Inclusive Collaboration: Working Together for Sustainable Value Chains
Thursday, 6th April 2017
John Jacob Ballroom, The St Regis Singapore
The resource sector in ASEAN – the source of many raw materials for global supply chains – faces rising pressure to balance environmental and social concerns alongside economic needs. Governments are stepping up law enforcement to combat long-standing problems such as slash-and-burn practices. Various large plantation companies have made sustainability commitments and increased corporate transparency and disclosure. Non-governmental organisations are also working with local communities on sustainable farming practices. In the face of cross-sectoral and transboundary issues, a multi-stakeholder approach continues to be advocated and adopted.
Still, to achieve sustainable value chains, outstanding gaps must be bridged and less prominent voices heard. As large plantation companies lead in sustainability, how can we help smaller players come on board? What are some ways to combat labour violations and social issues effectively? How can technology overcome cost barriers and be scaled up for wider impact? What role can the financial sector play in environmental governance?
Against this backdrop, the Fourth Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources (SDSWR) invites regional representatives across the value chain to explore how we can tackle these issues and pursue inclusive collaboration in the agroforestry and resource sector.
Mr. Masagos Zulkifli Bin Masagos Mohamad
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Singapore
Datuk Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Malaysia
Sustainability: A New Profit Driver?
Southeast Asia is one of the world’s largest producers of soft commodities including palm oil, rubber, and wood pulp. With Asia’s populations expected to soar, demands for these valuable resources are set to grow, leading to higher pressure on land use and climate change.
How can we cope with this explosive growth without jeopardising nature, public health and the way of life of some indigenous communities? How can we encourage more industry players – from plantation owners to processors and buyers – to address these concerns? What is the responsibility of those who trade and invest in these resources? Should governments in Asia pursue a bigger regulatory role collectively?
At the second Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources, the Singapore Institute of International Affairs will bring together leading voices from relevant stakeholders – including governmental and non-governmental organisations and companies- to present a business case for sustainable production, harvesting and financing. Centring on the mega market of Asia, the conference aims to feature the best practices in corporate sustainability, and foster more collaborations among forward-looking players.
Restore, Rebuild and Recommit to Sustainable Growth
The case for sustainable business is now clearer than ever. Left unchecked, the exploitation of resources will have profoundly negative impacts on the environment and vulnerable communities across ASEAN. As governments, the private sector and non-governmental organisations continue with efforts to integrate environmental and social considerations in the management of resources, the year 2015 still saw one of the worst transboundary haze episodes in ASEAN. Peat fires across Indonesia led to months of smoke haze in the country and neighbouring Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, placing oil palm and pulp and paper players, smallholder farmers, their financiers, office-holders and law-enforcers squarely in the spotlight.
With the growing global consensus on climate change action, coupled with the far-reaching transboundary impacts of extreme events such as forest fire-induced haze, it is all the more urgent that industry, regulators, and policymakers consolidate lessons learnt and best practices for the sustainable management of resources. Every year, the Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources (SDSWR) brings together 300 policymakers, industry delegates, NGO representatives, academics and members of the media for a day-long discussion on the latest opportunities and challenges in the pursuit of sustainable and equitable growth in Asia’s resources sector. The Dialogue has served as a key multi-stakeholder platform for featuring best practices, new commitments and noteworthy cross-sector collaborations. From the first SDSWR (2014) (Environment and Growth: Conflict or Convergence) to the second SDSWR (2015) (Sustainability: A New Profit Driver?), the dialogue witnessed a shift from making the case for sustainability to recognising its absolute necessity.
With this in mind, the Third SDSWR invites key representatives of sectors with a large stake in the recent haze crisis – pulp and paper, oil palm companies, smallholders and financial institutions – to take stock of the recent haze episode. Through the sharing of best practices and challenges, the Dialogue stresses the importance of lessons learnt in the haze for the broader sustainable management of the ASEAN resource economy.