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Addressing Climate Change Through Leadership

The first call was an initiative by Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN), Indonesia, which aims to bring the public and private sectors together to forge an alliance called the Mangrove Ecosystem Restoration Alliance, or MERA

Photo Credit :

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Discussions among expert panellists from government agencies, corporates, finance and investment institutions, as well as environment associations around climate action took centre stage at the second Temasek Shophouse Conversations (TSC), organised by Temasek Foundation today. 

The virtual event, attended by about 1,000 participants, is part of a series of events to bring leaders of public, private, and community sectors together to discuss multi-sector collaboration and propel actions to address societal and environmental challenges to achieve common good, in the region and globally.

The Conversation titled “Climate Action” and themed “Leadership in a Sustainability Journey” featured keynote speeches from Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Republic of Indonesia and Minister Desmond Lee, Ministry of National Development, Singapore.

Mr Ng Boon Heong, Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Foundation said, “Climate change is a growing threat to mankind and requires a concerted and sustained response from all sectors. Local as well as international cooperation and partnerships are crucial to tackling this issue.  Countries have much to gain in exchanging key learnings and best practices as they progress on their sustainability journeys.” 

“The Temasek Shophouse Conversations underscored the urgency of stronger climate action from various points of view within the local and global context. The platform aims to exchange ideas and create greater awareness of the environmental work being done regionally as well as globally. We are confident that this will inspire attendees to action in their respective capacities,” he added.

Southeast Asia is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change. If left unchecked, climate change could not only lead to irreversible environmental effects but also devastating economic impact. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates that Southeast Asia could suffer bigger losses than most regions in the world, shaving 11 percent off the region’s GDP by the end of the century as key sectors such as agriculture, tourism, and fishing—along with human health and labour productivity- take a toll[1].

The event also included the book launch of “Steering a Middle Course: From Activist to Secretary General of Golkar” written by Mr Sarwono Kusumaatmadja, Chairman of the Advisory Board for Climate Change Policies under the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Republic of Indonesia. The book, translated and published by ISEAS Publishing, charted the author’s transition as a youth activist to a political statesman and his influence on governance reform in public administration and the environment.

There were also two panel discussions by esteemed global speakers on:

  1. Portrait of A Student Activist; and
  2. Leadership in a Sustainability Journey: Our Future – How, Why and When

The event concluded with calls to address the impact of climate change through environment and community initiatives.

The first call was an initiative by Yayasan Konservasi Alam Nusantara (YKAN), Indonesia, which aims to bring the public and private sectors together to forge an alliance called the Mangrove Ecosystem Restoration Alliance, or MERA.

Dr Herlina Hartanto, Executive Director, YKAN said, “We are pleased to have been part of the Temasek Shophouse Conversations, a wonderful platform for critical discussions and inspiration to actions. With more public and private sector awareness and engagement, we will be able to restore and sustainably manage 500,000 hectares of mangroves by 2025. This will help support coastal livelihoods and maintain Indonesia’s biodiversity.”

The second was an invitation to youths under the age of 40 from Singapore and the region to be advocates and changemakers to advance climate resilience in their societies. The Youth Action for Climate initiative called for youths to contribute ideas to combat the climate crisis and to shape a sustainable future. Businesses and organisations were also encouraged to step forward to mentor youths, and to help shape and support these projects.

Please refer to the annexes in this document for more information on the following:

Annex A: Discussion sessions and panellists    

Annex B: Summary of the book “Steering a Middle Course: From Activist to Secretary General of Golkar”

Annex C: Information on the community involvement initiatives