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The International Committee (IC) or the Board of Trustees serves as the Forum's advisory body and policy-making entity, especially during periods when the General Membership is not in session. Comprising eight (8) members elected or appointed by the General Membership during a dedicated meeting or the Forum Annual Meeting (FAM), the IC holds a two-year term of office and is eligible for re-election or reappointment.

A pivotal aspect of the IC's composition is that at least five (5) members must hail from Developing Member Countries of the ADB, collectively representing at least three (3) of the Forum's sub-regions. Furthermore, one IC member must be from the Philippines, while another must be from the Donor Countries of the ADB. The Executive Director assumes an ex-officio role within the IC. The Convener or President presides over IC meetings, ensuring effective leadership and coordination.

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International Convenor


Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network (CLEAN)

Hasan Mehedi has been actively engaged in the non-profit sector since 1998, focusing primarily on policy and practices related to the Environment and forest, Climate Catastrophe, Food and livelihoods, Socioeconomic Justice, and Water Management sectors. Notably, he served as an Alternative IC Member of the Forum from 2012 to 2014.

In 2010, Mehedi founded the Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) and serves as its Chief Executive. CLEAN is affiliated with several influential networks, including the NGO Forum on ADB, Campaign for Sustainable Rural Livelihoods (CSRL), Climate Action Network - South Asia (CANSA), Food Security Network of Bangladesh (KHANI), Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM), Democratic Budget Movement (DBM), and other national and international networks focusing on equity and justice for the poor and marginal producers.

Mehedi is also a noteworthy contributor as one of the editors of Mangropedia, a free and open-sourced encyclopedia dedicated to Mangroves. As a lifelong activist, he has been at the forefront of environmental and human rights campaigns, specializing in environmental and socio-economic rights for over two decades. His extensive experience is reflected in numerous publications covering climate change, forced migration, national and regional policies, and human rights.

Beyond his professional pursuits, Mehedi enjoys a variety of hobbies, including traveling, reading, collecting films, and engaging in thoughtful conversations.

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Honorary Vice IC

Solidaritas Perempuan

Southeast Asia

Puspa Dewy is a dedicated feminist activist who has been championing women's rights and advocating for marginalized groups for the past 15 years. She plays an active role in Indonesia's women’s, environmental, and social movements. Puspa Dewy is deeply engaged in the fight for women's rights, employing strategies such as strengthening and organizing marginalized women and conducting advocacy and campaigns for women's rights. Her efforts extend to addressing issues related to International Financial Institutions (IFIs) at local, national, regional, and international levels.

In 2014, Puspa Dewy was a valuable member of the Organizing Committee for the APWLD (Asia Pacific on Women, Law and Development) Climate Justice program. She actively contributed to advocacy efforts on gender equity in climate change negotiations at the national, regional, and international levels. Subsequently, in 2019, Puspa Dewy was elected to serve on the National Monitoring Board for Solidaritas Perempuan - Women's Solidarity (2019-2023) and the Regional Council of Walhi (Friend of the Earth Indonesia in Jakarta) (2018-2022).

Currently, Puspa Dewy serves as a researcher on the AKSI! For Gender, Social, and Ecological Justice team. In her role, she actively provides capacity building for activists and women's groups within communities. Furthermore, she monitors and advocates for issues related to development funds, including those associated with IFIs, ensuring a feminist and gender justice perspective is upheld. Puspa Dewy's unwavering commitment to the cause is a testament to her enduring dedication to social justice and gender equality.

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Freedom from Debt Coalition


Dr. Rene E. Ofreneo holds the distinguished title of Professor Emeritus at the University of the Philippines and previously served as the Dean of the UP School of Labor and Industrial Relations. His extensive career includes a pivotal role as the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Undersecretary for Labor Relations during the challenging period of the Asian financial crisis in 1997-98.

Dr. Ofreneo stands as a prominent figure in the realm of labor relations and labor market studies, not only in the Philippines but also in the broader Asia-Pacific region. His scholarly contributions have earned him a place on the editorial boards of several international journals. Noteworthy among his publications are: "Asia and the Pacific: Advancing Decent Work Amidst Deepening Inequalities" (Singapore: ITUC-AP, 2013); "A Toolkit for Labour Law Reform Advocacy" (Singapore: ITUC-AP, 2011); and "Green Jobs and Green Skills in a Brown Philippine Economy" (Geneva: ILO, 2010).

In addition to his academic pursuits, Dr. Ofreneo shares his insights through a weekly column titled "Laborem Exercens" in Business Mirror. Beyond academia, he holds leadership roles as the President of three influential civil society organizations: Freedom from Debt Coalition, Integrated Rural Development Foundation, and Philippine Movement for Climate Justice. Dr. Ofreneo's multifaceted contributions underscore his commitment to advancing knowledge, fostering societal change, and addressing critical issues at the intersection of labor, economics, and environmental justice.


Youth Group on Protection of Environment


Ikrom embarked on his journey in environmental protection in 2003, spearheading and executing over 25 projects in Tajikistan. His diverse initiatives span climate change, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity, ecological and radiation safety, environmental monitoring and assessment, air quality, and incorporating Aarhus Convention and Green Economy principles. As an esteemed environmental expert, Ikrom was pivotal in embedding environmental concerns within governmental programs and strategies. His influence extended to fortifying the youth movement "Green Patrols," amplifying the involvement of local communities in decision-making processes, and championing environmental justice.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Ikrom received accolades as one of Central Asia's youth ecological leaders in 2018. Currently pursuing a PhD., Ikrom's research has focused on air quality since 2020. Since 2016, he has served as a member of the Public Council under the chairman of the Sughd region and holds the position of an IC member in the regional network NGO Forum on ADB.

