University Lectures Committee/Friday Forum Lecture: Pamela McElwee

Pamela McElwee

This event has passed.

206 Ingraham Hall
@ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

The University Lectures Committee presents:

Meeting the “Environmental” Sustainable Development Goals in Southeast Asia:
Pipe Dream or Pathway?

Dr. Pamela McElwee
Professor of Human Ecology
Rutgers University

Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology
& the Center for Southeast Asian Studies

The rapid poverty reduction and economic development experienced by the Southeast Asia region over the last decades has been remarkable, but it has come at the cost of considerable environmental degradation. Development trajectories have been built on natural resource extraction, such as timber, pulp, and paper; minerals, oil, coal and sand; fish and wildlife; and agricultural commodities like rice and palm oil, leading to deforestation, water and ocean pollution, biodiversity loss, and land degradation. Climate change puts these economic pathways at risk, both in terms of vulnerability to climate impacts but also due to pressures for Southeast Asia to tackle rapidly rising greenhouse gas emissions. Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly those for land, oceans and climate, will be extremely difficult due to economic decisions that have continued to prioritize traditional paths to growth over sustainability and the environment. This talk will discuss what future trajectories will need to look like in order to ensure sustainable development futures that also include attention to justice.

Pamela McElwee is a professor in the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. For the past 25 years her research interests have concerned human adaptation to global environmental change, broadly defined, with particular expertise in biodiversity conservation and climate change in Asia. Her work focuses on how individuals and households respond to changes in the physical environment, and how their responses are shaped by external policies, markets and other constraints. She is currently co-chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) Nexus assessment from 2021-2024, and chapter lead for Ecosystems, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services for the Fifth US National Climate Assessment, due 2023. McElwee earned her Ph.D. in Forestry & Environmental Studies and Anthropology at Yale University in 2003, and has worked in the White House, US Senate, and US EPA on environmental policy. Graduate Faculty Affiliations: Department of Geography, Department of Anthropology, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, and Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.

A recording will be available on the CSEAS YouTube channel following the event.