Media Advisory May 30, 2017

SEI Science Forum 2017

The 2017 SEI Science Forum supports a dynamic and enduring exchange between science, people and policy, specifically focusing on the Asian region. Co-hosted by Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, SEI’s Science Forum 2017 will bring together 200 people guests and researchers in Bangkok, Thailand. An annual event of SEI, now ranked as the world’s No. 1 environment think tank , the Science Forum offers a platform to build and strengthen links between SEI researchers, stakeholders and decision-makers.

When? May 30, 08.30 Bangkok time (ICT). Where? Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Auditorium (Room 801), 7th FloorChalerm Rajkumari 60 Building (Jamjuree 10)

New partnership between SEI and Chulalongkorn University

Stockholm Environment Institute and Chulalongkorn University will sign a cooperation agreement intended to foster innovative research to address climate change-related challenges in Asia, and to bridge a persistent gap between research science and policy implementation on related issues.

The agreement, that will be signed on May 30th during the SEI Science Forum in Bangkok, will facilitate joint research opportunities between the two institutions: the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), one of the world’s premier think tanks, and Chulalongkorn University, Thailand’s leading research university.

SEI Executive Director Johan L. Kuylenstierna and Chulalongkorn University’s President Bundhit Eua-airporn will sign the formal agreement at the opening session of the SEI Science Forum. This year’s science forum focuses on collaborations and innovations in the greater Asian region.

The new partnership has the potential to catalyse research funding on critical issues in the region, and to help to train the next generation of climate change researchers. The collaborative agreement will come into effect upon signing the agreement and will remain in force for 5 years.

Experts will be available for interviews after the signing ceremony at the 2017 SEI Science Forum.

When? May 30, 9.50 – 10.00 ICT. Watch the signing ceremony live on YouTube
Whom? Bundhit Eua-arporn, President, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
Johan Kuylenstierna, Executive Director, Stockholm Environment Institute
Kerstin Niblaeus, Chair of Board, Stockholm Environment Institute

Who will take the lead on the Paris Agreement in Asia?

The current leadership situation in the U.S. is now pressuring the Paris Agreement, signed by more than 200 countries. The politics of climate change in the Trump era are getting hotter. Climate change will have severe consequences for several countries in Asia as well as for small island states in the Pacific. Who will take the lead role in cutting emissions and taking responsibility for future impacts on societies?

We have already seen and experienced the impacts of climate change. 2011 flooding in Thailand, 2014 Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Philippines. The impacts are immense for people living in Southeast Asia. The science is unequivocal. The findings of the IPCC Assessment Report 5 are clear. There will be increased warming globally in both land and ocean.

As the IPCC highlights, the impacts for the region will be severe. There will be huge impacts on agriculture, where much of the region’s poor depend for their livelihoods. Its coastal systems will suffer from storm surges, inundation and flooding. The region’s water resources will also face increasing critical water shortages and insecurities.

In a paper published in 2017, figures show that climate change will bring 12 million people in East Asia below the extreme poverty line. Of these 13 million people, 3 million will be in the Philippines, 2 million in Indonesia and 1 million in Vietnam.

At the SEI Science Forum in Bangkok, researchers and policy makers will discuss the following topics: What is the role of the NDCs in including risk communities? How can different actors support local communities? What are the insights on the role of government and civil society in supporting inclusivity in the Paris Agreement?

Experts will be available for interviews after the session: From Paris to Asia: Towards a meaningful and inclusive implementation of the Paris Agreement.

When? May 30, 14.30 –15.30 ICT. Watch session live on YouTube
Whom? Albert Salamanca, Research Fellow SEI Asia
Richard Klein, Senior Research Fellow at SEI and Theme Leader ‘Reducing Climate Risk’, SEI

Publications: Salamanca, A. and Rigg, J. (2017) ‘Adaptation to climate change in Southeast Asia: developing a relational approach’. Routledge Handbook of the Environment in Southeast Asia, P. Hirsch (ed.). Routledge, London. 280–97.
Limits to adaptation. Nature Climate Change
Climate Change Adaptation Readiness in ASEAN Countries


SEI Asia will lead new Centre of Excellence on transforming development and disaster risk

At its recent 17th meeting, convened in Mexico, the Scientific Committee of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) unanimously approved the proposal submitted by Stockholm Environment Institute to establish an International Centre of Excellence on Transforming Development and Disaster Risk.

While specifically hosted by the SEI Asia Centre, the new Centre of Excellence will draw on expertise from across SEI, as well as serve as a platform for an evolving partnership between selected reputable institutions in the region; the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC), Chulalongkorn University, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Experts will be available for interviews after the session: The role of research in implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in Asia

When? May 30, 13.30 14.30 ICT. Watch panel discussion live on YouTube
Whom? Frank Thomalla, Senior Research Fellow, SEI Asia

News: Read announcement from IRDR
Publications: Disaster Risk Reduction in Indonesia: Progress, Challenges and Issues
Responses to the 2011 floods in Central Thailand: Perpetuating the vulnerability of small and medium enterprises?


The SDGs: limits and opportunities in the Mekong Region?

What are the current opportunities and limitations for achieving gender and social equity goals in the Mekong, against the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and their implementation in Asia?

A panel discussion will bring their different perspectives to this critical topic, including SEI partners from different sectors and actors in the region with a wealth of gender and social equity expertise. The Gender, Environment and Development Cluster at SEI Asia will also be presented.

Experts will be available for interviews after the session: The SDGs: Opportunities for gender equality and social equity in the Mekong Region

When? May 30, 11.00 12.00 ICT. Watch panel discussion live
Whom? Bernadette P. Resurrección, Senior Research Fellow, SEI Asia
News: SDG delivery in Asia: SEI’s role in advancing science and policy to support decision-making
The 2030 Agenda


For interviews and further information, please contact:

Ylva Rylander – Press Officer, SEI, +4673150 3384
Rajesh Daniel – Communications Coordinator, SEI Asia, +6622514415

Full program of the 2017 SEI Science Forum

SEI spokespersons at the Science Forum in Bangkok

Johan L. Kuylenstierna, Executive Director – The new agreement, climate, agriculture and water
Kerstin Niblaeus, Chair of Board – SEI, partner collaboration
Niall O’Connor, Centre Director of SEI Asia – New Centre of Excellence, urbanization
Åsa Gerger Swartling, Research Directorate – Capacity development
Albert Salamanca, Research Fellow – Climate adaptation
Bernadette Resurrección, Senior Research Fellow – SDGs, gender, adaptation
Åsa Persson, Senior Research Fellow SDGs, policy processes
Richard Klein, Senior Research Fellow and Theme Leader ‘Reducing climate risk’ IPCC, climate
Frank Thomalla, Senior Research Fellow – Disaster risk reduction
Karl Hallding, Senior Research Fellow China, air pollution


Stockholm Environment Institute supports decision making for sustainable development by bridging science and policy.
@SEIreserach @SEIclimate #SEIForum