Asia-Pacific

Shrinking and Darkening, the Plight of Kashmir’s Dying Lakes

Mudasir Ahmad says that two decades ago, his father made a prophecy that the lake would vanish after the fish in its waters started dying. Three years ago, he found dead fish floating on the surface, making him worried about its fate.

Red Tape Snarls Nepal’s Ambitious Poverty-Alleviation Plans

Juna Bhujel of Sindupalchowk District, 85 kilometres northeast of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu, lost her daughter-in-law in the Apr. 25, 2015 earthquake. Fortunately, she managed to rescue her two-year-old grandson, who was trapped between her mother’s body and the rubble.

Improved Cookstoves Boost Health and Forest Cover in the Himalayas

Mountain communities in the Himalayan region are almost entirely dependent on forests for firewood even though this practice has been identified as one of the most significant causes of forest decline and a major source of indoor air pollution.

Energy Access Builds Inclusive Economies and Resilient Communities

Jaipal Hembrum runs three one-man home enterprises - a bicycle repair shop, a tiny food stall and a tailoring unit in Kautuka, a remote village in eastern India. Sewing recycled clothes into mattresses late into the evening, the 38-year-old father of three girls says two light bulbs fed by a solar power system have changed his life.

Sri Lanka Shines Light on Public Sector Governance

Sri Lanka’s long-awaited and much-debated Right to Information (RTI) Act became law this month without much fanfare.

Human Rights For Rohingya Worsening, Warns Special Rapporteur

A UN Special Rapporteur has expressed grave concern over escalating violence and discrimination against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar.

Pakistan Moves to End Impunity for Rapists

Amid a wave of reforms to tighten the country’s laws on honour killings and sexual assault, on Feb. 2, the Sindh Assembly passed a law making DNA testing in rape cases mandatory in the province.

How a Spring Revival Scheme in India’s Sikkim Is Defeating Droughts

Bina Sharma, a member of the Melli Dhara Gram Panchayat Unit in the southern part of India’s northeastern Himalayan state of Sikkim, is a relieved woman.

Pakistani Reporters in the Crosshairs

The Federally Administered Tribal Areas located on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border remain one of the most perilous places in the world to be a reporter, with journalists walking a razor’s edge of violence and censorship.

Drought Could Cost Sri Lanka Billions

The warnings are stark, the instructions, for a change, clear.Sri Lanka is heading into one of its worst droughts in recent history, and according some estimates the worst in 30 years. The reservoirs are running on empty, at 30 percent or less capacity. Only 12 percent of the island’s power generation is currently from hydropower and 85 percent comes from thermal, with a staggering 41 percent from coal.

Philippines Joins Space Race

The Philippines, a tiny developing country, has joined the colossal world of space technology, building its second microsatellite that it plans to launch late this year or in early 2018 -- not to study other planets, but to monitor weather patterns and climate change to protect the country’s natural resources and improve disaster risk management.

Regional Solutions Key for Asia-pacific’s Transition to Sustainable Energy

The Asia-Pacific region is at a turning point in its energy trajectory. The energy solutions that have fuelled growth in the region over the past few decades are no longer compatible with the sustainable development aspirations of our nations and their people. In transitioning to a new era of sustainable energy, policymakers across the region face complex decisions. Supplies must be secure and affordable, and they must fill the energy access gap which leaves half a billion people across the region without access to electricity. At the same time mitigating the local impacts of energy generation and use will be vital in resolving problems such as the air pollution choking our cities and the global consequences of greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change. Solutions exist, but only through regional cooperation and integration can Asia and the Pacific transition to sustainable energy in time to meet the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Goals.

Pacific Islanders Call for U.S. Solidarity on Climate Change

The new political power of business magnate Donald Trump, who will be inaugurated Jan. 20 as the 45th President of the United States, will have ramifications for every global region, including the Pacific Islands.

Bangladesh’s Women Journalists Rise Against the Odds

Journalism is a profession that attracts both sexes, but social taboos and hostile office climates have kept the numbers of women working in Bangladesh’s media sector dismally low. Still, a new generation of women is stepping up, with the support of their path-breaking colleagues.

China’s Billion-Dollar Re-entry in Sri Lanka Met with Public Protests

Beragama is a typical Sri Lankan rural village, with lush green paddy fields interspersed by small houses and the village temple standing at the highest location. Despite being close to the island’s second international harbour and its second international airport, Beragama appears untouched by modernity.

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