Asia-Pacific

Water Scarcity: India’s Silent Crisis

As Cape Town inches towards ‘Zero Hour’ set for July 15, 2018, the real threat of water scarcity is finally hitting millions of people worldwide. For on that day, the South African city's 3.78 million citizens -- rich and poor, young and old, men and women -- will be forced to queue up with their jerry cans at public outlets for their quota of 25 litres of water per day.

Rohingya Crisis May Be Genocide, UN Officials Say

In the wake of persistent violence against the Rohingya community, UN officials have expressed growing fears that genocide is being incited and committed in Myanmar.

Guest Workers Prop Up the Economy of Home Country

NEPAL. A few chickens are running around the courtyard in front of the corrugated iron shack. The village has just awoken. A bus passes by below on the road that snakes around the mountain; it will be hours before another one passes.

Japan-led Pacific Rim Countries Desperate to Embrace Trump

The grandiose sounding Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will be signed in Santiago de Chile today, 8 March. Instead of doing something to advance the condition of women on International Women’s Day, trade representatives from 11 Pacific rim countries will sign the CPTPP, which some critics argue will further set back the progress of humanity, including women who hold up ‘half the sky’.

Fear and Uncertainty Grip Rohingya Women in India

In the semi-lit makeshift tent covered with strips of cardboard, five women sit in a huddle. As their young children, covered in specks of mud and soot, move around noisily, the women try to hush them down. Hollow-eyed and visibly malnourished, all the women also appear afraid.

Women Peace Laureates Condemn Inaction on Rohingya “Genocide”

Nobel Laureates Mairead Maguire, Shirin Ebadi and Tawakkol Karman met with more than 100 women refugees in camps in the coastal Cox’s Bazar region of Bangladesh this week, as well as travelling to the “no man’s land” where thousands of Rohingya have been stranded between Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Monsoon Season Threatens More Misery for Rohingyas

More than half a million Rohingya refugees crammed into over 30 makeshift camps in Cox’s Bazar in southeast Bangladesh face a critical situation as the cyclone and monsoon season begins in a few weeks’ time.

Nobel Women Laureates at Zero Point with Rohingya Refugees

Nobel Laureates, Mairead Maguire (Northern Ireland), Shirin Ebadi (Iran) and Tawakkol Karman (Yemen) speak to Rohingya refugees stranded in the no-man’s land between Myanmar and Bangladesh. They promise to seek justice for the Rohingya genocide.

Inclusive Green Growth Must Shape Thailand’s Future, Says GGGI Chief

Energy efficiency in industries presents a unique opportunity for Thailand’s environmental and economic policies as regional trends push towards more inclusive and sustainable green cities for the country and its neighbors, says the Director-General of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) Dr. Frank Rijsberman.

Dung-Eating Earthworms Restore Soil Nutrients in Bangladesh

In Kaliganj village, 20 kilometres south of Rangpur city in Bangladesh, small farmers are turning to vermicomposting after crop yields started dropping. The problem was that soil fertility eroded due to organic nutrient depletion.

Paradise on Tenterhooks

It was a shutdown that was emblematic of the instability plaguing the Maldives in recent months.On Feb. 8, Raajje TV, an opposition aligned TV channel in the atolls, suspended broadcasting due to lack of security.

Internet Freedom Rapidly Degrading in Southeast Asia

Researchers recently evaluated 65 countries which represent 87 percent of internet users globally. Half of them experienced a decline of internet freedom. China, Syria and Ethiopia are the least free. Estonia, Iceland and Canada enjoy the most freedom online.

UN Security Council Must Halt Disastrous March of Myanmar’s Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya

Abdu Salam stayed in his village as Myanmar soldiers and local vigilantes burned down dozens of homes there last August. He stayed as news spread of atrocities that soldiers had committed in other Rohingya villages across northern Rakhine State. He stayed because Hpon Nyo Leik village was his home, the only home he’d known, and he wanted to protect his family’s property and right to live there.

Pyeongchang Olympics: A New Cornerstone for Peace and Prosperity

All eyes are on the 23rd Olympic Winter Games and 12th Paralympic Winter Games in PyeongChang this February. Top athletes will carry their national flags in an opening ceremony which has come to epitomize the international community. Sports fans worldwide eagerly await the Olympics, and this time there is cause for cautious optimism that sport diplomacy may lower tensions on the Korean Peninsula itself. Leaders, diplomats and citizens from the world over will witness North and South Korean athletes walking side by side. For this, there could be few better places than PyeongChang, which means peace (Pyeong) and prosperity (Chang): goals integral to the mission of the United Nations and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Bangladesh’s Garment Industry Boom Leaving Workers Behind

Although Bangladesh has made remarkable recent strides like building green factories and meeting stringent safety standards, garment workers here are still paid one of the lowest minimum wages in the world.

Efficient Water Management in Central Asia

In Tajikistan and other countries of Central Asia, local water user associations have proved vital for efficient irrigation management, and reasonably prolonged training is the key for enabling the associations to perform well.

Gaza Health Sector on Verge of Collapse

UN agencies have sounded the alarm on the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza, pointing to the devastating repercussions of the ongoing fuel shortages.

China, Once the Final Resting Place for Half the World’s Trash, Bans Waste Products

China, once the final resting place for half the world’s trash, has just banned the import of certain plastic, paper and textile waste. Western countries are scrambling to shift ‘the problem’ elsewhere – but there could be another way. They could invest more in the circular economy, which would also help them achieve the 2030 Agenda. But what exactly is the circular economy?

Survival of Indigenous Tribes in Bangladesh Starts at School

Just before sundown on Jan. 30, a group of women day labourers from the Shantal indigenous community are in a rush to wind up their work harvesting potatoes in a field in the village of Boldipukur, some 15 km away from Rangpur district in northern Bangladesh.

Impact of Climate Change on Karachi May be One of Pakistan’s Biggest Threats

Historically a small fishing village, Karachi has now turned into Pakistan’s biggest commerce and industrial center that generates about half of the country’s tax revenue.

Create “Sponge Cities” to Tackle Worsening Floods

With floods now causing more damage more frequently around the world, it is time to counter their effects by turning our towns into "Sponge Cities", a recent trend popularised by China to absorb rainwater through permeable roads and pavements, parks, rooftop gardens and other green spaces.

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