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Reducing Ecological Damages While Preserving Livelihoods: Helping Oil Palm Farmers to Protect Their Environment

Article

Two narratives dominate the debate on the expansion of the oil palm cultivation. The first narrative focuses on the destruction of forest or agroforestry systems and their transformation into oil palm monoculture plantations. The second narrative shows how oil palm cultivation improves the livelihoods of rural households by increasing their income and nutrition. Both narratives are supported by scientific evidence, and they need to be thought together when aiming to improve the ecological and economical sustainability in the production areas.

By Miriam Romero

ASEAN Smoke Haze and Hidden Solutions

Article

This article reveals hidden solutions for the haze problems known to terrorize some ASEAN countries through a less-discussed perspective: business-oriented solution. After showing the attempts to solve this problem from the global, regional, local, and business levels, this article shows the gross results of each method.

By Yanuar Sumarlan

Messages in the Social Media Bottle

In the Southeast Asian region, the Philippines tops the list as the highest in terms of remittances from their exported labor. In 2015, the country received more than US$30 billion in remittances — which makes it the third highest in the entire world. While many of the emerging economies as well as industrialized nations rely on these remittances and foreign workers, many stories filter out from certain nations of exploitation and abuse inflicted upon these migrant workers.

By Jose Santos P. Ardivilla

Nationalism and Islamic Populism in Indonesia

On 2 December 2016, about 800,000 Muslim protestors hit the streets of Jakarta to demand the arrest of the Christian-Chinese governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, aka “Ahok”. The largest in a series of such protests since October 2016, it was labelled “Defending Islam Acts”. The crowd accused Ahok of blasphemy, alleging that a speech he made in September 2016 had insulted Islam. As the result of this protest Ahok, who at the time was running for re-election, saw his polling numbers drop significantly. Conversely, the hard-line Muslim groups and politicians driving the protest enjoyed new heights of public attention.

By Ihsan Ali-Fauzi

Rethinking Media Reform in Southeast Asia: Promoting a Participatory Approach for a More Democratic Media

Internet users in Southeast Asia are confronted with a heavily regulated environment in which there are more restrictions being placed on freedom of expression. Despite technological advances, societies undergoing political transitions, such as Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand, have yet to enjoy the full democratic potentials of a free and independent media. Instead of top-down reforms for the media, these countries need policies that prioritize the public’s interests. Only with the meaning public’s meaningful participation of civil society can these reforms become sustainable while  supporting democratization.

By Gayathry Venkiteswaran

Gunarti and The Kendeng Women Movement

Women farmers have become a part of the social movement that transpires in North Kendeng Mountains. The position that originally was only complementary in the local economic and political routine has transformed into an important element in determining the motion of the movement being built. Gunarti, one of the women, shares her stories with us.

By Mokh Sobirin

The Curious Case of Vox Populi 2.0: ASEAN’s Complicated Romance with Social Media

The romance between ASEAN citizens and social media lives on. Social media continues to shape a more integrated and digitally savvy regional community. It has proven that its people have set limitations due to geographical borders, customary social divides, economic status and perhaps national laws and policies. At 50, ASEAN and its member states must admit that social media is not just here to stay, but is and will remain a dynamic force to be reckoned with.

By Joel Mark Baysa Barredo, Jose Santos P. Ardivilla

Behind Political Homophobia: Global LGBT Rights and the Rise of Anti-LGBT in Indonesia

The Indonesian case of homophobia (or even some other ASEAN countries) reveals that homosexuality issues are more complex and are more than just moral or immoral debates; they are about national reactions to the rapid transmission of global discourse, the dynamic of movements and counter-movements in democracy, and also the state’s multifaceted representation which place sexuality as a political issue of our contemporary time.

By Hendri Yulius

The Politics of Human Rights in Indonesia’s Child Marriages

In Indonesia, marriage is considered as one of the most important phase of human development. It plays significant role in social life. In Indonesia, although not always, underage marriage is mostly because of love marriage. Although, poverty and premarital sex have considered as two significant factors contributing to child marriage in Indonesia.

By Sari Damar Ratri

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