Harry Jonas is new to the Southeast Asian Network but not to Ashoka. He is an international lawyer from England who was elected in 2011 for work that Natural Justice (South Africa) led to support communities to develop proactive and rights-based forms of engagement with other stakeholders. Community protocols are a means by which communities can strengthen existing governance structures and communicate clearly to other stakeholders their plans and the terms on which they want to be engaged.
At around the same time, he moved to Kota Kinabalu (Sabah, Malaysia) to continue that work. This led to support of Forever Sabah, whose aim is to transition to a diversified, equitable and circular economy. Together with his wife, Holly Jonas, he has been involved in developing Forever Sabah’s Legal Innovation Program, which provides legal support to all other areas of work, including the Communities, Coasts, Islands and Seas Program, in which he is personally invested.
The Legal Innovation Program has evolved towards establishing itself as a stand-alone organization, and Forever Sabah is now incubating a Centre that aims to advance knowledge, foster innovation and enhance skills, focusing on the interconnections between ecological, social and legal systems. The Centre will be based in Sabah and support collaboration between individuals and organisations from across Malaysia, Southeast Asia and beyond.
On the side, Harry has intertwined his interests in international relations, surfing and comedy to write his first novel, Tyranny of the Masses.
Harry is very interested to hear from other people on the Ashoka Network and beyond to discuss social and ecological aspects of the law. He can be reached at [email protected]
Welcome to the Southeast Asian Ashoka community, Harry!