Asia-Pacific

Environmental Funding Bypasses Indigenous Communities

When she talks about the forests in her native Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo, Maridiana Deren’s facial expression changes. The calm, almost shy person is transformed into an emotionally charged woman, her fists clench and she stares wide-eyed at whoever is listening to her.

Can ‘Womenomics’ Stem the Feminisation of Poverty in Japan?

Fifty-four-year-old Marlyn Maeda, an unmarried freelance writer living in Tokyo who never held a permanent job, is now watching her dream of aging independently go up in smoke.

Nuclear Deal with Iran Likely to Enhance U.S. Regional Leverage

A successful agreement on Iran’s nuclear programme could significantly enhance U.S. leverage and influence throughout the Greater Middle East, according to a new report signed by 31 former senior U.S. foreign-policy officials and regional experts and released here Wednesday.

U.N. Pushes Climate-Smart Agriculture – But Are the Farmers Willing to Change?

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to make a strong pitch to world political leaders at the U.N. Climate Summit in New York on Sep. 23 to accept new emissions targets and their timelines.

Organic Farmers Cultivate Rural Success in Samoa

Rural farming families in Samoa, a small island developing state in the central South Pacific Ocean, are reaping the rewards of supplying produce to the international organic market with the help of a local women’s business organisation.

Against All the Odds: Maternity and Mortality in Afghanistan

Nasrin Mohamadi, a mother of four, has promised herself never to set foot in an Afghan public hospital again. After her first experience in a maternity ward, she has lost all faith in the state’s healthcare system.

For These Asylum Seekers, the Journey Ends Where it Began

"Of course I'm scared, but what else can I possibly do?" asks Ahmed, a middle-aged man seated on the carpeted floor of a hotel located on the southern edge of Afghanistan. He is bound for Iran, but he still has no idea when or how he’ll cross the border.

Rattled by Russian Expansionism, Tashkent Looks East

Russia’s aggressive actions toward Ukraine are vexing Central Asian states.

Free Economic Zone Plan Slammed as ‘Suicide’ Pact for Taiwan Farmers

The Taiwan government’s plan to liberalise tariff-free imports of agricultural produce from China and other countries for processing in free economic pilot zones, which will then be exported as ‘Made in Taiwan’ items, may mean suicide for Taiwanese farmers if approved by the national legislature.

When a Disaster Leaves Bathrooms in its Wake

When the 2004 Asian Tsunami lashed the coasts and island territories of India, one of the hardest hit areas were the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI), which lie due east of mainland India, at the juncture of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.

Child Trafficking Rampant in Underdeveloped Indian Villages

In a country where well over half the population lives on less than two dollars a day, it takes a lot to shock people. The sight of desperate families traveling in search of money and food, whole communities defecating in the open, old women performing back-breaking labour, all this is simply part of life in India, home to 1.2 billion people.

In Azerbaijan, ‘Family Is the First Fear’ of LGBT Community

The 19-year-old Azerbaijani man claims he awoke one morning in mid-August to the sound and feel of gasoline splashing on his body and his mother angrily screaming. Through a sleepy haze, he saw her burning a piece of paper. Suddenly, he alleged, his mother’s intentions became clear; he was about to be burned to death for being homosexual.

With Sewing and Sowing, Self-reliance Blooms in Central Asia

In the small rural village of Svetlaya Polyana, not far from the city of Karakol in Issyk Kul Province, north-eastern Kyrgyzstan, there is no sewage system and 70 percent of households lack access to hot water.

Struggling to Find Water in the Vast Pacific

Pacific Island states are surrounded by the largest ocean in the world, but inadequate fresh water sources, poor infrastructure and climate change are leaving some communities without enough water to meet basic needs.

New Technology Boosts Fisherfolk Security

As the United Nations gears up to launch its newest set of poverty-reduction targets to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015, the words ‘sustainable development’ have been on the lips of policymakers the world over.

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