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Achieving Transparency and Accountability in Natural Resource Development

Saturday 21 March 2015, 1130 – 1300, Auditorium 3

Nigel Gould-Davies
Mahidol University

Nigel Gould-Davies
Mahidol University

Southeast Asia’s economic development has the potential to lead millions of people out of poverty in the coming decades. The region’s natural resource wealth (especially oil and gas, mining, and forestry) can play a critical role, as a source both of direct inputs into the regional economy and of export revenues available for spending on infrastructure, health, education and other modernising systems.

But resource use in the region can lack transparency, accountability and social responsibility. This arouses suspicion and opposition from local communities, civil society and international partners. This creates social conflict, undermines trust and hinders development.

The Roundtable explores these key issues across a range of countries and sectors. It assesses the policies, institutions and best practices which can help stakeholders achieve a consensus on responsible, equitable and accountable resource development.


  • Annina Aeberli (Bruno Manser Fund)

Annina Aeberli holds a Master in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute in Geneva and a degree in intercultural mediation. In her position as campaigner at the Bruno Manser Fund, a Swiss NGO working for rainforest protection and indigenous rights in Malaysia, she has been working closely with indigenous civil society in Sarawak since 2011.

  • Constance McDermott (University of Oxford)

Dr Constance McDermott chairs the University of Oxford Environmental Change Institute’s Forest Governance Programme.Her research addresses the linkages among diverse local, regional and global priorities for sustainable forest management. It examines both “new” and “old” institutions of forest governance, from market-based initiatives such as forest and carbon certification to sovereign state-based and traditional community-based approaches, to better understand how dynamics of trust and power shape environmental and social policies and facilitate or inhibit desired outcomes. Previously, McDermott worked for the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies where she served as Program Director of the Program on Forest Policy and Governance.

  • Salleh Mohd. Nor (University Technology Malaysia)

Dr Salleh Mohd. Nor was the first Director General of the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) until he retired in 1995. He was also President of the Malayan Nature Society for 30 years, during which he initiated scientific expeditions into Endau Rompin and Belum forests that resulted in the formation of the Endau Rompin State Park and the Belum National Park. He was President of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) from 1991 to 1995, the first non European and non American in 100 years history of IUFRO. He is currently Pro Chancellor to University Technology Malaysia, President of the Malaysian Scientific Association and Malaysian Turtle Protection Society.

  • Hans Vriens (Vriens & Partners)

Hans W. Vriens is managing partner of Vriens & Partners Pte Ltd, a corporate advisory firm which specialises in government affairs, public policy, and political risk analysis in Southeast Asia. Prior to establishing Vriens & Partners, Hans was Vice Chairman, Asia at APCO Worldwide. Hans studied civil and constitutional law at Groningen University in the Netherlands, and economics and history at Johns Hopkins University. His family lived in the Dutch East Indies for several generations until the handover of Papua to the United Nations in 1962.