About This Webinar
This three-hour webinar will highlight how local Citizen Science and Frontier Technology can influence policy to tackle plastic pollution in Southeast Asia. We will hear from experts working on the forefront of plastic pollution monitoring and assessment who integrate innovative technology with collaborative practices.
  • SESSION 1 (10:00–11:30) — Science-Policy Interface: Citizen Science and Frontier Technology combine to tackle plastic pollution in Asia
  • SESSION 2 (11:45–13:00) — Practice on the Ground: The Power of Citizen Science and Frontier Technology to monitor and assess plastic pollution
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    Ms. Kakuko Yoshida
    United Nations Environment Programme
    Ms. Kakuko Yoshida is Senior Programme Officer of the United Nations Environment Programme, Asia and the Pacific Office, in Bangkok. She is Environment Programme Specialist with experience stretching over 25 years and across Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America and Caribbean. She has led programmes and projects on air pollution, chemicals and waste management, including mercury and ozone depleting substances, plastic pollution, and environment and health.

    Kakuko has designed and facilitated over 150 multi-stakeholder consultations, planning exercises, and trainings over 40 countries and has co-authored and edited multiple publications on environmental assessment, environmental health, environmental policy and enforcement, and youth-led environmental movements. She holds BSc in Zoology/ Wildlife Conservation from Fort Valley State College in Georgia, USA, and MSc in Environmental Management from University of Stirling in Scotland, UK.
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    Dr. Jenna Jambeck
    University of Georgia
    Dr. Jenna Jambeck is a Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor in Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia (UGA), Director of the Center for Circular Materials Management in the New Materials Institute and a National Geographic Fellow. She has been conducting research on solid waste issues for over 25 years with related projects on marine debris and plastic pollution since 2001. She has testified to US Congress three times and has conducted public environmental diplomacy as an International Informational Speaker for the US Department of State. She is co-developer of the mobile app Marine Debris Tracker, a tool that continues to facilitate a growing global citizen science initiative. The app and citizen science program has documented the location of over four million litter and marine debris items removed from our environment throughout the world.
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    Ms. Raina Saboo
    Raina Saboo leads Strategy & Business Development on a Plastics focused Sustainability team at Google. Raina has 15 years of professional experience leading Strategy at Google, Boston Consulting Group & beyond. In her current role at Google, Raina has set the strategy for how Google should leverage its technology to help solve for plastic pollution in the world, collaborating with NGOs like UNEP & WWF, large CPG companies and startups. She holds degrees in Electronics Engineering, User Experience Design and MBA from Duke University, USA.
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    Mr. Sujit Sanjeev
    Sujit leads efforts related to leveraging Google's data & technology such as Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence to help solve the plastic pollution problem. Sujit has a Masters degree in Computer Science, and has worked as a software engineer prior to his current role at Google.
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    Dr. So Nam
    Mekong River Commission Secretariat, Vientiane
    Dr. So Nam is the Chief Environment Management Officer of the Environmental Management Division of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Secretariat. He leads the organization’s work on strategy for basin-wide environmental management, watershed management, transboundary environmental impact assessment, joint environmental monitoring of Mekong mainstream hydropower projects, Mekong River Basin indicator framework, state of the basin report, core river monitoring network, and the MRC newsletter Catch and Culture- Environment. He successfully led the development and endorsement of the MRC Basin-wide Fisheries Management and Development Strategy 2018-2022, the MRB Indicator Framework, the MRC State of the Basin Report 2018, and the Mekong Strategy for Basin-wide Environmental Management. Dr. So Nam has holds a PhD degree in Biology from Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, a Master of Science in Aquaculture from Ghent University in Belgium and Wageningen University of Agriculture in the Netherlands, and a bachelor’s degree in Fisheries Science from Royal University of Agriculture Cambodia.
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    Mr. Arun Kumar Jha
    National Productivity Council, India
    Mr. Arun Kumar Jha as a DG of NPC provide leadership to this Council for becoming a major repository of expertise for productivity enhancement of all the sectors in addition to providing consultancy for productivity enhancement, capacity building of all officials/executives engaged directly/indirectly in value addition.
