Editorial

Planning ahead

This week we looked at how an emerging breakdancing scene in Phnom Penh is helping marginalised youth, whether Southeast Asia is better prepared for natural disasters 15 years since the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, Cambodia’s future outlook in agriculture and the environment, and more.

Julija Veljkovic
December 27, 2019
Planning ahead

While breakdancing is popular in the West, in Cambodia, the nascent break scene has only emerged in the last decade or so from a community of Cambodian-American deportees. 

“It was hard. I was called a sell-out by the Cambodian arts scene because I brought hip-hop. They’d say you’re making Cambodia look bad,” says Tuy ‘KK’ Sobil. That hasn’t stopped his NGO, Tiny Toones, from training disadvantaged youth to become breakdancers in Phnom Penh. 

15 years ago, a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the coastlines of the Indian Ocean, claiming over 235,000 lives. We look at how the memory and trauma of that tragic disaster lives on for impacted communities. What is the region doing today to ensure it’s more prepared for natural disasters?

While Cambodia remains one of the best-forested nations in Asia, the rate of forest clearing is cause for alarm. Can this trend be reversed by 2040?

In our fourth installment of our Future Forum series, we explore the Kingdom’s potential in moving away from deforestation and the use of fossil fuels, while transforming itself into a green beacon in the region. 

“At twilight, a faint chittering breaks the silence. ‘Here they come,’ she exclaims. Overhead, the dead leaves rustle and twitch to life as, one by one, inky forms emerge, pirouetting in mid-air; a bewitching swirl of wings.” 

We revisit one of our 2018 top reads, looking at how nutrient-rich Guano provides powerful fertility to farmers’ lands, and a stable income to those who farm bats- and their faeces. 

Angkor Wat has always been vital to Cambodia’s tourism industry, but as the number of visitors to the UNESCO heritage site continues to drop, the Kingdom’s tourism industry is in danger of becoming reliant on Chinese gambling dollars in Sihanoukville.

In search of alternatives, we return to our 2009 top read looking at Cambodia’s then-budding ecotourism industry. Could green ease the Kingdom’s tourism woes?






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