UiTM and ECCRI Co-host CSDRA 2020 to Discuss Regional Climate Change and Disaster Resilience

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Amidst the various intersecting crises of 2020 – especially the total lockdown experienced worldwide due to Covid-19, UiTM Solar Research Institute (SRI) has brought upon the key side of the climate change issues in its 2nd Climate Smart and Disaster Resilient ASEAN (CSDRA) Virtual International Conference 2020. UiTM Solar Research Institute (SRI) and Environmental and Climate Change Research Institute (ECCRI), Philippines, held this one-day international conference on 26th October 2020 with the support from the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (MOSTI) Malaysia, ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) .

This one-day international conference was determined to uphold the resolution for discussing an urgent, powerful, high-impact commentary on the environmental issue among the ASEAN countries.

With the theme to “Empowering Leaders for Climate Smart and Disaster Resilient ASEAN”, this event brought together leading academic scientists, researchers, scholars, government agencies, non-government organizations, and other stakeholders to share their experiences and research results on aspects of climate change and disaster risks in South East Asia.

It provides a trans-disciplinary platform for relevant stakeholders to present and discuss innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered in the field of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and management.

Officiated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation, Prof. Dr Mohd Nazip Suratman, and moderated by the CSDRA Chair, Assoc. Prof. Ir. Dr. Nofri Yenita Dahlan, the morning forum began with a perceptive insight of climate change issue by Sci. Dpl. Glenn Banaguas from ECCRI Philippines and Dr. Bjorn Santos, the University President of the De La Salle Araneta University Philippines.

An insightful special message was conveyed by Datuk Ir. Dr. Siti Hamisah Tapsir, the General Secretary from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia and H.E. William Dar, the Secretary of Department of Agriculture Philippines.

The first forum kicked-off with the Climate Change Policy and Governance topic and the aim was to demonstrate the importance of programs and projects that are aligned to the policies in order to strengthen climate and disaster resilience.

Moderated by Dr. Nam Hoang Nguyen from Vietnam, three speakers from the policy and governance background, Mr. Beni Suryadi, Manager of ASEAN Center for Energy (ACE & ACCEPT), Mr. Ahmad Farid Mohammed, Deputy Undersecretary of Climate Change Division from Ministry of Environment and Water (KASA) and Dr. Ria Persad, Founder and CEO of StatWeather and Fellow, Cambridge Commonwealth Society get together in this one-hour discussion.

The event continued with the second forum with the topic on Climate Smart Science, Technology and Innovation for Low Carbon Technologies moderated by Dr. Kampanart Silva from Thailand. This second session was deliberated by Ir. Dr. Sanjayan Velautham, Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) Malaysia, Prof. Dr. Sulaiman Shaari, Secretary General of ASIAN Photovoltaic Industry Association (APIA) and Dr. Khamarrul Azahari Razak, Director of Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Center, Malaysia-Japan International Institute of Technology, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).

The second session highlighted the research that supports climate change adaptation and low carbon technologies management strategies and provided information on the innovative technologies and smart design.

The event was then forged ahead by the last forum session moderated by Dr. Ahmad Agus Setiawan from Indonesia with the topic of Finance, Investment and Grants for Climate Smart and Disaster Resilient. This last session aimed to demonstrate the importance of accessing international and local funds to attain resiliency with the help of development partners and institutions.

It also aimed to incentivize the private sector to invest in green technologies, and climate-smart and disaster-resilient platforms, infrastructures, and services. The dialogue was delivered by Ahmad Zafuan Mohamed Kassim, National Expert from United Nation Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Quintin Pastrana, President of WEnergy Power Pilipinas and Arch. Giovanni Carino, President and CEO of Prodigyae Inc.

CSDRA 2020 concluded with ten parallel sessions for 70 research papers. This international conference on the climate-smart and disaster-resilient is the first of its kind focusing on the climate change issue in ASEAN, with collaborative efforts from various ASEAN countries.

The CSDRA was not only the platform to share knowledge and experience but also as the beginning of a long and fruitful cooperation and networking among fellow researchers, government agencies, and industries in ASEAN.