“Global food price shocks have demonstrated the urgent need to effectively address food insecurity in Southeast Asia – both at the national and regional level”
This think-piece goes beyond issues of supply and demand of food, and provides greater insight to the role of Human Security in understanding the issue of food security in a holistic manner. Click here to read the article.
“The over-reliance on the government for solutions, however, reflects what some have termed as the nanny-state syndrome: due to years of strong state intervention and action, people have become apathetic and expect the government to address all problems.”
Read more about addressing climate change in Singapore in this article in Asia Dialogue, the online magazine of the University of Nottingham Asia Research Institute.
As of about an hour ago, the PSI has hit 152 – the highest level since 2006. While I understand this is a concern to many on the island, here are my two cents worth on the issue:-
1) Please quit living in a bubble and come to terms with reality that beyond the efficient, clean and green [sterile] concrete island shores, the increasing frequency and intensity of environmental degradation/pollution/disasters/floods is real. Sh*t happens.
2) When you’re done complaining, please spare some time to think about how such adverse environmental events occur in the first place. Aside from poor governance, ineffective implementation at the local level, corruption in our neighbouring countries [the usual bla bla..], sometimes our consumerist demands for paper and other products that support our “first world” economic development is a contributing factor.
3) Perhaps we can think of alternative solutionsrather than depend on the “gahmen” to fix it. There are those among us that are already doing great work in other Southeast Asian countries — whether it be in disaster relief efforts, helping to provide clean water supply and proper sanitation in remote areas, or teaching a kid to read and write. What’s stopping us from (for example) thinking of ways to possibly provide alternative sources of livelihood or new technology to poor communities that are engaged in the activities that we are forever complaining about?
A long, tedious and complex process, yes. Impossible, maybe not.
At the very least, it would be an effort to know our neighbours better and be grateful for what we have.
In a recent NTS Alert on urban vulnerabilities, it was noted that the informal economic sector plays a significant role in supporting the formal economic sector and thus deserves greater attention in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction initiatives. Waste-pickers make up one such section in the informal sector and are commonly found in cities of developing countries.
Similar to other members of the informal sector, many waste-pickers have moved from rural to urban areas in search of employment, but have largely ended up living in slum areas or even in garbage landfills. These individuals make a living from collecting items such as used plastic cups, bottles and scrap steel from the landfills to sell to recycling plants.
However, such a practice is not sustainable in the long run…
Civil nuclear energy policy in Southeast Asia has seen sharp swings recently. Prior to the Fukushima tsunami and nuclear crisis in March 2011, several ASEAN member states had been actively pursuing nuclear energy. Fukushima compelled some to re-evaluate their plans. Thailand delayed the construction of its first nuclear power plant. In the Philippines, it became more difficult to gain public support to reactivate the Bataan nuclear reactor. Meanwhile, Japan pledged to phase out nuclear energy. Two years on, however, the momentum has reversed. Japan is now taking a more pro-nuclear stance, and some countries in Southeast Asia have revived their nuclear plans.
What is behind the rapid policy about-turn? This NTS Insight argues that while the discourse post-Fukushima has emphasised safety and energy governance, economic and strategic interests remain primary drivers of civil nuclear energy use in Southeast Asia.
The 2012 GRM was perhaps the biggest compared to previous years, with a total 20 workshops happening simultaneously over 4 days and spread out in the various colleges of the University of Cambridge. Workshops covered a wide range of topics with a focus on the Gulf Arab region, including the impact of the Arab Spring on the GCC, Gulf-Latin America relations, Women, Energy and environment, socio-economic impacts of migration, tourism, visual culture, Islamic finance, etc… I sort of regretted not being able to slip out to sit in for the environment workshop. Oh well, next time!
It’s also fun (and somewhat freaky) to meet random individuals a few thousand miles away, and realise that you have mutual friends in other parts of the Gulf and Asia. The world is getting REALLYsmall microscopic!
Following the conference, I took the opportunity to meet fellow Muslim environmentalists in Birmingham and London (which itself deserves an over-due blog post… akan datang!)
Think saving the planet is that easy? Think again.
If trying to understand the complex interactions between sciences, economics, culture, politics, security and global/regional frameworks is just not working for you and you’re close to giving up, then check this out.
This year’s publication focuses on the role of institutions in NTS and its feature article is on developments in Myanmar. Articles following that are based on the 5 themes: Climate, Energy, Food, Health and Water. The publication also includes a summary of activities and publications produced by the centre in 2012.
Indonesia faces an energy trilemma on the energy security, climate change goals and energy poverty fronts. Policies that focus exclusively on one prong of the trilemma may lead to unacceptable consequences in the others. Conceiving the predicament as a trilemma will encourage a more unified approach to its problem solving. Successful management will require a search for policy complementarities—the likeliest source of which may be the renewable energy sector—that allow…