In­sight­ful in­tern­ship

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Post Graduate -

A TWO-MONTH in­tern­ship with the Asian Re­search In­sti­tute for En­vi­ron­men­tal Law based in Chi­ang Mai, Thai­land, turned out to be an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for Dr Loh Ing Hoe, law lec­turer from Curtin Uni­ver­sity Malaysia’s Fac­ulty of Busi­ness.

Dr Loh shares that he ap­pre­ci­ates the at­tach­ment op­por­tu­nity, es­pe­cially since it was with an in­ter­na­tional re­search in­sti­tute where the work en­vi­ron­ment was dif­fer­ent from what he was used to as a uni­ver­sity lec­turer.

“It was a good chance for me to gain in­dus­try ex­po­sure and en­hance my re­search skills,” says Dr Loh.

Ac­cord­ing to Dr Loh, life in Chi­ang Mai was fas­ci­nat­ing. He got around on bi­cy­cle, which al­lowed him to stray off the beaten track some­times and gain in­ter­est­ing in­sight into the lo­cal life­style.

He shares that work at the re­search in­sti­tute was in­ter­est­ing and chal­leng­ing. Dr Loh was in­volved in an en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ment of the Mekong re­gion, given his ex­pe­ri­ence in en­vi­ron­men­tal law re­search.

“Learn­ing about how en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ments are done in other coun­tries in the re­gion was a real eye­opener. Matthew Hamil­ton Baird, the di­rec­tor of the in­sti­tute, is also a con­sul­tant for en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact as­sess­ments in Myan­mar, so I had the priv­i­lege of learn­ing from a knowl­edge­able, ex­pe­ri­enced men­tor,” says Dr Loh.

He also par­tic­i­pated in re­search to de­velop Guide­lines on Pub­lic Par­tic­i­pa­tion in En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact As­sess­ment in the Mekong Re­gion with Baird, which has been sub­mit­ted for peer re­view and is ex­pected to be in­cluded in the In­ter­na­tional Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture’s Academy of En­vi­ron­men­tal Law Col­lo­quium 2017 pub­li­ca­tion com­ing out this year.

In ad­di­tion, Dr Loh was ac­quainted with non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion EarthRights In­ter­na­tional (ERI) and is ne­go­ti­at­ing his par­tic­i­pa­tion in guest lec­tures on en­vi­ron­men­tal law to ERI ac­tivists across the globe.

“Be­ing a guest lec­turer for ERI would be a great achieve­ment for me as an aca­demic and rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Curtin Malaysia, which, as Curtin Uni­ver­sity’s global hub in Asia, is com­mit­ted to ex­pand­ing Curtin’s in­tel­lec­tual foot­print in the re­gion,” says Dr Loh.

He adds that in­dus­try at­tach­ments can ben­e­fit aca­demics by hav­ing them keep up with real-world de­vel­op­ments and gain hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence.

Al­though his in­tern­ship has ended, Dr Loh still keeps in touch with the Asian Re­search In­sti­tute for En­vi­ron­men­tal Law in his on­go­ing re­search on strate­gic im­pact as­sess­ments, the One Belt and One Road ini­tia­tive, and an­i­mal law.

Dr Loh looks at his ex­pe­ri­ence as a good chance for him to gain in­dus­try ex­po­sure.

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