Interview with Hiswani HarunIPMS 2001
Senior Project Coordinator, Environmental Management Unit, National Institute of Public Administration
(This interview was conducted in 2002. Ms. Hiswani Harun is now Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and works and lives in Geneva, Switzerland.)
Hiswani currently serves as Senior Project Coordinator of the Environmental Management Unit at Malaysia’s National Institute of Public Administration. Under her leadership the Unit provides environmental training programs for government officers and staff. This programming currently includes courses on ISO 14000 environmental management standards and green industrial processes, as well as a “South-South” cooperative program that familiarizes sustainable development professionals from developing countries with Malaysian approaches to integrating environmental and development imperatives.
Most Important IPMS Lessons
The simulations used at IPMS to demonstrate the dynamics of negotiation strike Hiswani as very unique in her experience with training programs. She believes that this approach to conflict resolution training is effective in that it places participants in a variety of contexts and roles that are very representative of negotiation processes in the real world. The port authority and trans-boundary water games were specific activities in which she gained particular insight from taking on roles to which she had been unaccustomed in her own work.
Applying IPMS Lessons
Based upon the positive impression that IPMS simulations gave her, Hiswani plans to structure similar games into her own training programs at the Institute of Public Administration. She believes that the international South-South course that she facilitates will especially benefit from taking this approach to negotiation training. Hiswani also feels that the spirit of professional collaboration and sense of equality that exist between IPMS faculty and participants are also conducive to creating an effective training atmosphere. She seeks to incorporate these elements into the programming at the Environmental Management Unit.
Suggestions for Improving IPMS
Hiswani encourages IPMS faculty to continue including realistic issues in the simulations such as the smoke haze or smog problems in Asian countries. She believes that IPMS should continue to examine sustainable development issues that are regional in nature and thus more recognizable by country representatives.
Suggestions for Other SCF Activities
Hiswani indicates that there is a substantial role to be played by the Sustainability Challenge Foundation with respect to aiding developing countries in the design of sustainable development action plans. She draws an example from British Petroleum’s involvement in a biodiversity action plan for Malaysia. She also welcomes the assistance that SCF personnel could provide to the National Institute of Public Administration with its environmental planning and management training programs.