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Representation and Who Decides



Raine Boonlong, Carol Farbotko, Claire Parfondry, Colum Graham, Darryl Macer. 2011. Representation and Decision-Making in Environment Planning (with Emphasis on Energy Technologies). Bangkok, Regional Unit for Social and Human Sciences in Asia and the Pacific (RUSHSAP), UNESCO Bangkok. v + 110 pp.

ISBN 978-92-9223-355-6 (Print version) 
ISBN 978-92-9223-356-3 (Electronic version; PDF file - 1,52MB)

Meetings of the Working Group were held: 16-19 June 2009, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 25 August 2009, Bangkok, Thailand.

The following is a list of current working group participants:

Ms. Raine Boonlong (chair): raine.boonlong[at]
Dr. Anant Bhan: anantbhan[at]
Ms. Carol Farbotko: carol.farbotko[at]
Mr. Colum Graham: c.graham[at]   
Dr. Chamundeeswari Kuppuswamy: C.Kuppuswamy[at]
Professor Shui Chuen Lee: shuiclee[at]     
Professor Pil-Ryul Lee: prlee[at]
Dr. Darryl Macer: d.macer[at]
Dr. Sidjabat Oberlin: oberlin[at] 
Ms. Claire Parfondry: claire_parfondry[at] 

If you are interested in joining the working group, or participating in a meeting, please send an email to: and


Executive Summary 

Energy use and distribution imposes a significant impact on the world’s environment due to the great magnitude and invasive nature of energy-related activities. Concerns initially encompassed a domestic character in the sense that problems associated with extraction of energy resources, transport of energy and noxious emissions from burning of fossil fuels originally affected people on a local scale. These concerns have now amplified to affect the international community as a whole due to the repercussions of energy use and its effects on the global realm, such as climate change and loss of biodiversity.

International environmental regulations have surfaced from the global environmental movement and a shared awareness of the seriousness of the environmental crisis facing our planet and the future of humankind. These environmental regulations were at the outset formulated to apply within the customary structure of inter-state relations. However, a number of regulations are now applied to transboundary jurisprudence, accompanying the transition from isolated environmental laws to the broader concept of a right to a healthy environment. Nation states have an essential task in ensuring that they select efficient energy technologies that are safe for the environment and for the global population.

This report examines the rights of nation states to make decisions on energy technologies for their people, and instances when such decisions pose environmental or security risks to the region. It identifies the government of each nation state as a body entrusted with the duty of administration and management, with the authority to direct and implement laws and policies, including laws and policies concerning energy development and use. These laws and policies should consider both national and international state of affairs, and the interests and concerns of a wide range of stakeholders.

Rights of citizens and local communities with regard to energy infrastructure in their geographic area are depicted with reference to case studies from countries in the Asia-Pacific region (Thailand, Tuvalu, Malaysia, Australia and China). These rights include rights of participation in decision-making, rights to information and rights to justice. The case studies provide information on various policies related to the energy sectors in these countries, and the policy options presented demonstrate that the progression of these rights vary among countries, a situation that might be attributed to the countries’ differing stages of development.

This page was last updated on 26 January 2011