Earth Day

A forest fire rips through Sumatra. Unfettered forest clearing and peatland draining to make way for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations are considered to be the main cause of Indonesia’s agricultural fires. Photo/Muhammadiyah 

Civil Society Takes on the Haze Crisis in Indonesia

April 20, 2016

Blog

The Indonesian province of Riau declared a state of emergency last month as haze from agricultural fires across Sumatra continued to envelope the region. The fires are the result of an early dry period, which comes all too quickly after last year’s extended dry season that saw agricultural fires burn over two million hectares of peatland mostly in… Read more

Bangladesh's RMG sector employs over 4 million people, about 80 percent of whom are women from rural communities. Above, a plants in a garment factory promote a greener work environment. Photo/BGMEA 

Can Bangladesh’s Ready-Made Garment Industry Lead in Green Growth?

April 20, 2016

Blog

Bangladesh’s economy grew 7.05 percent in the first three quarters of the financial year, averaging over 6 percent a year for the past decade. A major driver of the country’s impressive economic growth is its vibrant ready-made garment (RMG) sector, earning a reputation as a global leader in low-cost, high-quality manufacturing. Bangladesh’s RMG se… Read more

Al-Muti4.15.15 

Bangladesh: Billion Dollar Leather Sector Poised for Growth after Environmental Reform

April 15, 2015

Blog

Bangladesh’s highly productive leather sector, under growing international scrutiny for destructive environmental practices, now seems poised for new growth as a major environmental upgrade nears completion. For decades, pollution from Dhaka’s tanneries has poured into the…

Photos from Abu Bakar Siddique, a journalist with the Dhaka Tribune. 

From the World Water Forum: A Look at South Asia’s Regional Cooperation on Water

April 15, 2015

Blog

South Asia has witnessed rapid social and economic transformation over the last two decades. Undeterred by a global slowdown, the region’s economic growth rate is expected to remain at a respectable 6 and 6.4 percent for 2015 and 2016….

Siem Reap and Phnom Penh with Brent Jones. 

A New Way for Waste in Phnom Penh?

April 15, 2015

Blog

This February, the Cambodian Council of Ministers announced that they would review and possibly revoke the capital city’s contract with solid waste collector CINTRI. CINTRI has held the 49-year monopoly contract since 2003. Like growing cities throughout the developing world, Phnom Penh has struggled for years with dismally inadequate garbage collection.

SingaporeGardenCity 

Urban Ecology Reconnects Humans with Nature

April 16, 2014

Blog

Last month, China unveiled its grand urbanization plan to increase the number of people living in cities to 60 percent, or around 100 million additional people, by 2020. In fact, China’s migration plan reflects a global trend: right now, about half of the world’s population…

BangladeshRiver 

Bangladesh Moving Fast Toward Cleaner Leather Industry

April 16, 2014

Blog

Bangladesh’s Buriganga River, which flows along the southwest border of Dhaka, has long been a lifeline for this sprawling capital of over 15 million, and is today a vital economic link to the rest of the country connected by an intricate network of rivers and tributaries.

VietnamGarmentFactory 

Made (Green) in Vietnam

April 16, 2014

Blog

The burgeoning growth of the apparel industry in Vietnam offers an opportunity to foster best practices in sustainable manufacturing processes. While China may be best known for, and is currently the leading global exporter for apparel, many multinational companies…

CBAgame 

Climate Change Games Crystalize Complexities

April 24, 2013

Blog

People were standing up and sitting down, intense negotiations were underway, funding decisions were being made, and a lot of commotion was coming from a crowd of over 300 policymakers, scientists, and practitioners from over 40 countries. We are gathered in Dhaka, Bangladesh…

Beijing-power-stationsized 

China Shows Progress on Environmental Information Transparency

April 17, 2013

Blog

Following the news on environmental issues here in China can be a grim business. The first months of 2013 alone brought coverage of January’s “airpocalypse,” when air pollution in Beijing reached historic levels; news of thousands of dead pigs floating in the Huangpu River, a primary source of Shanghai’s drinking water; and a new report indicating that China sees 1.2 million premature deaths each year due to outdoor air pollution – almost 40 percent of the world’s total of such deaths. Amid such bleak headlines, it can be easy to miss any kind of progress. However, a report released in late March does show progress on an issue that many experts consider crucial to long-term and sustained improvement of environmental outcomes…

Manilasized 

Will Asia Fall Into an Energy Gap?

