Senior leaders from government, business, civil society and academia in the Southeast Asia/Australia region gathered in Kuala Lumpur on 7-8 November for a 2-day workshop to discuss the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their implications for the region. The regional workshop was hosted by the SDSN Malaysian Chapter and the SDSN Regional Centre for Australia/Pacific.
The workshop brought together over 80 participants from countries across the region, including Malaysia, Singapore, Viet Nam, Thailand, Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia, Cambodia and Australia to explore key sustainable development priorities for the region and how these could be captured in the SDGs.
It was led by internationally renowned sustainability leaders Professor Emeritus Dato’ Sri Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister, Malaysia and Chair, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and Sir Robert Watson, Professor at Monash University and former Chair of the IPCC.
Additional partners included the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) and the Office of the Science Adviser to the Prime Minister, Malaysia, and funding was provided by the Harold Mitchell Foundation and the Australian Government.
Topics for discussion included progress in Southeast Asia and Australia on sustainable development, regional priorities for poverty, health, education, food and agriculture, gender, water, and energy; and similarities and differences between countries in the region. It examined the global and national processes critical to the success of the SDGs, including implementation, communication, the role of business, and the role of science and technology.
There was a high level of enthusiasm from throughout the region to continue to work together on the SDG process. Another workshop is being planned by the SDSN Regional Centres for Southeast Asia and Australia/Pacific for next year.
Some of the key points made at the workshop include: