Japan stepped forward with the United Nations Population Funds to work with Indonesia to protect and safeguard the dignity of women and marginalised populations during the Covid-19 pandemic #SoutheastAsia #Asean #ESG #Sustainability

The United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA), together with support from Japan, will be working closely with Indonesia to uplift women and the vulnerable population, whose living conditions might be negatively impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Certain segments of the population were more likely to be affected, such as people with existing medical conditions, the elderly, the differently-abled as well as women. The people within the vulnerable group could be facing issues such as violence, lack of medical services amongst others. As such, the Japan-UNFPA-Indonesia project aims to help this group with the handling and prevention of violence and also ensure ready access to integrated medical services.

Additionally, the Indonesian government reaffirmed its commitment to preventing harmful practices against women and children (including child marriages), proper family planning and reducing preventable maternal deaths. The efforts are reportedly in line with their Healthy and Prosperous Life pillar of the Sustainable Development Goal 5.

The project would be funded with around USD$ 2.8 million through UNFPA from the Government of Japan.

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Japan outlined strategies to cruise sustainably ahead of its competitors while achieving green growth #SoutheastAsia #Asean #ESG #Sustainability

In the recent unveiling of Japan’s Green Growth Strategy, the country outlined clear goals to achieve the decarbonisation of electric power generation and to promote the concept of a smart decarbonised society. This was to ensure that the country is aligned to support Japan’s 2050 carbon neutral goal.

Further to this, the country’s policy teams had deliberated over the finer points of their future strategy and established a set of actionable strategies to tackle several possible future outcomes.

In one of the possible scenarios, it was estimated that the development of digital infrastructure would not be able to keep pace with the increasing use of smartphones and personal computers.

On top of this, it was noted that there was a rapid increase of data transfer in a fairly short period of time and there could be a high chance that this trend would persist far into the future. Simulated models forecasted that the information load could increase by more than 3500% if the trend continues for the next 9 to 11 years and this could result in a data-explosion situation.

The development of machine learning and other subsets of Artificial Intelligence might accelerate the trend as these capabilities consume large amount of resources. As such, the country has concretised a series of strategies to systematically and rapidly dissolve the potential risks.

With this in place, the country now aims to reduce the information delay with low-latency technology so that data could be utilised in real time. They also determined that this would further establish the country as the digital hub of the future and attract more companies to set up business.

Apart from attracting foreign companies, the country is also paying significant attention to the development of climate-resilient and green data centres plus the establishment of a strong food roadmap.

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#Indonesia is expected to step up their game to attract even more clean energy investors by reducing the risk of renewable energy exploration #SoutheastAsia #Asean #ESG #Sustainability

A geothermal heat pump or ground source heat pump has higher efficiency when compared to furnaces, electrical heating, or even air source heat pumps, and especially useful for heating and electricity generation purposes.

Before one can built geothermal power plant, the operator will have to perform geothermal exploration to determine possible operation sites. Exploration techniques include drilling, trenching, etc. Drillings or trenching are usually performed to identify potential spots for the siting of geothermal power plants.

Drilling is usually more expensive than trenching. While trenching typically costs about USD$7.50 to USD$15 per metre, drilling a vertical loop can cost from USD$15 to USD$46.5 per metre. In some cases, the vertical loop cost even extends to about USD$90 per metre. The cost of drilling also differs from country to country.

Indonesia is committed to improving its renewable energy (RE) mix in order to support the Paris Agreement. Indonesia’s RE mix target in 2025 is set at 23%. However, according to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources presentation for the House of Representatives, the achievement currently stands at about 11.2%. 

The country’s plan is to form a geothermal holding company and it involves three state-owned companies, namely PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy, PT Geo Dipa Energi, and PT PLN Geothermal.

The holding company’s establishment aims to support the government target of installing a 7,000 MW geothermal power plant in 2030 and another 9,000 MW one in 2045.

Further to this, the country also wants to attract other investors to the renewable energy business landscape. There’s a common understanding among the top officials that geothermal exploration activities are high-risk activities and most losses are due to failed exploration.

This is also why electricity that is generated from geothermal power plant, is priced higher compared to the average price of electricity.

As such, Indonesia is looking forward to step up their game to attract more investors into this field of renewable energy and they will try to do this by undertaking the exploration of geothermal spots.

By doing so, they would be able to transfer the risk to the government. The data from the exploration could then be accessed by potential investors for an informed decision.

The administration is already experimenting on one site, and is expected to do more if results are favourable.

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#Vietnam encourages the continuation of whole-of-system approach to managing urban development, building control and real estate development, and also for related agencies to adopt long-term thinking, advanced building material and digital tools to enable sustainable urban development #SoutheastAsia #Asean #ESG #Sustainability

The country has increasingly been paying more attention to its construction and real estate development sector and this can be seen by the country’s recent strategic plan for sustainable urban development.

The plan outlined key ideas for all related agencies to do even more with their whole-of-system approach to urban development, housing development and the real estate market, with a strong focus on providing affordable housing.

Key agencies were also encouraged to look into decentralising construction management with innovative mindset and technology so that construction works could scale up in pace while maintaining high quality. In addition, the country is also exploring ways to control its real estate market now.

Apart from this, the Prime Minister also suggested for the agencies to consider changing their ways of thinking by adopting a long term approach to planning, sound leadership succession plans for local agencies, leveraging advanced building materials and digital tools, etc.

Related agencies were tasked to build and develop the urban development, construction and real estate sector and also to encourage more Vietnamese to help the country to achieve these goals.

