BirdLife International appoints Lahiru Wijedasa as Asia forest coordinator

Wijedasa was part of a team that recently discovered a new species of flowering tree in a peat swamp in Sumatra.

Lahiru Wijedasa
Lahiru Wijedasa's move to BirdLife International marks his first foray into the civic society sector after a career spent in scientific research. Image: LinkedIn

Lahiru Wijedasa, a senior research fellow at National University of Singapore’s (NUS) tropical peatland research programme, has been appointed by conservation group BirdLife International as Asia forest coordinator.

The move marks Wijedasa’s first foray into civic society after a career in scientific research, specialising in botany and ecology.

His new role will involve working with partners on forest conservation projects across Asia. One of his first projects is in ecosystem restoration, working with Burung Indonesia, an Indonesian bird conservation group, and British charity Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, to conserve the lowland forests of Sumatra, Indonesia.

At NUS, Wijedasa worked in forest restoration research, with a focus on peatland swamps. In January, he co-published a paper on a new species of flowering tree found in a peat swamp in Sumatra. 

He wrote on LinkedIn: “Last year, we found this single tree flowering in a peat swamp forest in Sumatra. It was published as a new species today. This is the sum total of everything we know about this species. Tropical species are rare and they go extinct whenever we lose forest.”

Over his career, he has also worked as lead field ecologist for Indonesian copper and mining company PT Amman Mineral Nusa Tenggara, and lead botanist for Singapore’s national water agency PUB, Mandai Wildlife Group, and Housing Development Board. He was also senior arborist for the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

In 2015, Wijedasa set up permaculture non-profit Conservation Links, and acquired two former tea estates in Sri Lanka. The farm was converted into an organic farm, which is used a test bed for environmentally-friendly agriculture methods.

Did you find this article useful? Help us keep our journalism free to read.

We have a team of journalists dedicated to providing independent, well-researched stories from around the region on the topics that matter to you. Consider supporting our brand of purposeful journalism with a donation and keep Eco-Business free for all to read. Thank you.

Most popular

Featured Events

Publish your event

More from People

Karen Lee, Head of Partnerships & Advocacy, Group ESG, AIA
Lee joins AIA from rival insurer MSIG Asia, where she led the sustainability function.
A coral nursery
The world has lost half of its coral reefs in 30 years. Malaysian oceanographer Anuar Abdullah has developed a simple, yet effective way to restore coral. He tells Eco-Business that no reef is the same, and successful reef rehabilitation depends on cooperation with local communities.
Youth Activist Speech
Youth should be involved in policy decisions that will dramatically impact their lives, says this 18-year-old climate activist. In this interview, she shares about the biggest environmental issues facing New Zealand, and what she’s doing to tackle them.
leaf background pattern

Transforming Innovation for Sustainability Join the Ecosystem →

Strategic Organisations

Reneum
Danfoss
Trucost
ESG Book
Olam
City Developments Ltd