Climate concerns drive updated palm oil policies, new tax incentives and renew climate activism efforts

The environment takes center stage in the Globe’s first week of 2022, with additional features on Southeast Asia’s diaspora and food culture

January 8, 2022
Climate concerns drive updated palm oil policies, new tax incentives and renew climate activism efforts

Susaday Globe readers,

The Globe burst into the new year with a salvo of stories from our reporters. 

The first week of 2022 began with none other than Jack Brook, who delved into the controversies surrounding Indonesia’s palm oil industry. His article explains how new, sustainability-oriented policies are failing to resolve land disputes over the plantations between the companies and farmers.

Before the end of the year, I spent a night with my colleagues, Stew Post and Chanmakara Vorn, chasing a noodle cart down the winding streets of Phnom Penh. During our weekly pitch meeting, Stew said his interest in this local business was piqued by the clip-clop clack-clack clip-clop of the noodle caller’s signature bamboo sticks. The mouth-watering story follows a trio of noodle callers and delves into how the local business survived, and in some cases even thrived, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Without a doubt, the opening line of the week went to our correspondent in Vietnam, Govi Snell, who gracefully articulated the powerful story of a former Hmong refugee using words to share the experience of displaced people. Govi’s article begins: “Kao Kalia Yang was born in Thailand’s Ban Vinai Refugee Camp: a gift, her grandmother told her, in a time when her family did not dare to dream of presents.”

While studying the latest tax law in Cambodia, I noticed new amendments targeting green businesses with investment incentives. My resulting article, which also highlights a forthcoming report from Transparency International Cambodia, explains what these tax exemptions could mean for potential investors and the areas still requiring clarification.

Youth activists in Singapore are taking any avenue they can to hold their government accountable for its contributions to the climate crisis while working within strict controls by the authorities in the city-state. Ashley Tan features campaigners working to assure the country reaches the goals agreed to when it signed onto the 2015 Paris Agreement.

If you like what you see, consider becoming a subscriber. There is a week left in the Globe’s New Year membership sale. For $28 a year – just 8 cents per day – you can have unlimited access to our independent coverage of Southeast Asia.

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