SEACHA at COP28: “Ancestral Wisdom as a Tool for Climate Action: Southeast Asian Voices”

This panel will bring together five esteemed Southeast Asian heritage practitioners and artists to bring to light what we can learn from ancestral Southeast Asian wisdom and apply it to climate action. Learn from these speakers as they reflect on the traditional relationships with land and the ways of life that preceded us and have shaped Southeast Asian cultural heritage. Further, take to heart their reflections on how these practices have historically protected nature and how we can learn from traditional wisdom to reorient our relationship to the environment and climate today.



Ms. Thepduangchan Bounthideth 

Thepduangchan Bounthideth is a Ph.D candidate in resources management and development from Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. With a passion for intangible cultural heritage, she hopes to promote sustainability and culture awareness. She is a SEACHA Youth Alumni.


Dr. Suwichan Phattanapraiwan

Suwichan (Chi) Phattanaphraiwan was born in the mountains of Chiang Mai, and is a renowned Pgaz k’Nyau (Karen) songwriter, singer, poet, author, activist, and Assistant Professor of Geo-Cultural Management at Srinakharinwirot University. In his work, Chi encourages local Pgaz K’ Nyau to strive for self-reliance, and to conserve natural resources by balancing utilization and sustainability. He is Vice President of the Foundation for Culture and Environment, Southeast Asian chapter (FCESA), co-founder of the Karen Community Eco Museum in Tak Province. co-founder of Asian Ethnic Creative Foundation, and involved in the Karen Network for Culture and the Environment.


Mr. Shahar Koyok

Shahar Koyok also known as Shaq Koyok, is a contemporary artist of the indigenous Temuan tribe of Selangor. Many of his works reflect the early trauma of encroachment on the jungle around his village by land developers. This personal history has also fueled his passion to fight for the land rights of his people. He explores many media of art in his work, from contemporary painting to installation art. 


Dr. Catrini Pratihari Kubontubuh

Dr. Catrini Partihari Kubontubuh received her bachelor’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Institut Teknologi Bandung, her master’s degree from Department of Architecture of KU Leuven, Belgium, and doctoral degree from School of Architecture, Planning and Policy Development from ITB. Dr. Catrini is currently the Chairperson of The Indonesian Heritage Trust based in Jakarta and Chairperson of Southeast Asian Cultural Heritage Alliance based in Bangkok. She was acknowledged as The Climate Reality Leader 2020 after her accomplishment in The Climate Reality Leadership Project Global Training 2020 led by Al Gore.  


Ms. Royce Lyssah Malabonga

Royce Lyssah Malabonga is a Foreign Service Officer, Department of Foreign Affairs, Pasay City, Philippines. She is an advocate for cultural heritage protection and empowerment of indigenous communities. Her field of research is intangible cultural heritage, particularly cultural elements that are at risk of endangerment. She envisions that the ancient wisdom of indigenous communities will be recognized and integrated in national and international climate change mitigation strategies.




Ms. Jarunee Khongswasdi

Jarunee Khongswasdi is the Siamese Heritage Trust Manager of The Siam Society and Cultural Heritage Program Officer of Southeast Asian Cultural Heritage Alliance (SEACHA). For over 10 years, she has been working on promoting civil society engagement in cultural heritage protection through educational programs, domestic and international networking, advocacy programs. She completed her MA in Cultural Management at Chulalongkorn University in 2009 and her BA with a major in German Language at Silpakorn University in 2004.  

Watch the full presentations from “Ancestral Wisdom as a Tool for Climate Action: Southeast Asian Voices” on the Thailand Pavilion’s Facebook Live recording, starting at minute 6:48:00.

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