In 2016, Ikrom assumed the role of Director for the NGO "Youth Group on Protection of Environment." Further demonstrating his commitment, in December 2021, he was elected as the national coordinator of the Ecological Network of Tajikistan. Ikrom's impressive track record and ongoing efforts underscore his dedication to advancing environmental causes and fostering sustainable practices in Tajikistan.





Nora Sausmikat is a qualified sinologist with more than 30 years of experience analyzing political reform processes in China with a special focus on environmental and human rights movements. She works with non-governmental organizations and policy makers. Since September 2019 she has been working in the influential Urgewald eV organization

In 2008, together with Klaus Fritsche, she founded the Asia House Foundation's China Program , which she continued to develop and manage until 2019. In addition, she founded the EU-China NGO Twinning Program , which up until 2019 included over 140 alumni from over 20 European countries and China. Nora Sausmikat organized the Belt and Road project of the Asia House Foundation as well as numerous European-Chinese civil society dialogues.

The focus was on human rights and the economy, raw materials policy, labor rights and civil society. In recent years she has increasingly focused her work on the environmental and social standards of the multilateral development banks, in particular the Chinese-dominated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), as well as on the social and ecological effects of Chinese foreign investments, especially within the framework of the Silk Road Initiative (Belt and Road Initiative).

Nora specialized in the subject of memory politics in China and political generation history.

She studied Sinology, Tibetan, Ethnology, Political Science and Theater Studies at the Sichuan University in Chengdu / PR China and the Free University of Berlin. She was a fellow at Beijing University, guest lecturer at various European universities and lecturer in Venice, Cologne, Dortmund, Bremen and Berlin.

From 2000-2003 she worked as a research assistant at the University of Duisburg on political reform discourses and the influence of political ideas on real politics. She is a partner in the Excellence Forum China Global and the Ruhr University Bochum. Her main areas of research are Chinese civil society, political reforms and the role of intellectuals in these processes.

Dr. phil. habil. Nora Sausmikat lives in Cologne. Her passions are yoga / tai qi, hiking and literature / art.

She lived in Nepal from 1984-85, in Chengdu from 1988-90, and in Beijing from 1993-1994 and 2005-2006. She has been traveling to China at least once a year since 2007.



Centre for Environmental Justice

Sri Lanka

Hemantha Withanage serves as the Chair of Friends of the Earth International and holds the position of Senior Advisor at the Centre for Environmental Justice in Sri Lanka. A science graduate from the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka, Hemantha embarked on his journey in the environmental justice movement in 1990 as an environmental officer for the Environmental Foundation Ltd. In 2004, he played a pivotal role in co-founding the Centre for Environmental Justice, currently one of the most prominent environmental organizations in Sri Lanka.

From 2005 to 2008, Hemantha assumed the role of Executive Director at the Philippines-based NGO Forum on ADB, a network of civil society organizations dedicated to monitoring the Asian Development Bank. He was elected International Convenor multiple times, showcasing his leadership capabilities. Hemantha has also held key positions in various regional and international networks, solidifying his status as a leading environmental activist in the Asia Pacific region.

Beyond his organizational roles, Hemantha is a passionate advocate for Environmental Impact Assessment and climate justice. The Centre for Environmental Justice, under his guidance, obtained accreditation to the UNCCD in 2018 and to the UNFCCC in 2009, highlighting its commitment to international standards and collaboration. Hemantha Withanage's multifaceted contributions underscore his dedication to advancing environmental causes, both locally and on the global stage.

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Equitable Cambodia


Vuthy is a dedicated Advocate for Land and Housing Rights and holds the position of Executive Director at Equitable Cambodia (EC), an NGO based in Phnom Penh. EC is committed to securing housing, land, and natural resources rights for urban and rural populations. Notably, EC has actively assisted communities affected by issues such as Boeung Kak Lake, ADB-Railway Rehabilitation, and Rubber, striving for just restitution.

Vuthy's journey in civil society activism commenced in 2003, when he began working with an NGO focused on providing legal aid to Khmer and urban poor communities. Subsequently, he co-founded a charity with American friends, which later evolved into Sustainable Cambodia. This group played a vital role in providing technical assistance and introducing alternative agricultural techniques to impoverished farmers.

Building on this foundation, Vuthy transitioned to his current role at EC, utilizing his legal background to empower communities to advocate for national and international policy changes. Holding a Master’s Degree in Law and Political Science, Vuthy brings a wealth of expertise to his efforts to advance marginalized communities' rights. His commitment to social justice and empowerment underscores his vital role in Cambodia's ongoing struggle for equitable land and housing rights.

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Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES)


Yuki Tanabe has been an integral part of the Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES) since 2003, progressing to Program Coordinator/Director in 2005. In this capacity, he spearheads the Sustainable Development and Aid Program (SDAP), overseeing policy and project research and advocacy initiatives addressing social and environmental issues within development projects funded by international financial institutions.

Yuki is the campaign coordinator for the "No Coal Go Green projects," an initiative urging the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) to cease using public funds to finance coal-fired power plants.

Additionally, he serves as the coordinator for the Japan Coalition of Fair Finance for Guide. This entails managing a web-based tool designed to empower clients to make their banks more socially responsible, fair, and sustainable. The tool assesses and scores bank policies against international sustainability and human rights standards, promoting transparency and accountability in the financial sector.

Yuki Tanabe's multifaceted role and dedication underscore his commitment to promoting sustainable development, advocating for environmentally responsible practices, and fostering fair and ethical finance in Japan.

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