Celebration of the International Environment Day 2020

2020fri12jun14:00fri15:15Celebration of the International Environment Day 2020A celebration involving UNESCO, SEAMEO, AIT, UN Habitat, ESCAP, IUCN, NSM & UNEP.

Event Details

The theme of the International Day for Environment is dedicated to Biological Diversity (Time for Nature), and it takes place on 5 June 2020. There are several activities going on, on that explicit day. A celebration involving UNESCO, SEAMEO, AIT, UN Habitat, ESCAP, IUCN, NSM & UNEP is planned to take place on the 12th of June, from 14:00 – 15:15 pm.

World Environment Day was first launched in 1972. Since that time the human population doubled and reached now 7,8 billion people, forests disappeared, mangroves vanished, species became extinct, climate change became obvious, coral reefs have been bleached. The pole-ice is melting at an alarming rate. Temperatures are climbing. The sea-level is rising. Air pollution prevails in cities. Plastic pollution reached every corner in the world. None of these crises could be fixed to date.

Still, air, water and food are essential elements of our common human life support system. We depend on it. We have much to do, to rectify the damages that have been done. Action is required to turn things around, to secure our future.

And now we have Covid-19, an additional global crisis. It changed the world like nothing before. This corona virus infected more than 7 million people, and caused the death of 400,000. It also caused a new economic and job loss crisis. Covid is a major wake-up call. It reminds us about our vulnerabilities, to take much better care of each other and nature, and better prepare ourselves for multiple parallel crises, making full use of science, education, and green economy, in concerted actions with our partners.

The current pandemic has shaken this international biodiversity agenda but also has revealed our total interdependence with nature and our global interconnectedness.

Scientists have warned of the links between the mismanagement of biodiversity and ecosystems and the risks of transmission of infectious diseases to humans, up to the risk of a pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic illustrates this responsibility in a dramatic way and at a global scale. Our common destiny as human beings living on Earth is irreversibly linked: we need each other, and this observation must now unite and bring us together for a better future. We are totally interdependent on biodiversity for our health, economy, food, well-being, and for the survival of our own species.



(Friday) 14:00 - 15:15


UNESCO Office Bangkok

Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education
Mom Luang Pin Malakul Centenary Building 920 Sukhumvit Road, Prakanong, Klongtoei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

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Speakers for this event

  • Benno Böer

    Benno Böer

    Programme Specialist, Natural Sciences, UNESCO Bangkok

    Dr. Böer is a professional project manager with 30 years of experience in the global environmental sciences. He spearheaded activities in Africa, America, the Arab Region, Asia/Pacific and Europe, and lived in Ethiopia, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates.

    He edited many books, publications, films, technical reports and prime proposals. He functions routinely as reviewer of sciene journals and major international assessments. He joined UNESCO 20 years ago, and he was assigned as Ecological Science Advisor in the Arab Region, in Africa, and in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region.

    His work addresses environmental issues, catalyzing adaptation and mitigation options and problem solving for sustainable human living. His current work focuses on Plastic Pollution, the UNESCO Green Academies, as well as the conservation and restoration of Blue Carbon Ecosystems.

    URL https://bangkok.unesco.org

    Programme Specialist, Natural Sciences, UNESCO Bangkok

  • Debashish Bhattacharjee

    Debashish Bhattacharjee

    UN Habitat

    Debashish Bhattacharjee is a staff member of UN-Habitat having served over twelve years in the organisation in the areas of urban infrastructure and basic services, including water supply and sanitation, waste management and transport. He has been responsible for the development and implementation of innovative demonstration projects in Asia, Africa and the Latin America and the Caribbean regions as well as in the preparation of publications, tools and guides in these areas.

    Previously, Mr. Bhattacharjee has worked with the Asian Development Bank and the UK Department for International Development where he was responsible for the development and implementation of large urban infrastructure projects covering water, sanitation and municipal waste management in India. He has also worked in India’s largest power utility organization in the implementation of large power generation projects.

    His qualifications include degrees in civil engineering and management. He has also been a Chartered Civil Engineer and Environmental Manager (MICE, MCIWEM).

