Niak’s research focuses on ecological compensation as a policy instrument for compensating the biodiversity and social losses caused by development projects. There is an increasing global support for ecological compensation programs by governments and companies, in order to meet international commitments for tackling biodiversity loss while balancing the demands of economic development. However, these programs have been inconsistent at achieving ecological goalsand may pose social risks to local communities.
Her PhD explores how the institutional design and implementation of compensation policies affects its ecological, social and economic outcomes. The aim is to develop ‘safeguards’ for compensation: careful institutional design and procedures to facilitate good ecological and social outcomes. 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. She also has a BSc in Business and Commerce from Monash University (Australia/Malaysia), where she was named on the Dean’s Commendation List. 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 was a research and communications intern at the Atkisson Group and contributed articles on marine conservation at SDG14.net. She has also rapporteured conferences related to sustainable development 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 marketing, pricing analysis and business development for e-commerce companies in Malaysia.
Niak is also a member of the Swedish Institute Alumni network, having graduated from the scholarship program awarded by 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 ...