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    Skye Moret
    United Nations Environment Programme
    Ms. Skye Morét joined UNEP Asia and the Pacific Office in late March as a Knowledge Management and Digital Partnership Consultant for the CounterMEASURE II Project. Skye is a data-driven designer and marine scientist who has studied open ocean marine plastic pollution. Her diverse background on the sea—having sailed 100,000+ nautical miles around the globe—fuels her abiding interest in the power of design to engage citizens with the ecological complexities and dependencies of our planet. Skye’s client-based work harnesses information architecture, data visualization, and visual storytelling to create browser-based data experiences with contexts ranging from habitat-specific climate change to workplace cancer risk insights. Skye is also an Assistant Professor at the Pacific Northwest College of Art in the Collaborative Design and Design Systems graduate program.
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    Dr. Tim van Emmerik
    Wageningen University
    As an experimental hydrologist, Dr. van Emmerik aims to provide accurate and reliable data to solve societal water-related challenges. As plastic pollution of aquatic ecosystems is an emerging hazard, his ambition is therefore to develop river plastic monitoring techniques that can be applied to (1) quantify plastic pollution in any river around the world, and (2) optimize plastic pollution prevention and reduction strategies. A holistic approach is key, as rivers, societies and their interconnections vary greatly around the world. River plastic pollution is a complex problem that crosses spatiotemporal scales. Dr. van Emmerik’s research focuses on developing methods that can be applied at both the field scale (single rivers) and global scale (continental assessments).
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    Dr. Anne Bowser
    The Wilson Center
    Dr. Anne Bowser is a Deputy Director with the Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a quasi-government think tank in Washington DC. Her work investigates the intersections between science, technology and democracy. Over the last ten years, Anne has been supporting the field of citizen science, including through Global Earth Challenge, a platform that collects and integrates data in six environmental research areas, including plastic pollution. Anne's team has worked with UNEP to get citizen science data used in reporting progress towards SDG 14.1.1.b, and is designing a new mobile app with a simplified protocol to support data collection through beach cleanup campaigns. She cares about meeting people where they are to make science and policy accessible to all.
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    Dr. Kavinda Gunasekara
    Geoinformatics Center, Asian Institute of Technology
    Kavinda Gunasekara is the Associate Director at the Geoinformatics Center (GIC), Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Thailand. He holds an affiliated faculty position in the School of Environment, Resources & Development, AIT. Over the past 15 years, he had involved in implementing geospatial related projects in South, Southeast, and Central Asian countries. He extensively involves in mapping river and coastal morphological changes, spatial-temporal river discharge mapping using Satellite Remote Sensing, and related applied research using geospatial data. He leads the UNEP CounterMEASURE Phase I & II project components in AIT. He holds a doctorate in Coastal Engineering from the Department of Civil Engineering, the University of Tokyo, Japan.
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    Dr. Dan Tran
    Geoinformatics Center, Asian Institute of Technology
    Dan Tran is the Team Leader (Disaster) and Senior Research Specialist at the Geoinformatics Center (GIC), Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand. He has over nine years of experience on geospatial information technology, such as geographic information system (GIS) and satellite remote sensing, and its applications for various sectors including agriculture, land management, environment, disaster management and urban infrastructure. Dr. Tran also has more than two years of experience in international research projects in Southeast Asia. He holds a doctorate in Engineering in Science and Technology, Nagasaki University, Japan and Masters Degree in Remote Sensing Science and Technology, the Center for Space and Remote Sensing Research, National Central University, Taiwan.
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    Mr. Rajitha Athukorala
    Geoinformatics Center, Asian Institute of Technology
    Rajitha Athukorala is a Research Associate at Geoinformatics Center (GIC), Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in Thailand working on remotes sensing and GIS applications for real world problems. He has past and current involvements in projects related to plastic leakage monitoring, climate projections, modelling, and downscaling, multi hazard risk assessment, and mapping with drones in several countries of central and southeast Asia. He has also involved in several capacity building programs as a technical lead in remote sensing and GIS applications in rapid field data collection, agriculture, disaster risk management, and drone image processing for participants from different countries.