Emil Salim

Emil Salim is Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Economics University of Indonesia. Respected as Indonesia’s first Environmental Minister, he has been the beacon of sustainable development in the country as well as in the international stage. After graduating from Faculty of Economics University of Indonesia, he continued his study to the University of California Berkeley where he earned his Ph.D in economics in 1964. Besides lecturing, he participated in the “Team of Economics Experts” of the President under President Soeharto since 1966. From 22 years afterwards, he served as a cabinet minister – from Minister of State for the Improvement of the State Apparatus, Minister of Transportation, Minister of State for Development Supervision and the Environment, Minister of State for Population and the Environment.

Emil Salim’s innovative thinking aimed to establish a sustainable society receives high acclaim internationally. He was a member of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development (1984-1987), Vice Chairperson of the UN High Level Advisory Council for Sustainable Development (1992), the Co-chair of the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development (1994), Chairperson of the 10th United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (2001-2002), Chairperson of the Preparatory Committee for the World Summit (2002), and Chair of the Third ASEAN Environment Ministerial Conference.

He has addressed environmental problems of the developing nations in Asia from an early stage, including highlighting the importance of spreading to the world values that are uniquely Asian. Emil Salim has taken a number of leading roles in numerous discussions at the annual conferences of high-ranking official meetings in a number of United Nation bodies such as United Nations Commission of Sustainable Development. Through his acting as a pioneer, Emil Salim has voiced the concerns of Asian developing nations at a time when little was raised in international arenas about the environmental problems of those countries.

Up until now, Emil Salim has taken many initiatives ahead of the world in integrating environmental considerations into development plans – contributing significantly to the betterment and preservation of quality of life in the national, regional as well as international levels.

Selected list of publications

  • 1997 “Recollections of my career,” Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies 33(1):45-74

  • 1999 “Our Forests, Our Future,” Cambridge University Press

  • 2007 “The Paradigm of Sustainable Development,” OECD Sustainable Development Studies “Institutionalising Sustainable Development”