Asia-Pacific

PNG Bougainville Prepares for Historic Vote on Nationhood

The people of Bougainville, an autonomous region in eastern Papua New Guinea (PNG), have aspired to self-government for more than a century. Now their longed-for opportunity to vote on independence will occur on Nov. 23.  But, even with a clear majority in the vote count, the region’s future, which must be agreed and ratified by PNG, is far from certain.

Nearly Half of Nepali Children Still Malnourished

For the first two decades after 1990, Nepal took great strides in reducing malnutrition. But progress has stalled.

Urgent Need to Replace Competition with Cooperation in the Aral Sea Basin

The water resources in Central Asia’s Aral Sea Basin support the lives and livelihoods of about 70 million people — a population greater than Thailand, France, or South Africa.

No Region is Immune from Rising Inequalities, Trade Tensions & Declining Growth Rates

We are facing tense and turbulent times around the globe. Rising inequality is a danger everywhere. Trade and technology tensions are building. Growth forecasts are being revised down. Unease and uncertainty are going up. This is a global phenomenon. No region is immune.

If India Stopped Growing, Would the IMF and World Bank Say So?

Leading economic indicators have slowed or reversed. Criticisms of official statistics are mounting. But the IMF and World Bank continue to forecast 6-percent growth by simple extrapolation.

Mother Earth’s Café Dares Climate Crises in India

The sun has barely risen when Phlida Kharshala shakes her 8-year-old grandson awake. He hoists an empty cone-shaped bamboo basket on his back, sets the woven strap flat across his forehead and off they go into the wilderness.

Nepal and Colombia Struggle With Mental Health Burden of Conflict

Children sit in a circle experimenting with different colours on palettes at a shelter in Godavari one morning this week. Some design flowers in bright colours, others draw homes nestled below mountains. Many of the children are survivors of rape or domestic violence, from rural parts of Nepal. The one thing they have in common is mental trauma.

India has a Groundwater Problem

A majority of India’s water problems are those relating to groundwater—water that is found beneath the earth’s surface. This is because we are the largest user of groundwater in the world, and therefore highly dependent on it.

Solar Tubewells Suck Water out of Sindh Desert

At the southern end of Pakistan’s Sindh-Balochistan border near the Kirthar mountain range, Sindh’s Kachho desert has witnessed an unprecedented surge in the use of solar-powered tubewells for groundwater extraction in agriculture.

Bangladesh’s Climate Change Victims Safeguard the Sundarbans’ Endangered Dolphins

Israfil Boyati lives along the shoreline of the Bay of Bengal. In the past he used to catch fish in the canals and rivers of Bangladesh’s Sundarbans mangrove forest — one of the world’s largest and habitat to many endangered species, including the Bengal tigers and freshwater dolphins.

Beaten and Tortured for a Ransom, Lured by the Promise of a Livelihood

After his father passed away two years ago, the burden of caring for a six-member family rested on the shoulders of the now 19-year-old Farhad Hossain. He had no clue how he would support his family and pay for the education of his four younger siblings. 

Why Are So Many Nepali Workers in Korea Committing Suicide?

For many Nepalis, it is dream to find work in Korea where they expect to earn many times more than in Nepal. Yet, there is a dark side to the Korean Dream: between 2009 to 2018, there were 143 deaths of Nepali workers in South Korean soil, and of them 43 were suicides.

For Some in Kashmir Marriage Equates to Sexual Slavery

Haseena Akhtar was only 13 when an agent told her parents that they could earn a good amount of money by letting her marry a Kashmiri man. The man was, however, three times older than Akhtar, the agent said.

The Superfoods of the Andes and the Himalaya

The nutritious grain that mountain peoples of the Americas and high Asia cultivated were displaced by wheat and rice, but they are staging a comeback thanks to growing public consciousness about health.

Global Climate Change Investment Heavily Tilted Towards Mitigation and Low on Adaptation

Good news: the graph depicting climate investments has been steadily increasing. Climbing from the 2012 figure of $360 billion in climate investments across the world to close to $600 billion currently.

‘Salty’ Concern: Tackling High Salt Consumption in China

China’s almost meteoric transition from a being a low income to a middle income country within a span of four decades is often perceived as a miracle analogous to the post Second World War Japanese economic development experience.

Afghan War Deadly for Children Despite Peace Process: UN

The United Nations has warned that the past four years were among the deadliest for children in Afghanistan since the United States-led invasion of 2001, with nearly 13,000 youngsters killed and injured in that period.

China Wants to Mainstream Environmental Protection

In the 2014 China-US joint announcement on climate change, China promised to peak its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions around 2030. Later this commitment was cemented in the Paris Agreement signed in 2016.

No to Ageism, Yes to Intergenerational Equality

As we are celebrating the International Day of Older Persons today, we recognize that population ageing is a human success story, a story of longer and often healthier lives of the world’s people. The many faces of older persons that we see in Asia and in the Pacific, and, indeed, all over the world, attest to this fact. Still, however, ageing is considered a threat. There is talk about the “burden of ageing”, exploding healthcare costs, and concerns about plummeting economic growth due to the shrinking labour force. In many cities of Asia-Pacific, we see advertisement for “anti-ageing cosmetics” and surgeries. The current ideal is that we must be young, dynamic and without wrinkles or grey hair, especially older women.

Confronting New Climate Reality in Asia & the Pacific

Last week, world leaders gathered at the United Nations in New York for the Climate Action Summit. Their goal was simple: to increase ambition and accelerate action in the face of a mounting climate emergency.

Medical Centres Cover Every Village in Tibet

Tibetan medicine is one of the world's oldest known traditional medicines, originally developed during the pre-Buddhist era in the kingdom known as Shang Shung. IPS correspondent Crystal Oderson visited one of the major Tibetan health facilities in Lhasa.... and got a glimpse of the age old tradition.

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