Ecology and Social Justice

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.

Articles on Ecology & Social Justice

Phu Quoc

Plastic Wastes Pose Threats on Vietnam’s Environment

breathe

Plastics, Fossil Fuels and Desire: A Dive into the Complexities of a Plastic-Free World

fruit juice

Laos Needs Another Revolution but This Time with Single-Use Plastic

Plastic

Plastic Fantastic – Solving the Problem We Created for Ourselves

All articles on Ecology & Social Justice

Publications

Safeguarding People and the Environment in Chinese Investments (Second Edition): A Reference Guide for Advocates

This publication provides a practical guide to the policies, standards and guidelines for Chinese outbound investment. The updated guide builds on our 2017 edition, adding new details on the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s new vision for enhancing global connectivity, along with updates to administrative guidance from China’s central state agencies on outbound investment.  It also covers new guidelines on rubber, agriculture, infrastructure projects and more. The guide explains the key actors involved in Chinese overseas investment and describes the environmental and social standards and guidelines that apply. It provides practical tips on how these standards can be used in advocacy with relevant Chinese actors and institutions.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB): A Multilateral Bank Where China Sets the Rules

Study

In recent years, a number of countries have chosen to join the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which has become a major player in the global financial architecture in record time. The AIIB promises to be "lean, clean and green". In truth, it seems to be an instrument to promote Chinese interests. The analysis of Korinna Horta after three years of AIIB is very sobering. What can you do now? Is it time to acknowledge a total failure and leave the bank? What influence do shareholders still have and what should they push for?

Radical Realism for Climate Justice

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial is feasible, and it is our best hope of achieving environmental and social justice, of containing the impacts of a global crisis that was born out of historical injustice and highly unequal responsibility.

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

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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.