Ecology & Social Justice

Articles on Ecology & Social Justice

Southeast Asia: hotspot for renewables or dumping ground for coal?

In the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), renewables contributed 8% to final energy consumption in 2014. Since then, the share renewable energy has only slightly increased whereas fossil fuel-powered generation is the main source for new power plants. Lars Blume and Nguyen Thi Hang illustrate why momentum in Southeast Asia is changing.

Natural resource struggles: Shrinking spaces for civil society

Study

Governments and corporations are driving the demand for water, land and organic resources of all kinds as never before. Citizens are fighting for their rights and working to preserve their livelihoods. Our study "Tricky Business" shows how the mechanisms of expropriation work.

Climate of Change: The Struggle for Renewable Energy in Southeast Asia

ASEAN turns 50. The results of its policies and the situation of the Southeast Asian community is at best mixed. Despite impressive economic growth rates, the struggle for social-ecological justice has not resulted in any major achievements so far. Facing a number of ecological crises, especially climate change and sea level rise, the member states are under pressure to act immediately.

Carbon-Free Energy Development Network in Southeast Asia

By creating a carbon-free energy development network, a moderating unit designed as a regional focal point will be established in order to identify synergies on combining or aligning national activities. Sharing successful activities with member organisations will scale up successful actions and activities. The aim is to slow down coal development, reduce regional energy dependency and a financial log in into coal capacity for Southeast Asia.

By Green Innovation and Development Centre

Southeast Asia in the G20: a missed opportunity to push a difficult agenda?

For the countries of Southeast Asia, this year’s rather tumultuous G20 summit held unprecedented opportunities to present themselves as good multilateralists and shape the outcomes of the annual meeting, at least in theory. Apart from Indonesia, the only permanent member of the club, Vietnam, in its function as current Chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), attended the summit and Filipino President Duterte who currently chairs the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) equally expected an invitation.

By Jari John

Publications

Agrifood Atlas – Facts and figures about the corporations that control what we eat

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The list of the world’s largest 500 companies by turnover contains a huge number of firms engaged in agriculture and food. And the trend continues towards a further concentration of power. Agrifood corporations are driving industrialization along the entire global value chain, from farm to plate. Their purchasing and sales policies promote a form of agriculture that revolves around productivity. The fight for market share is achieved at the expense of the weakest links in the chain: farmers, and workers.

Carbon-Free Energy Development Network in Southeast Asia

pdf

By creating a carbon-free energy development network, a moderating unit designed as a regional focal point will be established in order to identify synergies on combining or aligning national activities. Sharing successful activities with member organisations will scale up successful actions and activities. The aim is to slow down coal development, reduce regional energy dependency and a financial log in into coal capacity for Southeast Asia.

Chinese Agriculture in Southeast Asia: Investment, Aid and Trade in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar

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Since the adoption of China’s ‘going out’ strategy, Chinese enterprises have been strongly encouraged to engage overseas in a range of sectors, including agriculture. This has gathered a significant amount of interest in recent years, with a critical focus on large scale acquisitions by Chinese companies. Agriculture accounts for a small percentage of China’s overall outbound investment, and many of the large-scale land acquisitions reported in the media have not materialized.1 Nonetheless, Chinese companies of various sizes are now active in agriculture projects across the world, not only in production, but also processing, purchasing and trade. This report seeks to provide an overview of the current state of China’s overseas investment in agriculture in the Mekong region, with a focus on Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.

Safeguarding People and the Environment in Chinese Investments: A Guide for Community Advocates

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Understanding China’s financial institutions, companies and state actors responsible for the oversight of outbound investment is imperative if people on the receiving end of these investments are to have a say in the projects that affect them and the resources they depend upon.

This guide explains the key actors involved in Chinese overseas investment and describes the environmental and social standards and guidelines that apply. The guide provides practical tips on how these standards can be used in advocacy with relevant Chinese actors and institutions. IDI hopes that this resource will assist community advocates to put these standards to the test and demand that the rights of people affected by Chinese investments are respected and protected.

What We Do

With the inception of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of 2015, the ten member states are going to face far reaching structural changes in the years to come. The official narrative underpinning this ambitious regional integration project is one of promising economic opportunities and extensive growth for the benefit of the approximately 600 million people living within the confines of ASEAN. It remains to be seen, though, to which extent the path toward ASEAN economic integration is going to be a truly people-centered and inclusive process as proclaimed by the officials. This would require, among others, that local communities be granted access to structures and patterns that guarantee genuine public participation in crucial decision-making about their livelihoods and socio-economic wellbeing, including meaningful civil society participation.

To this end, the Ecology and Social Justice Program engages in form of policy dialogues and projects with a wide range of partners that promote sustainable, inclusive and gender-democratic development paradigms in the ongoing process of regional economic integration. This includes the areas of climate change, energy, equitable land use, extractive industries as well as private and public sector investment in large-scale infrastructure and development projects.

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