Asia-Pacific

Nicaragua’s Future Canal a Threat to the Environment

The new interoceanic canal being built in Nicaragua has brought good and bad news for the scientific community: new species and archeological sites have been found and knowledge of the local ecosystems has grown, but the project poses a huge threat to the environment.

There’s No Such Thing as Equality in India’s Labour Force

It calls itself the ‘world’s largest democracy’ but the 380 million working-aged women in India might disagree with that assessment.

Singapore Arts Fest Pushes Boundaries Beyond Tradition

As Singapore mourns the passing of Lee Kuan Yew, the late former prime minister’s vision of a dynamic and vibrant state is being reflected in a major arts festival in France.

Cash-Strapped U.N. to Seek Funds for Syria at Pledging Conference in Kuwait

A cash-strapped United Nations, which is struggling to reach out to millions of Syrian refugees with food, medicine and shelter, is desperately in need of funds.

Afghanistan’s Economic Recovery: A New Horizon for South-South Partnerships?

First the centre of the silk route, then the epicenter of bloody conflicts, Afghanistan’s history can be charted through many diverse chapters, the most recent of which opened with the election of President Ashraf Ghani in September 2014.

Indonesian President Unyielding on Death Penalty

When Indonesia’s law and human rights minister visited one of the country’s prisons in December last year, he met a Nigerian convict on death row for drug trafficking, who performed songs for him before leaving him with a parting gift.

Pacific Islanders Say Climate Finance “Essential” for Paris Agreement

As Pacific Islanders contemplate the scale of devastation wrought by Cyclone Pam this month across four Pacific Island states, including Vanuatu, leaders in the region are calling with renewed urgency for global action on climate finance, which they say is vital for building climate resilience and arresting development losses.

Multi-Drug Resistance Adds to Tuberculosis Epidemic in Papua New Guinea

Rising multi-drug resistance in patients suffering from tuberculosis, a debilitating infectious lung disease which mainly impacts the developing world, has led to a public health emergency in the southwest Pacific Island state of Papua New Guinea, according to state officials.

Women in the Philippines at the Forefront of the Health Food Movement

When Tinay Alterado’s team from ARUGAAN, an organisation of women healthcare advocates, visited Eastern Visayas, a region of the Philippines devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, they noticed that the relief and rescue sites were flooded with donated milk formula, which nursing mothers were feeding to their babies in vast quantities.

UNDP Unveils Blueprint for Swift, Unified Crisis Response

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has announced a new 10-year global plan to support country efforts to reduce the risk of disasters that kill people and destroy livelihoods. The plan was unveiled at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction which ended on Mar. 18.

Why Investors Should Think Twice before Investing in Coal in India – Part 2

In November last year, India’s power minister Piyush Goyal announced that he plans to double coal production in India by the end of this decade and, in an effort to enhance production, the Indian government has started a process of auctioning coal blocks.

Unseen and Unheard: Afghan Baloch People Speak Up

Balochistan, divided by the borders of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan, is a vast swathe of land the size of France. It boasts enormous deposits of gas, gold and copper, untapped sources of oil and uranium, as well as a thousand kilometres of coastline near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz.

Key to Preventing Disasters Lies in Understanding Them

The Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction concluded on Wednesday after a long drawn-out round of final negotiations, with representatives of 187 U.N. member states finally agreeing on what is being described as a far-reaching new framework for the next 15 years: 2015-2030.

Why Investors Should Think Twice before Investing in Coal in India – Part 1

India’s Government under Narendra Modi is in overdrive mode to please businesses and investments in the country. The much aggrandised ‘Make in India’ campaign launched in September 2014 is a clarion call for spurring investments into manufacturing and services in India and all eyes have turned to the power sector which is expected to undergo dramatic shifts.

Women Turn Drought into a Lesson on Sustainability

When a group of women in the remote village of Sadhuraks in Pakistan’s Thar Desert, some 800 km from the port city of Karachi, were asked if they would want to be born a woman in their next life, the answer from each was a resounding ‘no’.

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