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Session Topic Synopsis
1 Understanding INDC & What it means to ASEAN The Kyoto Protocol (KP) is set to expire in the year 2020. In view of working towards a Post KP, governments at the climate negotiations agreed that there is a need for a new framework. Instead of a top down approach, of that in Copenhagen back in 2009, they agreed it should be driven bottom up by each coming up with their own Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC). This will form the foundation of the new agreement that is due later this year in Paris.

This panel aims to explore the following:
a) How and why should ASEAN aim to have all its member countries have an INDC?
b) What does INDC mean to the respective government, and what are the concerns that need to be addressed to ensure the region will be able to come up with one, and subsequently implement it.
c) How can civil society and businesses play a role in helping to shape the INDCs?

2 Climate Change and Food Security in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is highly vulnerable to climate change because it has several highly exposed areas and concentration of populations along the coastal areas and millions of poor with low adaptive capacity among many other reasons. One area of concerned is the agriculture sector reliance the region has on food, which is climate sensitive. Several studies such as those by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have provided insights that the region will loose between 12 – 27% of its rice production, the staple food of the region.

Apart from climate change that is affecting the productivity, land and water grabbing exacerbated by unregulated enter of private sector investments are pushing small farmers out of their own farms, thus depriving them of their source food and means of livelihood. Another call for concern is the volatility of food prices, especially staple food, which may put food beyond the reach of many of the poor people, living in both the rural and urban spaces, in this region.

The session hopes to shed some light on what are the current efforts and possible solution that can be implemented to ensure food security can be addressed in view of building a resilient Southeast Asia beyond 2015.

3 Restoring carbon sinks as Mitigation measures: The REDD+ Partnership of Norway and Indonesia The conversion of forests to farms and other land-use changes are responsible for about 25 per cent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions each year, and in some tropical countries, that percentage is even higher. Owning the oldest rainforests, with biological richness and diversity unequalled by that of the Amazon or African rainforests, Southeast Asia is losing it faster than any equatorial region. It is projected that most of the primary rainforests of Southeast Asia will be destroyed in the next 10 years.

Therefore, there is a need to address the rapid depletion of natural carbon sinks as one of the key mitigation efforts in ensuring a more sustainable climate. In 2005, the idea of preserving the forest, under the name of Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD), as a mechanism to enhance forest management in developing countries was put up for discussion and subsequently implemented as pilot projects in many parts of the world. One of the major projects under this mechanism is that between Norway and Indonesia.

The session will aim to address the following questions:
a) How successful is the REDD+ initiative?
b) What are the challenges of implementing it and the plausible solution that are currently being explored?
c) What are the learning points that other countries that are implementing REDD+ project should look out for?

4 Transboundary adaptation solutions to climate change: The Mekong River Case Study The Mekong River is an important source of livelihood to about 60 million people, running through several ASEAN countries: Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. In view of the impacts of climate change will be a threat not just affecting the lower Mekong River, the Mekong River Commission initiated its Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative (CCAI) to demonstrate and share adaptation strategies in a collaborative manner.

Adaptation initiatives are currently underway throughout the basin as part of regional and national projects. Most adaptation strategies focus on water resource management, agriculture, and natural disaster management.

The session will aim to address the following questions:
a) How successful is the initiative in preparing the region to better adapt to climate change?
b) What are the issues that impede the implementation of policies on the ground and what has been done to address them?
c) How have the Mekong Basin countries synced their national and trans-boundary adaptation strategies?

5 Implementing Environmental Education: A collective effort made by People, Government and Private Sectors

As agreed by many, education is the long-term strategy in addressing climate change and various environmental problems. We need to not only educate the young, but also the general public on the impacts of climate change, aiding them to connect the dots of their impacts and thus find the motivation to take individual actions.

Singapore has over the years achieved relative success in engaging both the in-school youth and general public to be more aware about the environment. However, not known to many, its approach is one that includes long-term vision, openness to adapting to the most up to date information, cautious implementation in order not to cause widespread panic and most importantly, multi stakeholder.

The session will aim to address the following:
a) What has been the strength and weaknesses in environmental education case studies in Singapore?’
b) What are the challenges of bringing together the various stakeholders to work towards a common goal?
c) The challenges of in-school and out-of-school education efforts and how can they be addressed?