Southeast Asia

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Wanted: More Outliers in the Climate Crisis

Article

The future has, in many ways, been fast-forwarded to become the present. Climate change is no longer a far-off topic for scientists or government officials in air-conditioned halls, or just a protest campaign for noisy activists. The changes it has brought to human existence and the challenges to our ways of living, and to the natural world we wreck at our own risk, have arrived at our doorstep.

By Johanna Son

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

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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.

Vietnam’s Most Vulnerable Region Copes with Climate Change

Article

The Mekong Delta where the turbid water flow of the Mekong River passing through before joining the sea, is the largest area of rice, fruits and fishery production in Vietnam. It is also the place which seriously affected by climate change, drought, saline intrusion, sea level rise and landslide. In the last few years, unpredictable weather pattern has made crops in the Mekong Delta unstable, leading to a harder life for the people and as a consequence, the influx of people from rural areas to big cities has spread through the whole region.

By Le Dinh Tuyen

Tackling Deforestation in the Palm Oil Industry: Quo Vadis Private and Public Sectors Commitments?

Article

The concerns around deforestation, fires, animal extinction, social conflicts and other problems with the palm oil industry, especially in Indonesia, has increased significantly in the past two decades. There have been commitments made by governments and the companies to tackle deforestation in Indonesia since then. What are the main commitments from government and companies, what are the progress and the major challenges to deliver them, and what are the recommendations, will be the main focus of this article.

By Annisa Rahmawati

On Freedom of Expression and Civil Liberties in Singapore

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Jolovan Wham is getting very familiar with the inside of police stations and courtrooms. The Singaporean activist currently has multiple cases pending against him, ranging from investigations up to convictions and sentencing. His offences, alleged or otherwise, include organising illegal assemblies, vandalism, refusing to sign statements to the police, and scandalising the judiciary. He is, according the Singapore Police Force, to be described as “recalcitrant”.

By Kirsten Han

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

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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?

Vulnerable Country Approaches to Urgent Climate Policy Development

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Vulnerable countries should use the current period to more rapidly bake-in implications of the climate crisis in economy-wide development metrics and plans. They must do so in ways that reflect national priorities and which enable country development strategies even as they sustain and intensify demands for developed countries to deliver climate finance obligations based on the speed and scale of vulnerable country needs rather than random rich country yardsticks.

By Renato Redentor Constantino

Climate Change Mitigation in Singapore: Lessons From an Urbanized Island Nation

Article

With a gleaming skyline, robust public transportation system, and high per capita income, Singapore is often held up as a paragon of development that other Southeast Asian countries seek to emulate. However, a closer look at Singapore’s climate commitments and non-state actors suggests that while Singapore presents a pathway for climate mitigation, the island nation still has scope to be more ambitious and those looking to follow in its path should take note.

By Aidan Mock

Winds of Change in Malaysia: The Government and the Climate

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2014 figures indicate that Malaysia is ranked third in the region in terms of CO2 emissions per capita (8.00 metric tons) after Brunei Darussalam and Singapore. This is almost double the world average and is a clear indication that Malaysia’s commitment to reduce emissions is essential for the sustainable future of the region.

By Helena Varkkey

Climate Change, a Missing Discussion in Indonesia’s Presidential Election

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The 2019 Indonesian presidential candidates, Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto, squared off during a televised debate on February 17. While both have mentioned climate change in their vision and mission documents, none of them cared enough to elaborate on that during the debate.

By Hans Nicholas Jong

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