Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung

Welcome to HBS Southeast Asia

Tackling Deforestation in the Palm Oil Industry: Quo Vadis Private and Public Sectors Commitments?

Article

The concerns around deforestation, fires, animal extinction, social conflicts and other problems with the palm oil industry, especially in Indonesia, has increased significantly in the past two decades. There have been commitments made by governments and the companies to tackle deforestation in Indonesia since then. What are the main commitments from government and companies, what are the progress and the major challenges to deliver them, and what are the recommendations, will be the main focus of this article.

By Annisa Rahmawati

Recent Articles

On Freedom of Expression and Civil Liberties in Singapore

Article

Jolovan Wham is getting very familiar with the inside of police stations and courtrooms. The Singaporean activist currently has multiple cases pending against him, ranging from investigations up to convictions and sentencing. His offences, alleged or otherwise, include organising illegal assemblies, vandalism, refusing to sign statements to the police, and scandalising the judiciary. He is, according the Singapore Police Force, to be described as “recalcitrant”.

By Kirsten Han

Vulnerable Country Approaches to Urgent Climate Policy Development

Article

Vulnerable countries should use the current period to more rapidly bake-in implications of the climate crisis in economy-wide development metrics and plans. They must do so in ways that reflect national priorities and which enable country development strategies even as they sustain and intensify demands for developed countries to deliver climate finance obligations based on the speed and scale of vulnerable country needs rather than random rich country yardsticks.

By Renato Redentor Constantino

Climate Change Mitigation in Singapore: Lessons From an Urbanized Island Nation

Article

With a gleaming skyline, robust public transportation system, and high per capita income, Singapore is often held up as a paragon of development that other Southeast Asian countries seek to emulate. However, a closer look at Singapore’s climate commitments and non-state actors suggests that while Singapore presents a pathway for climate mitigation, the island nation still has scope to be more ambitious and those looking to follow in its path should take note.

By Aidan Mock

Cement and The Kendeng Mountains

Threatened Biodiversity and Empty Wombs: Climate Change and Women’s Plight in Central Java

Study

With the increasing threats of climate change, corporate investment and industrial expansion in the area, women are faced with new challenges in the form of migration and trafficking. The impacts of climate change are charted as follows: decreasing crop yields; threats to food security; increased water stress and drought; increasing fluvial flooding and rainfall; frequent fluvial flooding; an increasing number of tropical cyclones (in certain areas); and rise of sea level affecting livelihood in coastal regions.

By Dewi Candraningrum

Fighting for the Next Generations

Article

For years, a citizens' initiative in the Indonesian Kendeng Karst-Mountain has been fighting against the destruction of their livelihoods by cement factories, among others, a subsidiary of the German HeidelbergCement. The transnational solidarity network Save Kendeng supports the farmers from the Kendeng Mountains.

The UDHR and Migrant Workers Rights in ASEAN - Jolovan Wham

The UDHR and Human Rights in ASEAN - Dr. Dinna Wisnu

The UDHR and Democracy in ASEAN - Dr. Naruemon Thambhumpon

The UDHR and LGBTI Rights in ASEAN - Dr. Dédé Oetomo

ASEAN explained in 5 Minutes

50 Years of ASEAN - Still Waiting for Social and Ecological Justice

Within 50 years of existence, ASEAN has made progress on environmental policies – at least on paper. On the ground, paradigms around economic development and growth still shape realities of the people who find it literally harder and harder to breathe.

Forest fires and the haze, daily traffic routines and large-scale industry make the extent of environmental damage in Southeast Asia visible. In this podcast series, we look behind ASEAN´s promises to be sustainable and people-oriented and find that the institution still falls short of social and ecological justice.

State of Democracy in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia: Where Democracy is Much More Than A Vote

Podcast

Welcome to this podcast by the Heinrich Böll Foundation. It is part of the ’State of Democracy in Southeast Asia’ series, and this is your host, Johanna Son. In this episode, we take a look at the elections lined up in the region. Can democratic mechanisms like elections lead to more authoritarian rule? We step back to look at what this trend says about the quality of the democracies in our midst.

By Johanna Son

The State of Democracy in Southeast Asia

Article

While observers of the state of democracy agree that democracy has been in decline in the recent years, its trajectory in the Southeast Asian region has at least shown mixed results. Elections are still treated as the ultimate yardstick for “democracy” in Southeast Asia.

By Deasy Simandjuntak

Recent Publications

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): A Multilateral Bank Where China Sets the Rules

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Study

In recent years, a number of countries have chosen to join the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which has become a major player in the global financial architecture in record time. The AIIB promises to be "lean, clean and green". In truth, it seems to be an instrument to promote Chinese interests. The analysis of Korinna Horta after three years of AIIB is very sobering. What can you do now? Is it time to acknowledge a total failure and leave the bank? What influence do shareholders still have and what should they push for?

Perspectives Asia #7: Nationalisms and Populisms in Asia

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Nationalistic sentiments spurred by populist rhetoric have been on the rise globally. Asia is no exception to this trend. Some Asian leaders communicate visions that can instill a feeling of pride, creating a rarely felt sense of belonging among people. Yet the current streak of Asian nationalism can also become a setbackfor democracy and human rights.

 

Perspectives Asia #6: DigitalAsia

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Over the last years, Asia has undergone an impressive digital transformation. Large parts of the continent have turned from the world’s factory into a creative industry.The different contributions across the continent highlight both the opportunities and risks of digitalization in Asia.