29 Aug SDSWR 2017 Dialogue Highlights: Inclusive Collaboration – Working Together for Sustainable Value Chains
In the past year, the push for sustainability in ASEAN’s agricultural sector has reached a critical mass. Notably, an increasing number of large plantation companies have made stronger commitments to sustainability targets, as well as improved their corporate transparency and disclosure. These effects are in step with the global consensus on the importance of committed action to combat climate change, and of adopting sustainability as an overarching strategy across all sectors of the economy. With commitments secured, attention has now turned to the equally significant challenge of implementation. As the sustainability issues confronting the plantation sector cross both industry sectors and national boundaries, the implementation of solutions also needs to involve multiple stakeholders, especially those who are at risk of being left out of the discourse, such as smallholders and small-medium enterprises (SMEs). There is also a growing realisation that a multi-stakeholder approach will be needed to move beyond immediate efforts to prevent fires and haze, and to achieve sustainability across the whole supply chain in the long term.
At the same time, the spotlight in the sustainability conversation is spreading beyond purely environmental concerns to related issues that merit equal attention. These issues include securing labour and social rights for workers and local communities, encouraging financiers to direct capital towards sustainable projects, and leveraging technology to resolve long-standing roadblocks.
In order to discuss these issues, the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) hosted the Fourth Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources (SDSWR) on 6 April 2017 at the St. Regis Singapore. More than 300 representatives from governments, academia, NGOs, the private sector, and the media participated in the full-day conference. This report aims to capture the key messages from the Dialogue.