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Category archives for Asia

Help Me Define (Bio)Diversity

What does diversity mean to you? Is it important?

Young Fishers Literally Don’t Know What They’re Missing

Growing up seeing an already depleted ocean as normal, today’s Filipino fishers often lack the awareness of how rich their waters were just a generation ago. This project is helping bring those memories to light.

Reversing “Empty Forest Syndrome” in Southeast Asia

By Barney Long, Thomas Gray, Antony Lynam, Teak Seng, William Laurance, Lorraine Scotson, William Ripple Warning: The pictures in this story may be disturbing to some readers, especially young audiences. Reader discretion is advised. The diverse tropical forests of Southeast Asia are home to some of the most mysterious and beautiful wildlife species in the…

Forests Are Worthless Until Cut Down

Dasho Neten remembers a time when “people simply acted on their values informally,” while now the general sense of citizenship wanes. As a farmer and prominent activist in Bhutan, Dasho Neten challenges us not to depend on the government to build our societies. “We need to wake up! There is an inconvenient truth lingering, and we need to ask: are we really moving towards self-reliance? Sometimes we need reminders, no matter how uncomfortable they may be.”

Into the Heart of the Jungle: Tracking the Black Panthers of Malaysia

Everybody knew Bagheera, and nobody dared to cross his path; for he was as cunning as [the golden jackal] Tabaqui, as bold as the wild buffalo, and as reckless as the wounded elephant. But he had a voice as soft as wild honey dripping from a tree, and a skin softer than dawn. —Rudyard Kipling,…

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. Raghubir Singh Rawat, the herbal gardener at Navdanya, exclaims proudly with a hint of mystery to his voice. Dr. Rawat 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…