Natt Pimpa

Natt Pimpa is an associate professor in international business at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University) in Australia.
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Rohingya: Strategy for ASEAN Nations i.indiaopines.com/nattpimpa/3510/

submitted 3 years ago by in Politics
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Rohinga Issues: Strategies for ASEAN Nations

By Assoc.Prof Nattavud Pimpa, RMIT University

The plight of the persecuted Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar has been highlighted in recent weeks after thousands of people fled ASEAN countries, such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, asking for asylum.Myanmar does not recognise its 1.1 million Rohingya as citizens, rendering them effectively stateless. Almost 140,000 were displaced in deadly clashes with Buddhists in the country’s western Rakhine state in 2012. Hence, the 1.3 million Rohingya in Myanmar are regarded as stateless people and unwelcome migrants from Bangladesh and live in segregated conditions in the western Rakhine state.

The increased suppression of human trafficking network had put the boats not to be able to reach the shore in Thailand and any of the Southeast Asian nations. The situation has caused concerns in the international community which find Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia should do better to provide assistance to the boat people who have entered into their waters or in high sea. As a result of the crisis, the Thai state is to convene the Special Meeting on Irregular Migration in the Indian Ocean on 29 May 2015 in Bangkok with delegations from 15 concerned countries and representatives from international organizations. Interestingly, the outcomes of the meeting since all the regional parties attending are below minister level, apart from Thailand’s Foreign Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn. The US, Switzerland, the UN and the International Organization for Migration also sent observers.

 

One important point is, while Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to temporarily house migrants that have been rescued, Thailand has so far said it will only assist by offering medical aid at sea.

Now the world is watching an effort by ASEAN governments to address the migration issues and to host this meeting to address the issues together with other countries and concerned international organizations.

Some of these suggestions can be useful for ASEAN to work together on this sensitive issue.

 1. In its measures to provide assistance to the boat people, the governments from ASEAN members should keep as its first priority lives and safety of the migrants. The provision of food, water and fixing the boat to make it seaworthy is inadequate since it was found that a number of people on the boats are women and children who are in frail health and could die without medical attention.

 2. ASEAN and UNHCR should immediately develop measures to manage the migration of the Rohingya based on the approach to solve the issue in a long run. Basic assistance should be given including immediate care, determination of their refugee status, individual profiling, screening for national verification, coordination with the countries of origin and third countries for resettlement depending on each individual case.   

 3. In terms of care and assistance provided for those being held in custody, a multidisciplinary team should be employed to determine the status of the survivors whether they are victims of human trafficking or have been subjected to unlawful practice. Witness protection should be provided if any Rohingya may be able to give evidence which could be used to take legal action against more people involved with the criminal offence.

 4. Measures should be implemented with participation from civil society organizations in the region to support the work of state agencies in terms of the determination of status and coordination with relatives of the deceased after the bodies can be identified and members of their families can be located.  

 5. Support should be given to help officers from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), NGOs and international humanitarian organizations to perform their duties and to visit and provide humanitarian assistance to the migrants. The government and private agencies should develop an action plan to immediately address the needs of vulnerable populations including children who are separated from their parents and utmost importance should be placed on safety and interest of the child.  

 With respect in human rights and human dignity.

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Mining and Sustainable Developement themidasresearchproject.blogspot.com.au/

submitted 3 years ago by in Social
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By Associate Professor Nattavud Pimpa, RMIT University

In our research project, funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we investigate various socio-economic impacts of mining as a powerful international industry in two countries in Mekong area: Laos and Thailand. The impacts of mining industry are multi-faceted. Mining activities might be painted as a collective effort of a bunch of rapacious monsters, keen to simply tear up the land, clear cut forest, extract all the minerals from the earth and runaway. That old picture needs to change when we think of developmental aspects of the industry.

Partnership among stakeholders such as local and international Governments, mining multinational corporations (MNCs), community, and educational institutions can improve technical and vocational aspects as well as research delivered in response to mining industry demands. International mining industry can increase employment opportunities for local people and improve local participation in the industry.

