While its economic benefits and geopolitical implications are often splashed across the front pages of national newspapers worldwide, the impact of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) on the environment receives much less attention.
In a world where climate change, air and water pollution, biodiversity loss, water scarcity, ozone depletion, and other environmental problems overlap, a fix in one arena can cause trouble in another.
Originating in the Tibetan highlands and running through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia, and Vietnam, the Mekong and its tributaries provide water, food and income for 60 million people.
The world’s biodiversity is at extreme risk, undergoing an exceptional decline in the past few decades and its fragility is threatening the well-being and survival of mankind.
Surrounded by severely damaged coral reefs, the fishers of Indonesia’s Seraya Besar, off the west coast of Flores, struggle to make ends meet. Year-on-year fish stocks have shrivelled as the damaged reef can only support limited life.
The pangolin is a mammal not known to many, yet it is the most trafficked animal in the world. Its large Keratin scales – which are hard and sharp – cover its skin help protect it from carnivorous predators such as tigers, lions and leopards.
Southeast Asia is a highly sought-after holiday destination for tourists and travellers from all across the world. The region, which is home to more than 630 million people, is geographically situated in the heart of Asia.
Southeast Asia is known for its vast rainforests which constitute about almost 20 percent of forest cover with the richest biodiversity in the world. What the region is also known for is its alarming rate of deforestation.
Like grains of sand by the seaside, the diversity within ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asia Nations) countries is not limited to the cultures in the ten countries populated with 625 million souls.