April 17, 2013

Blog

Last week, the Asian Development Bank released its annual “Asian Development Outlook” report for 2013, with Asia’s success story of unprecedented growth in the last decades forecast to grow by 6.6 percent in 2013 and 6.7 percent in 2014.

MongoliaArtisanalMiners 

A Green Model for Mine Reclamation in Mongolia

April 17, 2013

Blog

Mongolia sits on some of the world’s largest mineral deposits, primarily coal and copper, as well as rare earth and precious metals. While the country’s abundant resources have driven Mongolia to the top of Asia’s economic performers, the rapid growth has not happened without serious concern…

EDA-Contest-large-copy 

Earth Day Asia Instagram Photo Contest

April 3, 2013

Blog

As we celebrate Earth Day and the environment around us, The Asia Foundation is looking for your compelling photos that exemplify what the environment in Asia means to you. For example: What is your favorite natural environment or resource? What’s at stake or threatened in Asia’s environment?

2011 Afghanistan Survey: Daikondi Province 

The Future of Afghanistan’s Natural Resources

April 18, 2012

Blog

On May 20-21, President Obama and NATO allies will meet to discuss their ongoing strategy for transitioning responsibility for Afghanistan’s security to the Afghan National Army. These discussions will address the future of a country that has been at war for decades. Issues such as Taliban insurgency, transparent elections, women’s education, development aid, and anti-corruption, among many others, have all been topics on the table. But one vital component to Afghanistan’s reconstruction that has yet to receive much attention is the crucial role of natural resources.

MobilePhilippines 

Be Green. There’s an App for That

April 18, 2012

Blog

The wonderful thing about Earth Day is that this annual global celebration of our planet is largely self-organized. There is no overarching organization or government that has been implementing all the projects held on this day for the past 42 years, nor are individuals required by law to plant trees, participate in clean-ups, or host events that promote environmental causes.

IndonesiaForest2 

Challenges in Improving Governance of Indonesia’s Dwindling Forests

April 18, 2012

Blog

In February, Indonesia’s Constitutional Court struck down a controversial clause of the Forestry Law which had enabled the national government to declare the boundaries of the state forest zone without a proper mapping process. The Ministry of Forestry controls a state forest zone of 133 million hectares…

The Asia Foundation Vietnam 

To Reduce Impact of Natural Disasters, Vietnam Must Engage Small Businesses

April 18, 2012

Blog

In late March, Ho Chi Minh City’s residents braced for heavy windfall and flooding as tropical storm Pakhar – the first storm of the season – headed for the nation’s economic hub. Many residents were caught off guard, as experts declared the storm “abnormally early.”

BangladeshClimateChange 

On Earth Day, Protecting Natural Resources Critical to Sustainable Development

April 20, 2011

Blog

Over 40 years ago, the effort to raise political and public awareness about mounting environmental issues in America took hold, and in 1970, the first Earth Day was held. Inspired by the anti-Vietnam War movement seizing the United States at that time, millions of Americans from coast-to-coast marched in the streets…

Heta_Yard_Damage_American-Samoa-495 

Japan Tragedy Illuminates Vulnerability of Pacific Island Nations

April 20, 2011

Blog

As news spread about the recent earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, there was immediate concern about the effects to the people living on small islands and atolls belonging to more than 22 Pacific Island Nations and scattered across thousands of miles of Pacific Ocean.

Bangladeshcyclone 

International Environment Experts Take Lessons from Coastal Bangladesh

April 20, 2011

Blog

On March 26, Bangladesh celebrated its 40th year as an independent nation. That same weekend, over 350 participants from over 60 countries gathered in Bangladesh for the 5th “International Conference on Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change.”

Bangladeshjars 

Bangladesh’s Communities Adapt, Innovate to Survive Climate Change

April 20, 2011

Blog

Bangladeshi communities – living in a nation recently dubbed “climate change ground zero” – have been quietly innovating and adapting to climate change in their backyards for some time. In coastal areas, floating gardens supply families with fresh vegetables in once dry, but now water logged areas.

blogslideshowgraphic 

SLIDESHOW: Improving Water Quality in Laos

April 20, 2011

Blog

In many ways, Laos, one of Southeast Asia’s most remote countries, is at the epicenter of regional debate over water and environmental sustainability. More than 85 percent of land in Laos lies within the Mekong River Basin, and communities rely on their rivers to survive.