Similar to most international industries, benefits from this industry come with some challenges. Stories of gold mining communities in Pichit Thailand and Vilabouly in Laos may sound like a classic story of a typical rural community that is discovered by a gigantic, powerful mining MNCs. Both community face rapid economic changes where employment opportunities, new infrastructure, and new opportunities in life are created by the advent of international mining MNCs.

However, with economic miracle, members of the community also feel ‘the air of economic challenges.’ The majority of workers of mining MNCs from our study raised a similar concern on uncertain economic future in the community. What can be done to guarantee this constant income in the future, when the end of mining industry approaches the community? In the Laos context, economic miracle from this international industry has long been supporting on-going development in the community. When the land becomes useless for mining industry, community members question their economic future. What should they and mining MNCs do to mitigate this future economic impact in the host counties?

The second challenge we learn from the project is the importance of relationship among mining stakeholders. If we use ‘stakeholder theory’ by Ed Freeman to explain international mining industry, we understand that the conventional idea that business is about maximizing profits for shareholders is out dated. It does not work well in modern economy since  the recent global financial crisis has taught us. The 21st Century is one of “Managing for Stakeholders.” The task of mining executives is to create as much value as possible for stakeholders without resorting to trade-offs.

With the serious (and notorious) circumstance in Thailand where the Thai Government commanded a mining MNC to shut down its operation, due to its potential contribution to public health concerns in the community, we learn that the failure to manage different demands from various stakeholders can be one of the key issues contributing to this problem.

 

Rural community may benefit from various levels of engagement among mining stakeholders that can potentially bring tremendous economic and technical benefits to community members. However, when various stakeholders involve, most mining MNCs may fail to respond to different demands from all stakeholders. That can potentially lead to management failure as one of the challenges in international mining industry.

In summary, benefits of mining industry can prevail over negative impacts if mining MNCs work very closely with and listen to all stakeholders in the host country. If community development is seen as an important element of international mining industry, it is important that mining MNCs must move beyond the point of being an industry where people engage purely for monetary benefits. The industry must speak out loud as an industry for sustainable development.

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Challenges of International Mining Industry i.indiaopines.com/nattpimpa/challenges-of-international-mining-industry/

submitted 3 years ago by in Social
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by Associate Professor Natt Pimpa, RMIT University (@nattpimpa)

 

In our research project, funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, we investigate various socio-economic impacts of mining as a powerful international industry in two countries in Mekong area: Laos and Thailand. The impacts of mining industry are multi faceted. Mining activities might be paintede as a collective effort of a bunch of rapacious monsters, keen to simply tear up the land, clear cut forest, extract all the minerals from the earth and runaway. That old picture needs to change when we think of developmental aspects of the industry.

Partnership among stakeholders such as local and international Governments, mining multinational corporations (MNCs), community, and educational institutions can improve technical and vocational aspects as well as research delivered in response to mining industry demands. International mining industry can increase employment opportunities for local people and improve local participation in the industry.

Similar to most international industries, benefits from mining industries come with some challenges. Stories of gold mining communities in Pichit Thailand and Vilabouly in Laos may sound like a classic story of a typical rural community that is discovered by a gigantic, powerful mining MNCs. Both community face rapid economic changes where employment opportunities, new infrastructure, and new opportunities in life are created by the advent of international mining MNCs.

However, with economic miracle, members of the community also feel the air of economic challenges in the air. The majority of workers of mining MNCs from our study raised a similar concern on uncertain economic future in the community. What can be done to guarantee this constant income in the future, when the end of mining industry approaches the community? In the Laos context, economic miracle from this international industry has long been supporting on-going development in the community. When the land becomes useless for mining industry, community members question their economic future. What should they and mining MNCs do to mitigate this future economic impact in the host counties?

The second challenges we learn from the project is relationship among mining stakeholders. If we use ‘stakeholder theory’ by  Ed Freeman to explain international mining industry, we understand that the conventional idea that business is about maximizing profits for shareholders is outdated. It does  not work well in modern economy since  the recent global financial crisis has taught us. The 21st Century is one of “Managing for Stakeholders.” The task of mining executives is to create as much value as possible for stakeholders without resorting to tradeoffs.

With the serious circumstance in Thailand where the Thai Government commanded a mining MNC to shut down its operation, due to its potential contribution to public health concerns in the community, we learn that the failure to manage different demands from various stakeholders can be one of the key issues contributing to this problem.

