Inaugural ‘Witoelar Dialogue’ to deepen regional cooperation on climate change and sustainable development

The Griffith Asia Institute will this week convene the inaugural ‘Witoelar Dialogue’, a high-level dialogue bringing diplomats, policy officials and influencers together in conversation about deepening regional cooperation on climate change and sustainable development.

The Witoelar Dialogue, which will be held on Thursday, 7 March, is part of a wider Collaborative Australia-Indonesia Program on Sustainable Development and Climate Change led by Griffith University in partnership with the Office of the Indonesian President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change and the University of Indonesia’s Institute of Sustainable Earth and Resources.

That program, launched in Brisbane and Jakarta during 2018, aims to deepen research collaborations while building research capacity and enhancing student mobility experiences between Australia and Indonesia, all with a strong emphasis on addressing climate change and advancing sustainable development goals across the region.

The Witoelar Dialogue is named in recognition of the contribution made by the Honourable Rachmat Witoelar, the Indonesian President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change (and adjunct professor of Griffith University), to advancing global and regional climate change action over the past decade.

It is generously supported by the Australian Government’s Australia-Indonesia Institute, and reflects Griffith University’s enduring commitment to promoting an environmentally sustainable societies, within Queensland and within our own neighbourhood – the Asia-Pacific. Indeed, it is emblematic of Griffith University’s deeper traditions.

This Dialogue — the first in what is hoped will become an annual series — will address the following key themes:

  • Regional implications of global climate diplomacy
  • Local knowledge and traditional wisdom: perspectives and experiences
  • Leadership and partnership: the significance of non-state actors
  • Next steps towards regional cooperation

“Our aim is to shine a light on innovative projects and research, share experiences and knowledge, and build connections that will benefits for the next generation of leaders within our region,” Professor Byrne said.

“We have deliberately aimed to bring a diversity of voice to the table, with participants representing all levels of government, academia, community and industry, while also crossing cultural and gender perspectives.

“The insights and experiences that will be shared through this Dialogue reflect the significance of the ongoing process of conversation and engagement.

“Ultimately, we hope that the conversations generated through the Witoelar Dialogue will provide a foundation that enables cooperation and inspires innovation — in research, policy and action — between Australia and Indonesia and across the Asia-Pacific for years to come.”