Latest Publication

Publications Ecology & Social Justice

cover_lwt

Special Economic Zones and Land Dispossession in The Mekong Region

Special economic zones (SEZs) have become a one-size-fit-all policy solution for governments eager to expand their industrial economy. Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam have all bought into the idea that SEZs will spur the development of a modern industrial sector that will form the basis of future economic growth. This report examines, SEZs in the Mekong region are often linked with human rights violations such as land dispossession, poor working conditions and environmental degradation. As SEZs have expanded in the region, so too have social conflicts and resistance from local residents who have fought to protect their land and resources.

AIIB

Community Guide to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was established to provide financing for infrastructure projects across Asia. The bank hit the ground running in 2015 with a bold agenda to create a “lean, clean and green” multilateral development bank for the 21st century. That vision included a commitment to create an Environmental and Social Framework containing policies that would bind the bank, and standards that AIIB clients are expected to uphold in their projects. In late 2018, the AIIB took the next step towards accountability when it approved its policy for the Project-affected People’s Mechanism, which facilities dispute resolution or investigates the bank’s compliance with its environmental and social policies.

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?

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.

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

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

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.

An Energy Agenda for the G20 as if the Future Mattered

The G20 has fallen behind other international organizations in addressing the challenges of climate change and supporting sustainable energy transformation and electrification. This article lays the foundation for a reflection and discussion on what the G20 can usefully do to support these transformations, and how it must change to achieve this.

Coal Atlas: Facts and figures on a fossil fuel

Global demand for coal is still rising: EU member states have been reluctant to take action against coal projects and continue to subsidize coal related business with almost 10 billion euros per year. King Coal also generates 43 percent of Germany’s total energy.

Our Coal Atlas contains the latest facts and figures on the use of coal and its environmental and social consequences. With more than 60 detailed graphics, the atlas illustrates the coal industry’s impact on nature, health, labour, human rights and politics.

Soil Atlas: Facts and figures about earth, land and fields

We are using the world’s soils as if they were inexhaustible, continually withdrawing from an account, but never paying in. For it takes several thousand years to build a thin layer of fertile topsoil, but only an hour of heavy rain to lose it. The average European needs 1.3 hectares – two football pitches – to produce all of the food and other products he or she consumes each year. That is about six times more than is available to each Bangladeshi. Almost 60 percent of the area consumed by Europeans lies outside the European Union.

Publications Democracy & Participation

reporting asean

Reportage Around ASEAN-related Issues: A Tip Sheet

ASEAN. Journalists and editors might love it, hate it – or flee from being asked to work on stories related to it. But regionalism in the ASEAN region is a running story of public interest that is here to stay, so we might as well know the beast better, so to speak.

This tip sheet is an invitation to do just that, and take a deep dive into issues around ASEAN.

cover_afraid_of_thelight

Afraid of the Light: Unmasking the Discourse on Irregular Migration and Its Implications for Migration Governance in ASEAN

This paper attempts to investigate the issue of irregular migration in the ASEAN region. The space and attention given to a burgeoning reality of irregular migration is yet to be given its due space at national policy-level and regional discussions. The primary objective of the paper is to function as a baseline study for future advocacy on protection of the rights of undocumented migrants in the region. Primarily, it focuses on the governance of migration, or the lack thereof, by contextualising the current status of irregular migrants in major destination countries of the ASEAN region, being Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.

For Democracy

The present publication “For Democracy” outlines and analyzes the state of democracy worldwide as well as the possibilities of democracy assistance. At the same time, the publication provides concrete insights into the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s political work for democracy. In addition, four essays approach the subject democracy assistance in a basic and passionate manner.

Perspectives Asia

pa8cover

Perspectives Asia #8: Asia for Future

This edition of Perspectives Asia presents the work of climate change activists in Asia who are calling their governments and people to action. They are raising their voices, some of them despite severe restrictions on the right of free assembly and freedom of speech. These activists show immense courage and they deserve international recognition for their work.

Perspectives Asia #7: Nationalisms and Populisms in Asia

Nationalistic sentiments spurred by populist rhetoric have been on the rise globally. Asia is no exception to this trend. Some Asian leaders communicate visions that can instill a feeling of pride, creating a rarely felt sense of belonging among people. Yet the current streak of Asian nationalism can also become a setback for democracy and human rights.

 

Perspectives Asia #6: DigitalAsia

Over the last years, Asia has undergone an impressive digital transformation. Large parts of the continent have turned from the world’s factory into a creative industry.The different contributions across the continent highlight both the opportunities and risks of digitalization in Asia.

Perspectives Asia #5: Politics of Food

In this edition of Perspectives Asia, the authors highlight certain aspects of politics of food and seeks to illustrate some conflicting issues in the field of food and nutrition in Asia.

Perspectives Asia #1: Copper, Coal and Conflict

In this issue, our authors report on conflicts stemming from coal and copper mining in Afghanistan, India, and Myanmar. The articles on Cambodia and on Inner Mongolia in China illustrate how the traditional economic models and ways of life of indigenous populations suffer from the unrestrained exploitation of raw materials.

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2019

Annual Report 2019

Sometimes in life, there are events so momentous that they make our joy about accomplished work and productive collaboration fade into the background. The Covid crisis is such a moment, an event beyond compare. Hardly ever before have we been forced to weigh scientific insights against political, social, and economic repercussions in the face of such great uncertainty. As we are living through these world-altering times, we are trying to make sense of them, at home, as well as at our 33 international offices.

Annual Report 2018

The year 2018 was marked by new political developments that presented a formidable challenge to the liberal, multilateral order: the isolationism of the United States under Donald Trump, a shift to the right in Latin America that intensified with the election of Jair Bolsonaro as president of Brazil, the continued rise of China, and the suppression of the liberal-democratic spirit in numerous European countries by right-wing populist forces. All of this underscores the fact that the international order is changing, and the resulting shifts in power are shaking old certainties.

Annual Report 2017

In 2017, we had a special reason to celebrate: Our partner ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The accolade recognized the organization as the driving force behind a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons that was adopted by the majority of UN member states on July 7. While the nuclear powers were not among the signatories, it was a great achievement that brought movement into the disarmament debate.

Annual Report 2016

The annual report 2016 gives an overview about the activities of the Heinrich Böll Foundation inland and overseas. It deals with European policy, democracy, human rights, international power relations, the social and environmental transformation, art and culture to mention but a few.

Annual Report 2015

The annual report 2015 of the Heinrich Böll Foundation offers an overview about the work in that year of the 31 international offices worldwide and 16 state-level Böll Foundations in Germany.

Dear Readers:

Publications from the Heinrich Böll Stiftung Southeast Asia are available in digital form. Download our PDFs and enjoy! If you are based in Thailand and would like to have the hard-copy versions, we can send hard-copies via post. Kindly send a request to <info@th.boell.org>

Publication series