Most rural community may benefits from various levels of engagement among mining stakeholders that can potentially bring tremendous economic and technical benefits to all community members. However, when various stakeholders involve, most mining MNCs may fail to respond to different demands from all stakeholders. That can potentially lead to management failure as one of the challenges in international mining industry.

In summary, benefits of mining industry can prevail over negative impacts if mining MNCs work very closely with and listen to all stakeholders in the host country. If community development is seen as an important element of international mining industry, it is important that mining MNCs must move beyond the point of being an industry where people engage purely for monetary benefits.  The industry must speak out loud as an industry for sustainable development.

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International Mining Industry and Sustainable Development: Just a Dream or Reality? i.indiaopines.com/nattpimpa/international-mining-industry-and-sustainable-development-just-a-dream-or-reality-3/

submitted 3 years ago by in Business
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By A/Professor Natt Pimpa

International mining is one of the most significant global industries.  The growth of international mining industry is evident. Academics and other social ourganisations, however, still question the roles of mining multinational corporations (MNCs) from countries such as Australia or The US in the host countries, mostly developing nations in South East Asia, Africa and South America. The dialogue on relationship among business, government and community regarding sustainable development from  international mining industry remains critical.Current debate on the contributions of mining MNCs from Australia, in the form of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the host countries, is one of the most critical issues of government and international business.

 Described as an ‘almost truism’, CSR by most international mining MNCs is perceived as a set of taken-for-granted ideas within society or institution but requires further attention among stakeholders in international mining industry. Unfortunately, not all stakeholders can be incuded in the developmental process by mining MNCs.   

It might be fair to claim that mining MNCs in developing countries contribute to economic growth and opportunities and, perhaps, better quality of life. However, we still wonder if mining MNCs can offer supports to improve some chronic socio-economic conditions, such as poverty, inequity, environmental degradation, or poor health, in the host countries.

Mining MNCs often operate in areas of developing countries which are characterized by limited governmental presence, a high incidence of poverty, a lack of basic social infrastructure, and other social and political problems. Financial assistance from mining MNCs alone to such countries – some $2.5 trillion has been provided in the last 50 years – has often not helped the neediest of citizens. In fact, it may have worsened their plight by sustaining corrupt or otherwise inefficient governments which contribute to their misery, by leaving nations with mountainous debt.

Clearly, mining MNCs have the unmatched power and competence to work with various other stakeholders on socio-economic issues in the host countries. Increasingly world opinion, as well as the inclinations of their own managers and staff, urges mining MNCs to use that power more effectively and fairly. However, mining MNCs lack a vehicle to make that transition in a sustainable and legitimate way.

From the international business perspective, their involvement in development issue is limited due to a lack of clarity regarding their role, altruism for development, and the absence of detailed exploration of the links between socio-economic issues and mining MNCs. There is an acute absence of research at the level of mining community in terms of the role mining business can perform in social issues such as child labour, prostitution and human trafficking, corruption or poverty alleviation.

A study by a research team at RMIT University pointed that it is crucial for Australian mining MNCs to engage with local and international stakeholders in the host countries when executed strategy to ‘contribute’ back to the local community. More importantly, women must be a part of this picture. Engaging with local and international stakeholders in the host countries is one of the crucial steps by Australian mining MNCs. Occasional interaction with the local communities and stakeholders, persistent reliance on International Governmental Organisations (IGOs), Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and considerable autonomy by Australian mining MNCs in the allocation and decision-making of various social projects in developing countries have lead to the failure to identify committed partners, engage them in authentic dialogue, and learn from each other.

Several economic empowerment programs for women and girls conducted by mining MNCs, IGOs, and NGOs have degenerated into global ‘charity’ rather than serving to build local and sustainable community entrepreneurship development. Some of them have faild to support long-term development among women from diverse backgrounds.

Although it can truly be difficult and time-consuming to revolutionize from business strategy to developmental strategy, we can argue that international mining industry can drive social change through their business operations.  With political and technical support from various local and international stakeholders in international business, Australian mining industry will be able to act as a key change agent in some socio-economic problems in the host countries. Ethical mining industry is the way to go.