A new initiative in central Thailand is getting farmers to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from rice paddies—a significant source of methane—by changing the way they farm. The new practices save water and money and make more efficient use of fertilizers and herbicides.
Articles by Skylar Lindsay
The waters of the Shweli river in northeastern Myanmar have turned red, prompting concerns about pollution along a major corridor of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Residents and politicians blame Chinese factories upstream, raising questions about accountability for the impacts of cross-border development.
New research shows that women landowners were vital to the economy and society of 19th century Bangkok—in many cases cultivating their land more effectively than men. Historical court records also show how women in Siam defended their land rights in court, fighting and winning cases to secure their property.
New research documents show clearing and drainage of peat forests in Southeast Asia is driving carbon emissions. Using a new remote sensing technique, researchers showed that peatland across the region is sinking—not just on large-scale plantations but also on small farms and in degraded areas.
Laos has approved a Singapore energy firm’s plan to build a 1,000 MW coal-fired power plant in the southern province of Sekong. The plant is slated to export power to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and would be the country’s second coal power plant.
Local residents and activists in southern Myanmar say indigenous experts are more effective at conservation than the UN, saying top-down plans for massive nature reserves will cut off locals’ access to food and land.
A Vietnamese agribusiness company in eastern Cambodia has illegally cleared old-growth forests, wetlands and spiritual sites on land that it pledged to return to indigenous communities. The land move reneges on promises the company, Hoang Anh Gia Lai, made in a mediation process with the World Bank.
The Indonesian government plans to turn 2.2 million acres of peat swamps on Borneo into rice paddies. The plan aims to help the country weather the impacts of COVID-19 on its food supply, but it risks repeating a fiasco from the Suharto era.
Myanmar authorities recently seized 35.5 tons of drugs and chemicals in Shan State—a haul worth hundreds of millions of dollars. But the fact that Southeast Asia’s crime syndicates allowed the busts shows the drug trade is only becoming more deeply entrenched in the region’s economy.
Farmers in Southeast Asia face increased pressure to feed the region during the pandemic, but on top of record droughts and climate change, they’re now facing impacts from sand mining.