Late last year, ADB adopted a new Energy Policy, joined with other multilateral development banks at COP26 to support a set of “Just Transition High-Level Principles,” and launched plans for operationalizing a coal retirement scheme in the region.
This roundtable, convened by the NGO Forum on ADB, will promote timely, forward-looking debates on the issues of "just transition" and climate financing at the project, programmatic, and policy levels—through the eyes of representatives from civil society groups in South, Southeast, and Central Asia/the Caucasus. A respondent from the ADB Energy Sector Group will also be present to engage in the discussion.
Avril De Torres
Deputy Executive Director
Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development
Avril De Torres is the deputy executive director of the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development, which authored the paper “Leaving Behind ADB’s Dirty Energy Legacy,” published by the NGO Forum on the ADB. Ms. De Torres leads action research and policy engagements, and manages strategic legal interventions to advance transformative energy, ecological justice, and people-centered development.
Regional Coordinator for the Caucasus
Manana Kochladze is a Georgian biologist and environmentalist. She was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2004 for her environmental campaigns, in particular regarding oil pipelines through vulnerable areas. Originally trained to be a scientist, she changed focus to become an environmental activist. In 1990, she founded the nongovernment organization Green Alternative.
Chief Operating Officer
CLEAN (Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network)
Hasan Mehedi is a human rights and environmental activist working as the chief executive of CLEAN (Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network) in Khulna, Bangladesh. He works in the following sectors: climate change, mangrove forests and biodiversity, environmental education, and agriculture. He is also the member secretary of the Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt, a civil society platform working on megaprojects financed by bilateral and multilateral financial institutions. Mr. Mehedi is the international convenor of NGO Forum on ADB Network.
Tanya Lee Roberts-Davis
Energy Policy and Campaigns Strategist
NGO Forum on ADB
Tanya Lee Roberts-Davis is an energy policy and campaigns strategist with the NGO Forum on the ADB, based in the Philippines. She works in coordination with local groups across Asia on issues related to the energy policies and project-level investments of ADB and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, as well as emerging energy transition schemes. She has an LLM in economic, social, and cultural rights from the University of Essex School of Law in the UK and an MA in international human rights from the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica. Over the past twenty years, she has worked with social, economic, and environmental justice organizations in Canada, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Nepal, Palestine, the Philippines, Thailand, the UK, and the US.
Chief of Energy Sector Group
Priyantha D.C. Wijayatunga is currently the chief of the Energy Sector Group in the Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department of ADB. Mr. Wijayatunga has over 30 years of professional experience including 14 years in ADB. He was the director, South Asia Energy Division prior to assuming his current position in August 2021. Before joining ADB, he served as the founding director general of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka and a senior professor of electrical engineering at the University of Moratuwa. He has extensively contributed in the areas of energy policy and regulation, energy planning, and clean energy development.
Vidya Dinker - Moderator
President, Indian Social Action Forum
Vidya Dinker is a Lawrence Pinto awardee. She dedicated many years of her life fighting for people’s rights, taking on the might of the state against the displacement of locals, especially the poor, under the Mangalore Special Economic Zone project. She also fights for ecology and in defense of the trees being felled in the name of development and progress.