Niak’s research focuses on ecological compensation and biodiversity offsetting as policy instruments for compensating the biodiversity and social losses caused by development projects. There is increasing global support for these policy instruments by governments and companies, in order to meet international commitments for tackling biodiversity loss while balancing the demands of economic development. However, these policies have been inconsistent at achieving ecological goals and may pose social risks to local communities.
Her PhD explores how the institutional design and implementation process of compensation programs affects its ecological, social and economic outcomes. The aim is to develop ‘safeguards’ for compensation: procedural measures for maximizing the protection of biodiversity and people’s livelihoods. This would provide policy implications in Sweden as well as guidance at the EU and international levels.
Niak holds a joint Master in Sustainable Development from Uppsala University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and a BSc in Business and Commerce from Monash University (Australia/Malaysia). In 2014, Niak attended the Sendzimir Foundation’s Summer Academy on Challenges of Sustainable Development (Poland) where she worked on local projects involving storm water management for a neighbourhood in Kraków and sustainable business practices for a biotechnology company.
Prior to joining the SRC, Niak worked with research and communications at the Atkisson Group where she contributed articles on the Sustainable Development Goal 14: Life below water at SDG14.net. She has also co-authored conference publications for the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), the Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development (SWEDESD), and the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC). Her previous work experience includes pricing analysis for Procter & Gamble as well as marketing and business development for start-ups in Malaysia.
Niak is a member of the Swedish Institute Alumni network, having received a scholarship from the Swedish government aimed at developing global leaders
Awards and achievements:
2017 - Journal / article
Ecological compensation (EC) is being explored as a policy instrument for the European Union’s ‘No Net Loss of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services’ initiative. EC is commonly associated with the Polluter-Pays Principle, but we propose the Developer-Pays Principle as a more comprehensive principle. Safeguards that are relevant to local and national contexts are needed when addressing social-ecological resilience in the face of ...