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Marketing, Branding, and Economic Development Policies in Southeast Asia (1)

Sunday 22 March 2015, 0900 – 1100, Auditorium 3

Part 1 of 2. View part 2.

Jeff Burley
University of Oxford

Lukas Straumann
Bruno Manser Fund


Paper 1: Corruption related to the timber business as an obstacle to sustainable development

Lukas Straumann
Bruno Manser Fund

For more than two decades, Malaysian Borneo has been at the heart of the world’s tropical hardwood industry. Malaysia is the world’s largest exporter of tropical timbers. Timber conglomerates from Sarawak are operating in tropical forests around the globe. While the timber industry has generated massive profits for politicians and timber concessionaires, indigenous communities have seen little economic benefit from the depletion of their forest resources. Based on recent case studies from Sarawak and Sabah, this paper argues that corruption has been underestimated as a key driver of non-sustainable forest management and shows how the world’s financial system has been used to launder the proceeds of timber corruption. If deforestation and biodiversity loss are to be halted, institutional changes are necessary and new preventive measures against corruption and money-laundering must be adopted.


Paper 2: Sustainable energy solutions for Sarawak

Rebekah Shirley
University of California, Berkeley

Malaysian Borneo is the currently the subject of contentious state-led development plans that involve a series of mega-dams to stimulate industrial demand. There is little quantitative analysis energy options or cost and benefit trade- offs in the literature or the public discussion. In this study we compare the generation and environmental costs of different energy technologies through modeling the capacity expansion necessary to meet Sarawak’s demand in 2030 under four different energy demand growth assumptions. We use the commercial energy market software PLEXOS to prepare a load following dispatch and capacity expansion model for the state of Sarawak including existing generation, resource constraints and operability constraints. We also incorporate emissions and direct forest loss costs. We devise and model different scenarios to observe technically feasible options for electricity supply that satisfies future demand under high growth assumptions and to observe economic and environmental trade-offs. We find local resources including solar and biomass waste technologies can contribute to the generation mix at lower cost and environmental impact than additional dam construction. Our case study of Borneo represents many energy related megaprojects being developed in emerging economies and our proposed method of assessment can support the current conversations on exploitation of natural resources and potential sustainable solutions.


Paper 3: ‘Governance in Hot Water: Sustainable hot springs development’

Emma Weisbord
University of Oxford 

The management and governance of hot springs falls into an interesting grey zone as they cross the surface water-groundwater boundary, necessitating a holistic integration of different policies, legislation and administration systems to ensure their sustainable use. They are sensitive and rare geological areas, prone to irreversible damage by development and over-abstraction. There has been a recent unprecedented global surge in popularity and extensive use of this resource, corresponding to the increasing interest in spas, wellness and natural health as well as the discovery of hydrothermal resources’ other applications: energy production, industrial use, irrigation, aquaculture, bottled water and rare mineral extraction. These areas merit special protection not only for their intrinsic value as natural legacies but also for their economic potential. Establishing good governance principles is of particular importance in Southeast Asia where these hydrological systems have a historic cultural significance and face increasing pressure from renewable energy development, tourism and over-abstraction for domestic and industrial urban use. An established water governance analysis model can be adapted to hot springs and thermal groundwater to develop benchmarks for good governance, sustainable resource development and conservation. Metrics and indicators that can be used in future studies of hydrothermal landscape governance are adapted with the goal of identifying areas of improvement and establishing best case practices to achieve good governance of hydrothermal resources.


Paper 4: Legal and policy instruments to facilitate development for renewable energy in Thailand

Chattaporn Harabut
University of Western Sydney, Australia

Renewable energy plays a vital role in mitigating climate change, advancing energy security and reducing impact of fossil fuel uncertainty. For many developing countries, achieving the provision of reliable and affordable energy in a sustainable manner will reduce energy poverty, foster development and economic growth and higher standards of livings. This paper draws on the issue of legal and policy instruments in a specific context in which they facilitate the development of renewable energy in Thailand. A case study of Thai legal and policy frameworks in this paper provides insights and lessons on how policy instruments are selected, designed and applied. This paper applies analytical, historical, theoretical, doctrinal and comparative legal study approaches to find out an appropriate legal and policy instruments to deliver solutions for renewable energy in Thailand based on Thailand’s conditions and concerns. The analysis sheds new light on the types of instruments selected should be based in objectives, country conditions and power sector structure. It is argued that the effectiveness of a particular legal and policy instrument rely on how well it is designed and enforces. Each legal and policy option must consider who will pay for the incremental costs between renewable energy and conventional energy sources, whenever appropriate.


Paper 5: Alteration of shorefront areas in Metro Manila: Development and Threats

Arlen Ancheta
University of Santo Tomas

Rhodora Lynn Lintag
University of Santo Tomas

This paper analyses how alteration of shorefront areas through reclamation could lead to emerging corridor growth areas but threatens the critical habitat area of the migratory birds along the Las Pinas and Paranaque coastal cities in Metro Manila, Philippines. Using the concepts of edge cities (Macionis) and positional good (Bell), this study contends that reclamation of shorefront: 1) would enhance mobility and accessibility of goods and services along the coastal corridors of Las Pinas and Paranaque; 2) but would endanger bird habitat in LPPCHEA, impedes the flow of waterways and aggravate rising of flood waters in lowland areas of Metro Manila.The study employs qualitative approach using interviews, site observation and review of secondary data. Key informant interview covers claims on reclamation; analysis of secondary data provides historical timeline, legal arguments and position papers, while field observations documents events and activities. In conclusion, the study recommends a wider public platform for more public consultation in the process of planning, policy formulation, and implementation of reclamation along the Manila Bay. As a coastal ecosystem, the study calls for more concrete inter-local urban coastal development plans of edge cities along Metro Manila.