EfD-Vietnam participated in the annual Economic & Environment Partnership Meeting for Southeast Asia 2021, focusing on transdisciplinary approaches towards sustainability & enhancing the quality of life. Over 450 participants from all over the world discussed a great variety of topics.
The sessions covered environmental health, environmental-economy issues, marine resource management, environmental valuation. One session highlighted specifically the environment and development in Vietnam.
The participants had the opportunity to discuss two special topics: capital investments for developing a sustainable economy with Professor Arnold Tukker (Leiden University, the Netherlands) and interdisciplinary research for sustainable growth with Professor Phoebe Koundouri (President of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists). There were also parallel sessions and an interactive session on the most urgent environmental topics in Southeast Asia.
Research must guide policymaking
Arnold Tukker highlighted the need for balancing the respect for planetary boundaries with the social-economic goals of humankind. He stressed the vital role of research in aiding policymakers and practitioners to informed policy choices.
Adding to these points, Phoebe Koundouri emphasized that all problems facing humanity are interrelated, so solutions need to transcend disciplinary boundaries. It is also, according to her crucial to communicate research findings and engage different stakeholders so that science goes beyond the lab to make real-life impacts.
Climate change most concerning
In the roundtable discussion, participants were able to give their opinions on the environmental problems of their concern, their research topics of interest, and which content they would like to see in future training opportunities. The poll indicated climate change to be on top, followed by pressing environmental global challenges, and other common challenges in the region, including waste and pollution, overexploitation and degradation of resources, and mismanagement.
Important to combine disciplines
The research topics of participants’ interest, ranged from economics and environmental studies to governance, business, and social studies.
The event, which was organized entirely online was well-received by all participants worldwide with their diverse research interests. They agreed that integrating different disciplines into addressing the environmental problems will be increasingly important in the upcoming research agenda, not only among EfD-Vietnam fellows but researchers worldwide.
By: Nhan Le