SEI Executive Director Johan L. Kuylenstierna and CU President Bundhit Eua-arporn sign a new agreement.
SEI Executive Director Johan L. Kuylenstierna and CU President Bundhit Eua-arporn sign a new agreement designed to foster increased research collaboration between the two institutions.

Signed on 30 May, the agreement will facilitate joint research opportunities between the two institutions: SEI, one of the world’s premier think tanks, and Chulalongkorn University (CU), Thailand’s leading research university.

SEI Executive Director Johan L. Kuylenstierna and CU President Bundhit Eua-arporn signed the formal Agreement on Institutional Cooperation in Bangkok at the opening session of the SEI Science Forum, an annual event that brings together researchers, policy-makers and other stakeholders to address climate change-related issues. This year’s science forum focuses on collaborations and innovations in the greater Asian region.

“Of course science is crucial to meeting the challenges we face – but it is also crucial for identifying the opportunities and the solutions to those challenges,” said Kuylenstierna. “This partnership will help SEI and Chulalongkorn University to do that. We see collaboration and cooperation as the future.”

President Eua-arporn said the partnership will benefit both institutions – and the direction of environmental research. “SEI and Chulalongkorn University have enjoyed successful collaboration for more than a decade, and this MoU shows our commitment to closer and deeper partnership.”

“As Chulalongkorn celebrates its centenary, we’re looking forward to a second century with more tangible and positive impact on society, and to address the challenges of climate change and disasters, natural resource depletion, urbanization, or conflicts arising from inequality or intolerance. We look forward to working with SEI in the years to come for a resilient and equitable future for all,” he continued.

Participants at the SEI Science Forum 2017 in Bangkok
Participants at the SEI Science Forum 2017 in BangkokThe agreement will foster intellectual engagement between the two institutions, and leverage opportunities for joint research, particularly those in areas with a high degree of policy relevance to climate change.

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 agreement provides for SEI internships for high-achieving CU students, and lays the groundwork for increased interaction between CU students and faculty, and the researchers in both the SEI Asian Centre in Bangkok, and those in the broader SEI global network of centres.

SEI and CU researchers will convene for bi-annual scientific research meetings to highlight progress on key research issues, and to explore new opportunities to work together on future research agendas.

SEI’s Asia Centre Director Niall O’Connor discusses environmental challanges at the SEI Science Forum 2017 in Bangkok

Asia Centre Director Niall O’Connor said the agreement signalled a new chapter for researchers at both institutions. “Together, we will convene critical debates and raise the profile of environment and social issues in open public forums. And we will support the development of an aware society that acts on evidence-based science to bring about a sustainable future,” he said.

Chulalongkorn University this year celebrates its centenary, making it the oldest institution of higher learning in Thailand. Established in 1917 by King Vajiravudh (Rama VI), the university takes its name from his father, King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), who had laid the foundations for the country’s modern education. Chulalongkorn is now one of Thailand’s most highly ranked institutions of higher learning, and is composed of 19 faculties and 23 colleges and research institutes, and offers instruction to more than 37,000 undergraduates and post-graduate-level students.