Helena Varkkey

Helena Varkkey

University of Malaya

Helena Varkkey is a senior lecturer in the Department of International and Strategic Studies at the University of Malaya. Her interest in sustainable development has evolved to focus on transboundary pollution in Southeast Asia, particularly the role of patronage in agribusiness (specifically the palm oil industry), and its link to peat fires and haze in the region. Her PhD monograph entitled “The Haze Problem in Southeast Asia: Palm Oil and Patronage,” was published by Routledge in 2016. She maintains an academic blog at

Articles by Helena Varkkey


Together We Fall? Southeast Asia and Transboundary Haze

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Many parts of Asia are affected by high levels of air pollution. The continent is home to some of the most polluted megacities in the world, including Beijing and Shanghai in China, and Delhi and Kolkata in India. While these places suffer all year round, several countries in Southeast Asia face a unique air pollution problem that is seasonal, but no less dire.


Air Pollution and Covid-19 Mortality: Considerations for Southeast Asia

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Acute respiratory distress syndrome, which has long been linked to polluted air, has been a major cause of Covid-19-related deaths.