    URL www.unhabitat.org

    UN Habitat

  • Eden Woon

    Eden Woon


    Dr. Eden Woon assumed the position of the President of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) on September 1, 2018. Prior to that, from 2010 until November 2017, Dr Woon was the Vice-President for Institutional Advancement of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

    From 2006 to 2010, Dr Woon was based in Shanghai and was the Managing Director of Li & Fung Group’s China Corporate Office and Managing Director of Toys ”R” Us China. Dr Woon has also been a Vice-President of Starbucks Coffee Company in China. In 1997-2006, Dr Woon was the CEO of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce.

    Dr Woon served in the US Air Force until 1993 when he retired as a Colonel. He once acted as China policy advisor to the US Secretary of Defense. Before that, Dr. Woon taught Mathematics at the US Air Force Academy for six years, becoming an Associate Professor.

    Dr Woon received his BA degree from the University of Iowa and his MA, MS, and PhD degrees, all in Mathematics, from the University of Washington in Seattle. He is also a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, VA, and the National War College in Washington, DC.

    URL www.ait.ac.th


  • Ethel Valenzuela

    Ethel Valenzuela

    Director, SEAMEO Secretariat

    Dr. Ethel Agnes Pascua-Valenzuela is presently the Director of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Secretariat, the first female Director since SEAMEO was organized in 1965. She served as the first female Deputy Director for Programme and Development of SEAMEO Secretariat from July 2015 to March 2019 and led the Educational Research and Innovation Office of SEAMEO INNOTECH, from 2006 to June 2015.

    Prior to joining SEAMEO, she was Director IV of the Office of Student Services and Director III at the International Affairs Services in the Commission on Higher Education Philippines (1995-2006) and served as Vice Chairperson of the UNESCO National Commission Education Commissioner (Y2000-2010). She was a Professorial lecturer at the University of the Philippines College of Education (SY2006-20144) and De la Salle University in Manila (SY 2000-2005).

    Dr Valenzuela’s expertise is on internationalization of higher education and transnational education, teacher education, alternative learning and secondary education. She has published international and local articles, journals, technical reports and guidelines for some SEAMEO and other international organizations such as UNESCO, UNICEF, CHED and DepED. Among her well-noted research work were: Philippine Higher Education Guide (CHED), K to 12 Toolkit; Quality Assurance, Mutual Recognition in Higher Education (UNESCO Paris); Toolkit for the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications (UNESCO BKK); Toolkit for National Information Centers (UNESCO Bangkok), ESD Toolkit for Secondary Schools; Internationalization of Philippine Higher Education (UNESCO Natcom) and Reform and Development in Philippine Higher Education; The Southeast Asian Teaching Standards; Multigrade Quality Indicators in Southeast Asia; K to 12 Regional Comparison in Southeast Asia and published at the International Encyclopedia of Education under Elsevier London to name a few.

    URL www.seameo.org

    Director, SEAMEO Secretariat

  • Katinka Weinberger

    Katinka Weinberger


    Dr. Katinka Weinberger is the Chief of Environment and Development Policy Section (EDPS) in UNESCAP. As Chief of EDPS, she provides leadership in formulating and coordinating ESCAP’s response to the 2030 Agenda and that capacity is responsible for organizing the Asia-Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development (APFSD), coordinates the development of knowledge products on the 2030 Agenda, and leads capacity building efforts on implementation of the 2030 agenda at country-level. Before joining EDPS she was the Head of the Centre for Alleviation of Poverty for Sustainable Agriculture (CAPSA-ESCAP) and before that worked in different scientist positions within the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). A socio-economist by training, her professional interests include the integration of the environmental dimension into social and economic policies, especially in the context of rural development and food systems. She has more than twenty years of experience in research for development, has been involved in empirical field research in Asia, the Pacific and across Africa, and authored more than 80 publications.