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#Indonesia emphasised on the importance of good corporate governance and encouraged businesses to integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principals in corporate practices in order to mitigate ESG-related risks #SoutheastAsia #Asean #ESG #Sustainability

Based on the data that is provided by the Transparency International, it is clear that Indonesia has been improving consistently in the Corruption Index from 2010 to 2013. There’s a significant performance leap in 2014 and its Corruption Index has maintained strong growth from then on. However, in the year of the Covid-19 pandemic, the country’s performance in this area, dropped slightly as shown in the chart below.

Corruption Index

While the disruptive effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences cannot be overstated, a few countries in the region such as Singapore, are managing to recover quickly, while others still suffer the dual health and economic crises.

Indonesia is not alone in the fight against poor corporate governance. A recent survey by Nemexis, found that a majority of the 58 countries that was surveyed by them, experienced poor corporate governance during the Covid-19 pandemic and it was found to be related to purchasing and/or access to personal protective equipment. A recent article from the World Economic Forum stated that the risk of poor corporate governance has increased exponentially during the pandemic.

While the country is combating the Covid-19, the administration still pushes against the poor corporate governance tidal wave by increasing awareness on the issue.

In a recent virtual briefing, the administration reminded everyone that  one of the causes of the economic crisis in the late 90s was due to poor corporate governance, and cited examples of poor investment quality, lack of transparency, weak law enforcement, large numbers of short-term non-hedge loans amongst others.

The administration encouraged both public and private sector to explore the concept of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and try to implement its principals in corporate activities. Additionally, the administration also added that climate change and natural disasters are inevitable in the Southeast Asia region therefore ESG principals could help in mitigating such risks.

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Linkedin, the weakest link among all live streaming platforms? Seriously?

This is an audio version of my live stream. In my previous and also first live streaming, I mentioned two times that Linkedin is the weakest link among all the live streaming platforms that I am using, but I didn’t explain why. In this live stream, I want to clarify about what I said. Weakness is actually Strength!

#SoutheastAsia#Asean#ESG#Sustainability

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#Vietnam urges all organs of state to adopt whole-of-system approach to integrate ESG principals with urban masterplans for local villages to the country, to achieve sustainable urban development #SoutheastAsia #Asean #ESG #Sustainability #hanjun

In line with the Vietnam Population Strategy to 2030, the country has recently instructed all ministries and agencies to adopt a whole-of-system approach to integrating Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principals to urban masterplans that underpins local villages all the way to the entire country.

To emphasis on their intent, the country shall appoint a single office to coordinate the committee decision among all ministries and related-agencies, and report directly to the Prime Minister Office.

The office will work out a system to track the master planning process, relying on a mixture of leading, coincident and lagging data to support an evidence-based and data-driven approach to enable receiving and adapting to new information. This would help the administration to calibrate urban planning decisions.

The country is now working on the budget for the project which would take into consideration the work of the ministries, agencies and other related stakeholders.

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#Indonesia sees urgent need to combine ESG-principals with its 11 industrial hubs and hopes to achieve quantum leap by sparking green innovations #SoutheastAsia #Asean #ESG #Sustainability #hanjun

Indonesia wants to position itself as a forerunner in the green economy so as to be align with the changing world economy. The country now aims for related ministries and agencies to work together to support the development of physical infrastructures, energy supply, communication network, and wants to achieve this with proper regional planning backed by good evidence-based and data-driven information. For this, they would also want the state-owned enterprises to partner the public sector.

The country has emphasised the strong need for ESG-principals to be applied to the 11 industrial hubs. The principals included the use of environmentally friendly materials, recycling concepts, low-carbon technology, renewable energy, proper labour management and careful use of water. With this, the country hopes to set the platform for green innovations which could be exported in the future.

The country has identified several projects out of the 11 industrial hubs, to be operable by 2022.

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Indonesia plans to pilot sustainable urban development with Bali island and foster R&D ecosystem to spark sustainability-driven innovations #SoutheastAsia #Asean #ESG #Sustainability #hanjun

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is one of the national goals that Indonesia hopes to achieve by balancing economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection.

As part of nation’s masterplan to achieve the 2030 goals, Indonesia plans to pilot sustainable urban development with Bali island. Top development agenda would be to provide a climate and disaster resilient living space. It must also be a high quality environment that serves as a platform for equitable growth and sustainable development.

Top officials also expressed a desire to foster a R&D ecosystem to proliferate innovations in the green and blue economy. One of the strategies would be to anchor the National Research and Innovation Agency as a platform to encourage even more people with international experience to be involved in fostering the R&D ecosystem.

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#Thailand will pilot the concept of developing ESG-friendly industrial estates to attract entrepreneurs and businesses to spark innovations in game-changing green products and services #SoutheastAsia #Asean #ESG #Sustainability #hanjun

Thailand has taken up the idea of building ESG-friendly industrial estates, firstly to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and secondly, to improve its economy competitiveness in the ASEAN market and larger global trade ecosystem. ESG-friendly industrial estates are now be an essential part of the country’s 20 years national transformation strategy.

The country is now urging the relevant government agencies to work together to realise this idea and also to promote the awareness of green economy among its private sector. A special project was set up to chaperon the private sector towards the low-carbon sector. The project will also be in charge of administering the carbon footprint certificates and conducting training on the calculation of carbon footprint for products and services.

The roadmap calls for the Thai business ecosystem to innovate and develop low-carbon technologies to replace traditional, inefficient technologies. Additionally, the government is calling for social restructuring, changing production and consumption habits and adopting lifestyles.

The country has selected the Samut Prakan province to pilot the idea of the ESG-friendly industrial hub. Samut Prakan is part of the Bangkok Metropolitan Region. Neighbouring provinces are Bangkok, to the north and west, and Chachoengsao to the east.

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