN
- Linking climate change mitigation, haze crisis, and human security issues
Marine Environmental Protection and Transboundary Fishing in the South China Sea
The Marine Environmental Protection project attempts to fill the research gap in the current policy debates on the South China Sea disputes. By examining marine environmental protection in this strategic but contested sea lane, this project will explore the norms of marine environmental protection and regional cooperation in the South China Sea. The research will also highlight the importance of marine environmental protection as a shared responsibility of claimant states, ASEAN and relevant Dialogue Partners (e.g., Japan, China, US, Australia). It will examine the prospects of regional cooperation on marine environmental cooperation in the South China Sea and identify key issues and challenges that may hinder regional cooperation. The applicability of current international environmental laws and conventions on the South China Sea, and how they complement with regional initiatives to protect marine ecosystems in the disputed waters, will also be investigated.
The research will also be extended to explore the controversial facets of transboundary fishing, namely illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the South China Sea as well as its militarized responses by government authorities. This research will examine the entanglement of small scale fisheries in geopolitical struggles and their social and ecological ramifications. It will investigate the implications of foreign illegal fishing vessel movements and IUU fishing in a particular developing country’s Exclusive Economic Zone and it’s impacts on the livelihoods of fishermen.
- Rini Astuti. Protecting our Seas: Marine Environmental Governance in the South China Sea, RSIS Commentary, June 5, 2017.
- Rini Astuti. Digital Peatland Governance: Surveillance Technology for Haze Free Region, RSIS Commentary, April 13, 2017. Republished in: The Jakarta Post print edition, April 27, 2017.
- Rini Astuti. (2016). Peatland Restoration for a Haze Free Southeast Asia: Review of Opportunities and Challenges, in RSIS Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Year in Review 2016, RSIS, Singapore.
- Jose Montesclaros (2017), Finding oil palm alternative could be key to haze issue, Today, 31 May 2017.
- Lina Gong, 2017, ‘China’s Pledge to Restore Blue Skies’, RSIS Commentary, No. 046, 17 March.
- Julius Trajano. Protecting Our Seas – Marine Environmental Protection and Cooperation: An ASEAN-China Framework?, RSIS Commentary, 6 June 2017.
- Margareth Sembiring. Protecting Our Seas – Climate Change Adaptation – Case of South China Sea, RSIS Commentary, 12 June 2017.
- Lina Gong. Protecting Our Seas – China’s Efforts to Protect the Seas, RSIS Commentary, 22 June 2017.
- Rini Astuti. From Paris to Marrakech: Hopes High for Carbon Emissions Reduction, RSIS Commentary, November 2, 2016.
- Rini Astuti. Towards a Haze Free ASEAN: Private Financing for Peatland Restoration, RSIS Commentary, October 10, 2016. Republished in: New Strait Times online edition, October 15, 2017.
- Christopher H. Lim and Tamara Nair, Southeast Asia’s Haze Plight: Is Insurance a Suitable Preventive Mechanism?, RSIS Commentaries, 13 September 2016.
- Margareth Sembiring, Here Comes the Haze, Yet Again: Are New Measures Working?, RSIS Commentaries, 08 September 2015.
- Margareth Sembiring, Combating Haze: Holding One’s Breath A Year On, RSIS Commentaries, 19 August 2016.
- Raman Letchumanan. Singapore’s Transboundary Haze Pollution Act: Silver Bullet or Silver Lining? RSIS Commentaries, 3 February 2015.
- Raman Letchumanan. Haze Pollution and Peatlands: Can ASEAN Finally Breathe Easy? RSIS Commentaries, 9 December 2014.
- J Jackson Ewing. Haze over Southeast Asia: Battling Transboundary Pollution Together. RSIS Commentaries, 20 June 2013.
NTS Policy Briefs
- Margareth Sembiring, Examining Economic Development, Environmental Policy and Transboundary Pollution: The Case of Iskandar Malaysia and Air Quality, NTS Insight, 03 March 2014.
- Natural Resource Management for Sustainable Growth (ASEAN-Canada Research Partnership), Books, 25 April 2016.
- Margareth Sembiring, Forest Fires: Breakthroughs Possible under ASEAN Agreement, Op-Eds, 12 August 2016.
Last updated on 14/08/2017