Climate Futures #1: Cultures, Climate Crisis and Disappearing Ecologies

16 Dec 2022

Jakarta, December 2022 - ASEAN Foundation in partnership with the Nanyang Technological University Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (NTU CCA) hosted a three-day conference in Jakarta, Indonesia from Thursday 1 December to Saturday 3 December 2022. The conference titled  Climate Futures #1: Cultures, Climate Crisis and Disappearing Ecologies aims to address the various relationships and links to Southeast Asian cultures and its environment, ecologies and biodiversity. As part of the series of activities from KONNECT ASEAN, the conference is supported by ASEAN – Korea Cooperation Fund (AKCF).


Climate Futures #1: Cultures, Climate Crisis and Disappearing Ecologies aims to study, document, and analyse the impact colonialism had on culture and its relationship to today's climate crises. A key aim is to treat indigenous local knowledge and cultural perspectives as equal to the hard science of conventional research, thereby cultivating long-term relations of knowledge exchange. The project aims to build a broader understanding of post-colonial legacies and the challenges they bring to the present, while building strong international networks and identifying potential methodologies for positive change. This is a unique chance to begin an important discourse that is embedded in the region that can be joined by other entities and partners, becoming multi-vocal and multi-local.


"According to the International Monetary Fund, emerging economies represent 85% of the world’s population and are facing the brunt of global social and environmental challenges. ASEAN represents many of these economies and consequently the conference speakers represent ASEAN nations with direct experience of those challenges. During this conference we hope to explore together the possibilities of a better future beyond the current climate crisis", said Dr. Yang Mee Eng – Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation.


The conference was attended by the speakers from 10 ASEAN Member Countries, South Korea, Germany, Australia and more than 1200 people from 31 countries sign up for the hybrid conference.


The conference comprised of discussions into alternative approaches to regional studies focusing on urgencies such as rising sea levels and temperatures and the impact on natural resources of the region. A particular focus will be on areas such as the Mekong River and Delta (Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam) and its water street to Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines and the Straits of Malacca which plays an essential role in the region's shared history.


The holistic approach of Climate Futures #1: Cultures, Climate Crisis and Disappearing Ecologies is to stimulate a debate between artists, designers and architects, scientists, environmentalists, as well as local voices and policymakers. We seek to reach out to a wider public including young scholars and arts practitioners, as well as community leaders from the ASEAN region.