Rainforests and safe buildings

This week we mark World Rainforest Day with an op-ed from the Rainforest Alliance, in which they explain how Indonesia's indigenous communities play a crucial role in preserving their life-giving effects. We also mark the one year anniversary of the deadly Sihanoukville building collapse, which claimed 28 lives last June. We ask, despite new legislation, has anything substantively changed in the Cambodian building sector?

June 22, 2020
Rainforests and safe buildings

Travel during the pandemic: Chicago/Sydney > Seoul > Phnom Penh

Globe reporters Alexi Demetriadi and Andrew Haffner recently made the trip back to Cambodia from Australia and the U.S. Their experiences — including Alexi’s ongoing, state-mandated quarantine in a Phnom Penh hotel — show us that travel today, while possible, is far from easy. 

Entry one: Down and Out in Sydney and Phnom Penh

Alexi’s first weeks in Phnom Penh aren’t exactly going to plan. A fellow traveler on his incoming flight tested positive for Covid-19, leaving the whole flight subject to quarantine. Follow the light-hearted diaries of our intrepid reporter as he navigates life under lockdown, one day at a time.

Solidarity among people: Black Lives Matter and Southeast Asia

Struggles for freedom and equality don’t stop at international borders, writes op-ed contributor Macy Châu Diễm Trần. A Vietnamese-American writer now living in Thailand and working with rights groups across the Mekong region, Macy Châu highlights here some of the many parallels between the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. and the local experiences of marginalised peoples.

A year since Sihanoukville collapse, has Cambodia reformed its building sector?

This week saw the one-year anniversary of the tragic building collapse in Sihanoukville, a construction disaster that claimed the lives of 28 people, workers and their family members, taking shelter inside the unfinished structure. The collapse and its ensuing publicity seized public attention and spurred industry reforms — but after another deadly collapse this January in Kep, labour rights group CENTRAL says little has changed. 

Get your act together: Cyber security and nuclear energy in Southeast Asia

The expanding threat of cyber attacks leaves vital infrastructure open to digital intruders. As part of our ongoing partnership with Pacific Forum, analyst John Lim writes on the need for more robust security in nuclear energy, a high-stakes field for Southeast Asia. John is Young Leader Fellow with Pacific Forum and a solicitor at WiseLaw.

How indigenous groups and social forestry can save Indonesia’s rainforest

Often, the people most dependent on our natural resources are left entirely out of its management. On World Rainforest Day, Mohammad Zainuri Hasyim of the Rainforest Alliance in Indonesia made the case for a more inclusive form of social forestry that takes into account the needs and strategies of indigenous peoples.

We need to talk about Japan: Tokyo’s damaging role in Southeast Asia

While China is often criticised for the negative influence it wields over Southeast Asian affairs, Japan’s role in backing authoritarian regimes and promoting rights abuses in the region remains far less publicised, but arguably no less pernicious.

Sustainability, recycling and the pandemic

The ongoing pandemic has taken an unexpected toll on our natural environments. Writer Amanda Oon spoke with earth-savvy Singaporeans to learn more about the current state of the city-state’s green movement.

David vs Goliath: Indonesian communities push back against palm oil firm

Indonesia’s palm oil producers are an economic — and political — force to be reckoned with on the islands. On Sumatra, local communities are pushing back and fighting for their land rights against encroaching plantations. 

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