Asia Sentinel

Luang Prabang Threatened by Proposed Dam

A leading Thai geologist is warning that a huge new dam proposed in an earthquake-prone region of northern Laos poses a high risk of endangering the famed UNESCO-World Heritage city of Luang Prabang. The 1410-megawatt dam, expected to be Laos’s largest, is being developed by Thai ...

Tom Fawthrop

Vietnam Utility Dares Mekong Devastation

Inertia and the inherent tone-deafness of an authoritarian regime have set Vietnam on a course toward economic and political disaster. It is not too late, however, for the ruling party’s top leaders, the Politburo, to disavow support for state-owned PetroVietnam’s plans to build a huge ...

David Brown

2019 Environmental Review: Southeast Asia

The year—and the decade—in environmental terms, is coming to its end, with some species and entire ecosystems in their death throes. For starters, Malaysia recently lost its last Sumatran rhino, the poaching of Sabah’s pygmy elephants is rapidly increasing, Australia’s koala bears are being incinerated in wildfires, dugongs are dying in ...

Gregory McCann

Threat to the Mekong River is Critical, Critics Say

It is starting to appear that nothing can save the 800,000 sq. km Mekong River basin, which provides vital sustenance for as many as 100 million people, from environmental depredation from dams all along the 4,350 km length of the mighty river that feeds it. Over ...

Illegal Charcoal Trade Wrecks Myanmar’s Bulwark Against Cyclones

The depletion of mangroves in southern Myanmar is impacting local fisheries near the island villages and playing havoc with the mangrove forest that protect the coastline from extreme weather events. The illegal charcoal trade persists due to a lack of law enforcement and oversight in Myanmar ...

Wudan Yan

Asia’s Environmental Apocalypse 2019?

This year’s environmental news kicked off in grisly fashion: a Vietnamese poaching gang recording one of its members straddling and punching a snared and presumably dead tiger (the Thai authorities say they have caught the perpetrators) in one of Thailand’s protected areas. Thailand has always seemed, to ...

China Dams the World

Just last year in 2017 a group of local Indonesian and international scientists introduced the newest great ape to the world, the Tapanuli orangutan, or Pongo tapanuliensis. This sub-species of the Sumatran orangutan is found only in two forest blocks southwest of Lake Toba on ...

Thailand: Southeast Asia’s Last Hope for Wildlife?

With wildlife populations in Indochina in rapid decline, Thailand is the last great hope for the region’s natural heritage, particularly for large carnivores such as tigers and leopards. In fact, many donor organizations feel that Thailand has already achieved mid-level development status, making it more ...

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