    URL www.unescap.org


  • Maggie Ka Ka Lee

    Maggie Ka Ka Lee


    Maggie Lee currently leads the Market and Plastic Value Chain efforts for the SEA circular project, an initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to inspire market-based solutions and help formulate policies to prevent marine plastic pollution. She was previously leading Market Transformation in Singapore for WWF. After several roles in research & development and technical affairs in the retail and fast-moving consumer goods industry with moguls such as Aeon, Nestlé and P&G, Maggie has been keen on creating sustainable solutions for Asia. With experience from Hong Kong, Canada, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore, she has been working on sustainable business initiatives, such as being the secretariat for the Support Asia for Sustainable Palm Oil (SASPO.org), the principle strategist for the WWF Plastic ACTion (PACT) and a formulator for the WWF Responsible Seafood Tool. She is consulted for cross-sector, multinational efforts on sustainable businesses. She has spoken in over 40 panels in the last couple of years about the focuses of her work – “sustainable procurement of conflict resources”, such as palm oil, plastic and seafood, “responsible consumption” at hotels and of food, “market transformation” for new heights of industry-wide corporate sustainability. Maggie’s publications are primarily on NGO-corporate relationships, sustainable commodity procurement, and ASEAN environmental governance.

    URL www.unenvironment.org


  • Rawin Raviwongse

    Rawin Raviwongse


    Dr. Rawin Raviwongse holds a Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Industrial Engineering from Chulalongkorn University and a Ph.D. in Engineering Management from University of Missouri-Rolla. He started his career as a full time faculty member at the Department of Industrial Engineering, Mahidol University, Thailand. His research and publications are in the area of green design and manufacturing, cleaner technology, and technology management. He also served as a Department Chairman, Deputy Dean at Graduate School, and Dean of Engineering.

    In 2011, he joined the Chaipattana Foundation, a non-profit organization led by HRH Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. He led the establishment of the Tea Oil Research and Development center in Chiang Rai province as well as supervised the Chaipattana’s Integrated Rice Mill Demonstration Center in Ayutthaya province. In 2013, he came to Chulabhorn Research Institute to lead a biotherapeutic research center project, which will upscale the production of several in-house drug formulation to clinical trial to commercialization.

    He joined National Science Museum, NSM as a President in October 2017. He aimed to bring NSM to become a key player in creating “Science Culture” for Thailand and the region.

    URL www.nsm.or.th


  • Siriporn Sriaram

    Siriporn Sriaram

    Acting Head of Office, IUCN Thailand

    Siriporn Sriaram is managing several projects such as MARPLASTICCs, Thailand Business and Bio-Diversity Network Alliance (B-DNA), Dow & Thailand Mangrove Alliance. She is working at International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Thailand Programme. She joined IUCN in 2008 as the Mangroves for the Future (MFF) Thailand National Coordinator. She has expertise in coastal resource management and partnership development. She has been working closely with governments, local communities, private sectors, academia and NGOs. In 2018, Siriporn became a member of IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) with a passion to connect, educate and inspire people about sustainable development through nature conservation. She holds a M.Sc in Environmental Biology from Mahidol University.

    URL www.iucn.org

    Acting Head of Office, IUCN Thailand


    • 2020-06-12
    • 14:00 Joining Zoom14:00 - 14:05All

    • 14:05 Opening Remarks14:05 - 14:10UNESCOSpeakers: Dr. Benno Böer

    • 14:10 Remarks from SEAMEO14:10 - 14:15SEAMEOSpeakers: Dr. Ethel Vazenzuela

    • 14:15 Remarks from AIT14:15 - 14:20AITSpeakers: Dr. Eden Woon

    • 14:20 Remarks from UN Habitat14:20 - 14:25UN HabitatSpeakers: Debashish Bhattacharjee

    • 14:25 Remarks from ESCAP14:25 - 14:30ESCAPSpeakers: Dr. Katinka Weinberger

    • 14:30 Remarks from IUCN14:30 - 14:35IUCNSpeakers: Siriporn Sriaram

    • 14:35 Remarks from NSM14:35 - 14:40NSMSpeakers: Dr. Rawin Raviwongse

    • 14:40 Remarks from UNEP14:40 - 14:45UNEPSpeakers: Maggie Ka Ka Lee

    • 14:45 Q&A among speakers14:45 - 15:10Speaker

    • 15:10 Concluding remarks and way forward15:10 - 15:15Speaker

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