Inside Asia Podcast

David Emmett: Conservation International and Solving the Environmental Crisis in Asia

March 19, 2018

Nowhere else on the planet are threats to the environment are more real and the impacts more severe today than in Asia. This might come as a surprise to some. It shouldn’t.

It’s a kind of perfect storm. There’s both a close proximity to the major drivers of environmental degradation—China, India, and Indonesia, to name a few—as well as a high demand for food, land, and water. Nowhere else is the challenge of balancing development and conservation more acutely felt.

Other regions face similar challenges, but within a situation where the population density is much less.

This is the magnitude of the challenge. Now is the time to talk about the issue.

Our guest this week is David Emmett, Senior Vice President for Asia Pacific at Conservation International. His is an essential voice in the conversation, and also controversial one because of the
willingness his organization has shown to work with corporations that have a less than stellar, often downright abysmal environmental record.

Conservation International gives us a model, and more than that, it gives us an avenue of approach to the clear and present danger to the environment in Asia. Say what you want, but corporations have
learned a few things about taking an idea to market. If the market, in this case, is the environment, why not engage companies to lend their managerial, financial and operational expertise in the name of
environmental sustainability? Maybe public-private partnerships can make a real difference.

As always, thanks for listening.