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Category archives for Asia

China bans ivory, offering new hope for elephants

Fingers crossed that China is serious, and will effectively enforce their announced ivory ban. We are all counting on it.

Establishing Yourself: Foodways in Ayurveda

I met Saha at Bija Vidyapeeth, the educational farm managed by the agricultural and activism nonprofit, Navdanya. Saha teaches Ayurveda around the world, from basic workshops to more complex courses. She spent most of her life in the air and space industry, but during a period of personal, physical crisis, Saha found herself in and out of hospitals until her mother took her to an Ayurvedic doctor. “Something that had been bothering me for four or five years was within two weeks under control, and within six months was gone.”

Could a Partnership Born of Fish 2.0 Become the Red Bull of Seafood?

There’s a global divide at the heart of the seafood industry: the businesses that most need new technologies are often continents away from the businesses creating them. Small-scale seafood operations in Asia, Latin America, and Africa catch and farm most of the seafood we eat. Startups in the U.S., Canada, and Europe are developing most…

Work Hazards: Bornean Pygmy Elephants

On the drive into Danum Valley Field Center in Sabah, Malaysia, I caught a glimpse of one of the most iconic species in the Bornean rainforest – the Bornean Pygmy Elephant. They had been walking on the road, but just as our van came around the bend they retreated by the forest. As we passed…

Video cameras provide first documentation of Sunda clouded leopard communication behaviors

Post submitted by Max Allen – University of Wisconsin, Madison Sunda clouded leopards (Neofelis diardi) are a threatened species that is shrouded in mystery. Most solitary felids are renowned for being mysterious and difficult to see, but Sunda clouded leopards take this to an extreme. It is for this reason that little is known about…

Palawan’s Wildlife Receives Protection in Philippines’ Largest Critical Habitat Designation

One of the world’s most critical and irreplaceable areas for unique and threatened wildlife—in addition to the home to the last 200 – 300 members of the indigenous Batak tribe—has received the largest critical habitat designation in the Philippines. The newly declared Cleopatra’s Needle Critical Habitat, which protects more than 100,000 acres of forest on…

Insisting on Truth – Bhopal and Beyond

“I cut all the pictures out of my textbook…they were so…” My friend Anu doesn’t finish her thought. She doesn’t have to. I know the words that she can use, but they will never fully articulate the horrific, gruesome, tragic images depicting the event of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Disaster, considered by many to be the…

Wild Snow Leopard Prey Recovers Thanks to Reserve

Post submitted by Matt Fiechter, Snow Leopard Trust 18 years ago, we established our first grazing-free village reserve for wild snow leopard prey in partnership with the community of Kibber, India. Today, the area’s population of bharal, a wild sheep that’s among the snow leopard’s preferred prey species, is about four times higher than it was…

Penang: An unexpected biodiversity destination

Mention that you are heading to Penang and you are inevitably met with the same question: “Penang? Like the curry?” You are forced to face the collective ignorance of your community when you realize that you, your friends, your family, and the guy who talked you into taking a middle seat on a transcontinental flight…

All Plants Are Medicine; We Just Need To (re)Learn How

“All plants are medicine,” Dr. Jeetpal Negi, the herbal gardener at Navdanya, exclaims proudly with a hint of mystery to his voice. Dr. Negi bends down to examine a seemingly mundane but prolific weed, “this is used for eye health,” he says before popping the small white diamond-shape flower in his mouth. He stretches above his…

Lessons learned in tropical tree climbing

Oh yeah, I forgot about that… The beginning of any field study includes at least a few remedial lessons. For weeks before I start climbing, I wake up in the middle of the night in a panic that I have forgotten all my knots. I look over old gear lists trying to figure out what…

Tracing the Global Invasion of Brown Rats

Brown rats are found throughout the world, on its continents and islands, affecting human health and biodiversity, but where did they originally come from? Researchers this month sought to answer that question when they released a global phylogeography of brown rats from cities and islands around the world.

The Legendary Gem Mines of Mogok Myanmar (Burma): Is Responsible Sourcing Possible Beyond Sanctions?

Almost five years ago, I invited two eminent gemologists to post their perspectives on linking environmental conservation and gemstone mining through an innovative mechanism of supply chain tracing. In this post, Dr. Laurent Cartier, one of the authors of the earlier article, shares perspectives on how the colored gemstone sector in post-sanctions Myanmar / Burma…

Saving Rice in Pictures

Not pictured: the dozens of hands cutting, sorting and hauling rice. The sweat-soaked saris and brows. The awe of witnessing the preservation of biodiversity.      

Release of the Gibbon

With the sounds of gibbon song as the backing track to this picture, Clare is pensive as she admits, “I’m hopeful for the future of gibbons, now that we are bringing them the attention they deserve. But, at the same time, I’m frightened. If we can’t control the illegal trade, or the destruction of their habitat, then these reintroduction efforts become futile.”