Philippines Leads Coalition of Climate-Vulnerable Countries

Philippines Leads Coalition of Climate-Vulnerable CountriesAs one of the highly vulnerable countries from climate change, the Philippines leads a coalition of developing countries aiming to boost their fight against the worsening impacts of climate change at climate change talks in Paris that began on Dec. 1. The group of 20 developing countries, eight of which come from Asia, have formed…

Opaque Migration Report Leaves Big Gaps in Information

Opaque Migration Report Leaves Big Gaps in InformationThe Rohingya, one of Asia’s most benighted populations, who are being driven out of Myanmar and Bangladesh, often to an uncertain fate and scattered among Southeast Asian nations where they are often sold, kidnapped, raped or murdered, get no mention in a new 230-page report for 2015 by the International Organization for Migration. To say…

‘Invisible Filipinos’ Face Renewed Violence

‘Invisible Filipinos’ Face Renewed ViolenceMarginalized indigenous tribes on Mindanao Island, collectively called the lumad, are finding themselves in the thick of an armed battleground in their own ancestral lands, pushed to the fringes of the country. After a recent spate of killings that broke through into public notice, their plight has exposed the Philippine complexities of heritage, natural resources,…

Filipino Army Turning a Blind Eye to Murder?

Filipino Army Turning a Blind Eye to Murder?Has the Philippine army been in cahoots with armed groups accused of murdering civilians in the southern region of Mindanao? That’s the focus of an investigation the government has finally agreed to undertake. Responding to pressure inside and outside the country, including from the United Nations, the government said on Sept. 22 that it would…

UN Again Ignores Population Growth

UN Again Ignores Population GrowthAs world leaders convene for the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York to reflect on the progress of the Millennium Development Goals set in 2000 and adopt more goals for 2030, they ought to focus on the elephant in the room – a swelling global population that weighs on sustainability of social, economic and environmental development. That…

Love Knows no Boundaries

Love Knows no BoundariesCross-border marriages have been steadily growing in number since the 1980s in Japan, and from the 1990s in Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore. In the case of Taiwan, marriages to foreign-born wives accounted for 13 percent of all new marriages in 2009, down from a high of 28 per cent in 2003. Does cross-border marriage represent citizens exercising…

Opinion: Hope for Slowing Climate Change in Paris

Opinion: Hope for Slowing Climate Change in ParisThe Conference of Parties (COP) 21, a yearly summit of countries involved in tackling climate change, is to take place in Paris beginning on Nov. 30 -- fewer than 100 days. Countries are preparing for what could be the biggest decision so far both for the planet and humanity’s survival. After 20 years of negotiations,…

Philippines Drags Feet on Renewable Energy

Philippines Drags Feet on Renewable EnergyAlthough the Philippines has enacted a series of strong laws to mitigate climate change since 2010, including a disaster risk reduction act, a climate change act, a renewable energy act and a survival fund since the perils of climate change began to manifest themselves a decade or more ago, the problem is in implementation. Take…

Philippine Frustration as Bonn Climate Talks Produce Little

Philippine Frustration as Bonn Climate Talks Produce LittleThe two weeks of United Nations-sponsored climate talks that ended on Nov. 11, leaving core sticking points unsolved before a December summit in Paris on a landmark agreement, leaves the Philippines and other small island nations and developing countries in a state of frustration – and concern over their own susceptibility to disaster. The Philippines…

The Tragedy of Quack Anti-GMO Science

The Tragedy of Quack Anti-GMO ScienceA half-century ago, the International Rice Research Institute, based in Los Banõs in the Philippines, and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research in Hyderabad entered into a partnership that ultimately would forestall an apocalyptic famine in which millions would almost certainly have died. The organizations are now celebrating 50 years of cooperation and the effect they…