Farm adjacent to a new town in Hong Kong's New Territories
July 19, 2013
Local farming communities has been up in arms in Hong Kong this month over the government’s latest plans to develop a new town in the north eastern end of the territory, not far from its border with Shenzhen. After three public consultations and years of planning, Paul Chan, the HKSAR Secretary for Development, announced what he describes as the ultimate plan for new towns in Kwu Tong North and Fanling North. In summary, the three proposed areas for development have been cut down to two, now with a strong focus on providing for residential housing and much less on industry and jobs.
Sumatran forest fire hotspots - June 2013
July 02, 2013
Armed with a “zero burn” law, which has been on the statute books since 2009, Indonesian authorities say they are preparing to go after the possible corporate perpetrators of forest fires that have resulted in the worst-ever air pollution recorded in Singapore and southern Malaysia. Little action has previously been taken against plantation companies since the first major Indonesian haze crisis in 1997.
Sarawak forest
June 28, 2013
When it comes to brass-necked gall, you've got to hand it to the clique that runs Sarawak. Regular readers of CleanBiz.Asia should be more than passingly familiar with the shameful shenanigans of Abdul Taib Mahmud, the Malaysia state’s Chief Minister since 1981. He is also Sarawak’s Financial Minister and Minister of Resource Planning and Environment. (And did someone say President-for-Life? He did, after all, directly succeed his uncle as Sarawak’s Chief Minister.)
Cargill, US-based agribusiness giant, is to help oil palm smallholders in Malaysia produce sustainable palm oil and drive up standards within the industry.
Tests on 65 traditional Chinese herbal products have exposed a toxic cocktail of pesticide residues, some of them illegal in China, highlighting the need to end the use of industrial agricultural chemicals.
Contaminated vegetables
June 24, 2013
Hot on the heels of last month's cadmium-tainted rice revelations in China, residents of Guangdong – the wealthy and populous province bordering Hong Kong – have been confronted with new concerns that up to a fifth of the Pearl River Delta's vegetables contain excessive amounts of heavy metals. The widespread vegetable contamination, which includes poisons such as arsenic, cadmium, copper and mercury, was detailed by a provincial agriculture official while raising awareness of farmland pollution in the province, according to a report in the South China Morning Post.
June 20, 2013
Recently it was reported that some beef balls sold in Hong Kong contained no cattle DNA, but were in fact made of pork. With significant public outcries to address the irregularities, the HKSAR Government responded with plans to follow up on the false labeling claims. Nevertheless, the incident reveals that little is known about the origin and production of food that is available in Hong Kong.
Environmental activists have warned of dire implications to the Indonesia’s rainforests, wildlife and indigenous communities following the release of new data showing the country has the third-biggest area of land in the world given over to foreign control since 2000.
China said it will conduct nationwide sampling of soil in order to map pollution levels across the country following recent revelations that portions of the country's rice supply were tainted with the toxic metal cadmium.
India’s biggest lender, The State Bank of India has announced a plan to work with Jain Irrigation Systems, Asia’s largest irrigation-equipment maker, to help farmers reduce water usage and increase productivity.