Climate Action: Seeding Resilience and Green Growth in ASEAN

Venue: Grand Hyatt Singapore, Grand Ballroom, Level 3
Date: Friday, 18 May 2018
Time: 0800 – 1600




Welcome Remarks
Associate Professor Simon Tay
Singapore Institute of International Affairs


Opening Keynote
Mr. Masagos Zulkifli
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources
Republic of Singapore


In-Conversation with
Dr. Bambang Brodjonegoro
Minister for National Development Planning
Republic of Indonesia 


How ASEAN Governments Are Shifting to Green Growth

ASEAN countries are increasingly navigating the disruptive effects of climate change and environmental crises that threaten their ability to expand economic opportunities for their growing populations. Green growth has emerged as a promising means of increasing economic activity while protecting natural assets for future generations. This panel will look at how governments across ASEAN are implementing and financing green growth in national development plans, as well as the costs and implications of doing so.

Key questions:

  • What are some effective policies that governments and regulators can adopt to create the right conditions for green growth?
  • What are the costs of such plans and how can governments and regulators ensure no one is left behind in the transition?
  • What are some opportunities for collaboration among governments and regulators in ASEAN and beyond?


Associate Professor Simon Tay
Singapore Institute of International Affairs


Senator Loren Legarda
Chair of the Senate Committees on Finance and Climate Change, The Philippines


Morning Tea Break


Keynote Address


Doing Well by Doing Good: The Evolution of Sustainability in the Agri-Business Sector

In recent years, the agri-business sector, particularly the large companies, have placed increasing emphasis on sustainable production methods to address the environmental and social issues associated with the sector. These efforts have achieved some success, as demonstrated by the relatively clear skies in Southeast Asia since the 2015 haze crisis. Now, attention is shifting to an equally important question – whether sustainability can be a driver of outperformance for these companies. This panel will examine how agri-business companies have evolved their approach to sustainability over the years, and the economic, social, and reputational rewards for doing so. In addition, the panel will discuss how we can develop mechanisms to ensure accountability and transparency in sustainability efforts moving forward.

Key questions:

  • How is the agri-business sector improving its sustainability practices and how successful are these efforts?
  • To what extent are companies communicating their efforts effectively and are they rewarded for their positive contributions?
  • What are some mechanisms that track and ensure transparency and accountability of companies?


Ms. Lee Chen Chen
Director (Policy Programmes)
Singapore Institute of International Affairs


Mr. Sarwono Kusumaatmadja
Head of Climate Change Steering Committee
Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Indonesia


Mr. Mark Wakeford
Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director
Indofood Agri


Closing Remarks
Associate Professor Simon Tay
Singapore Institute of International Affairs




Bridging Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches: The Role of Financial Institutions in Inclusive Agri-Finance

Left to themselves, private financial institutions often fail to provide credit to smallholders because of their high perceived credit risk. To address this, various projects have emerged on the ground in recent years to address the underlying obstacles that make financing smallholders challenging. But at the same time, mobilising long-term agri-finance for smallholders on a large scale requires the government to play a major role in aligning national policies and overseeing their implementation.

This workshop will look how financial institutions, such as banks and investment funds, can bridge the gap between on-the-ground projects and national-level plans for financial inclusion. It will also discuss the instruments that exist to channel credit to smallholder farmers, as well as the kinds of policies that need to be in place to encourage greater participation from financial institutions.

Key questions:

  • What are the main potential benefits of investing in smallholder farmers?
  • What are the most successful agri-finance projects so far, and what lessons can be drawn from them?
  • How can we get institutions such as commercial banks, funds, and development finance institutions on board with agri-finance projects?
  • What kind of oversight needs to be put in place to regulate instruments that channel credit?


Dr. Nirarta “Koni” Samadhi
Country Director
World Resources Institute (Indonesia) 


Mr. Andi Ikhwan
Indonesia Agriculture and Financial Services Programme Director
Mercy Corps Indonesia


Mr. Julian Peach
Director of Knowledge and Business Innovation,
Grow Asia


Ms. Rahmawati “Wiwin” Winarni
Executive Director,
TuK (Transformasi untuk Keadilan) Indonesia


Sustainability Reporting in the Plantation Sector: Attracting Better Capital Flows

Corporate sustainability reporting is on the rise today, in part due to requirements by stock exchanges such as the Singapore Exchange (SGX). In the plantation sector, which is often plagued with controversies such as deforestation and land conflicts, companies are turning to sustainability reporting to increase their accountability to different stakeholders. What remains unclear is whether these companies have identified and disclosed material issues, as well as the extent to which reporting can generate tangible benefits for companies and other stakeholders. One recent attempt to connect sustainability reporting and financial gains is sustainability performance-linked loans. This workshop will examine how far sustainability reporting has benefited plantation companies and their stakeholders, and whether other approaches are needed to complement this effort.

Key questions:

  • To what extent has sustainability reporting improved capital flows and investments to companies that conduct it?
  • How can plantation companies use sustainability reporting to communicate effectively with other stakeholders?
  • How can the government and financial institutions encourage consistent and comparable sustainability reporting among companies?


Associate Professor Simon Tay
Singapore Institute of International Affairs


Ms. Lucita Jasmin
Director for Sustainability & External Affairs


Ms. Audrey Lee
Sustainability Manager,
Olam International


The Relevance of Certification to Sustainability Today

Certification is often touted as a means to incentivise oil palm farmers to adopt sustainable practices and gain access to lucrative foreign markets. However, the high costs and complicated procedures involved present a significant obstacle for many farmers to get certified, and some farmers who have already been certified report that they are not seeing commensurate benefits. Meanwhile, the existence of multiple certification schemes presents difficulties for both producers and consumers, while the European Union’s current dispute with Indonesia and Malaysia is demonstrating that existing certification schemes may no longer be enough. This workshop will explore whether, given the current landscape, certification is still relevant as a tool for achieving sustainability in the plantation sector.

Key questions:

  • Is certification worth the effort for smallholder farmers and the companies supporting them to obtain it?
  • How important is certification in influencing the purchasing behaviour of consumers and downstream off takers?
  • How can certification be used in conjunction with other tools and schemes to help farmers achieve sustainability?


Dr. Yeo Lay Hwee
EU Centre in Singapore


Dr. Reza Azmi
Executive Director
Wild Asia


Dr. Julian McGill
Head of Southeast Asia
LMC International


Dato’ Dzulkifli Abdul Wahab
FELDA Technoplant Sdn Bhd


End of Programme
Note: This programme is subject to change.