Ecology & Social Justice

Articles on Ecology & Social Justice

The Coal Situation in Thailand and Strategic Environmental Assessment

Now is the right time to get serious about climate change. Many countries including Thailand have signed the Paris agreement which sets a common goal in keeping the global temperature to rise lower than two degrees Celsius. While the countries around the world have announced their intention to stop using coal in the near future yet the number of coal-fired power plants are going up and booming particularly in Southeast Asia region. Likewise in Thailand, we can see that energy and coal-fired power plants have been one of the boiling topics circulating in mainstream media in the past few years.

By Titiwetaya Yaikratok

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

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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.

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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