China dense cities
March 27, 2014
A new report by The World Bank and the Development Research Center of China’s State Council has recommended the country tackle environmental degradation and other strains of rapid urbanization by systematically changing how it allocates land, people and capital across the nation. Building denser, rather than larger, cities – in the style of Hong Kong - will help China cut down on traffic congestion, air and water pollution and the maintenance costs for infrastructure services, according to the report.
March 27, 2014
A UK-based conservation watchdog, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), has released a report that claims about 22.8 million cubic meters of wood, with an estimated total value of USD8 billion, was exported from Myanmar over the past 13 years.
March 26, 2014
Along with the enormous risks global warming poses for humanity are opportunities to improve public health and build a better world, scientists gathered in Yokohama for a climate change conference said Tuesday.
Flooded Bangkok industrial estate
March 24, 2014
Although it should come as no great surprise, given the number of warnings issued by other bodies in recent years, a new report from the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) due to be published this week will say coastal Asia is very vulnerable to climate change. The final draft of the report – Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability – is being reviewed at a scientific meeting this week in Yokohama, Japan, and will form a key part of the IPCC's fifth assessment report on global warming, whose other sections will be published later this year.
March 24, 2014
It appears China’s chronic pollution problems are a great leveler, removing rancor and hubris from diplomatic exchanges with South Korea and Japan. It is by no means all peace and harmony but working-level officials from the three countries put discord aside in Beijing last week during their first policy dialogue session on the pressing pollution problem.
March 24, 2014
A pair of academics at the University of Colorado recently co-authored a paper in Nature Climate Change, showing that the methane produced by a typical palm oil wastewater lagoon has the same annual climate impact as driving 22,000 passenger cars.
Burma's serene rainforest
March 21, 2014
A ban on the export of raw timber logs is set to take place in Myanmar from April 1 as the country’s new reformist government scrambles to save some of Asia's largest remaining forest stocks, stretching from the Himalayan foothills in the north to its vast rainforest in the south. Forest cover shrank almost a fifth, to 47 percent of land area in 2010, from 58 percent in 1990, Forestry Ministry data shows while total timber exports of 1.24 million cubic tonnes in the fiscal year to March 2013 brought in more than USD1 billion in revenue, according to Reuters.
March 20, 2014
China's Fujian province on Wednesday began releasing the first ever "fresh air index" to promote eco-tourism, in sharp contrast to air quality indexes in major cities which often instill fear.
March 20, 2014
China's smog is making it harder for foreign firms to convince top executives to work in the country, the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing said on Wednesday, offering some of the strongest evidence yet on how pollution is hurting recruitment.
March 19, 2014
A new plan has been introduced by Chinese environmental officials aimed at addressing soil pollution and boosting food security in the world’s most populous nation
March 18, 2014
Officials from some of the world's top fishing powers signed a declaration in Greece to promote sustainable management of fish stocks, according to a report on Friday by Agence France-Presse.
Map of planned dams in Arunachal Pradesh
March 18, 2014
The northeastern India states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, east of Bangladesh and bordering China to the north, is an area described by politicians as India’s “future powerhouse” and is a key focus point of the country’s dam building program. The ambition of planners in New Delhi is not in doubt. So far plans for more than 160 dams – both big and small – have been announced in the northeast, the majority of them to be built in the remote, mountainous state of Arunachal Pradesh and harnessing the waters of the mighty Brahmaputra river and its tributaries.
March 17, 2014
The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has brought to light the level of pollution in the South China Sea, including large slicks of bunker fuel apparently from ships, Bloomberg View reports.
Unspoilt Aru Islands forest and devestating plantation plan
March 17, 2014
The Indonesian Government, which is supposed to be committed to protecting natural forest, is facing a test of that obligation on the Aru Islands, located in the Arafura Sea southwest of New Guinea and north of Australia. Last year Indonesian forestry minister Zulkifli Hasan said the government was extending a moratorium, in place since 2011, on issuing permits for conversions of natural forests or peatland. The moratorium is crucial to the country’s goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2020 but sugar cane plantations are exempt.
March 14, 2014
A new mangrove forest is to be planted along the lower reaches of the Thi Vai River near Ho Chi Minh City as part of effort to stop industrial pollution being discharged into Dong Nai Delta, a critical wetland environment.
March 14, 2014
A World Bank-funded agricultural pollution control project, aimed at preventing pollution from "non-point" sources and reduce pollutants from crop and livestock production, has been initiated in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.
March 14, 2014
PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia (CPI), the Indonesian subsidiary of US-based oil company Chevron, plans to relocate the families of its employees from areas affected by air pollution from land fires, to avoid negative health effects.
March 13, 2014
Forestry experts and environmental groups in the Philippines are raising concerns about what they consider to be an “excessive use” of exotic trees (such as gmelina and the introduced broadleaf mahogany) over indigenous varieties in the country’s greening program.
March 12, 2014
The Indian subsidiary of US-based chocolate maker The Hershey Company has become the foreign-owned company to be summoned to court for allegedly violating India’s Biological Diversity Act. It would appear, however, to be another case of over-zealous bureaucracy, which is all too common in India.
Dam Damage
March 11, 2014
It is the world’s most prevalent form of renewable energy, dwarfing all other categories put together and accounting for 16 percent of global electricity generation in 2008, yet critics have been saying for years that big hydropower projects come at a steep cost to the environment. Now they have a robust economic cost-benefit analysis of the global hydropower industry to add more muscle to their anti-dam campaigns.