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Welcome to the South East Asia Climate Digest! We’re bringing you climate journalism highlights from around the region, with an emphasis on local papers and journalists.
This Week’s Rundown:
This is exciting. The Straits Times is running a series of six multimedia packages each week on global warming around the world—with a special focus on Asia! Here’s what you can expect this week. Topics range from water shortages, climate refugees, and adaptation for rice farmers. Singapore has already designated 2018 as the Year of Climate Action, so we’re really looking forward to this dedicated effort to draw more attention to the climate crisis in Asia.
The Straits Times has also produced a great summary of the key takeaways of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report released last week. They’ve also included some really great visuals to help readers make sense of where emissions are headed, and where they need to be in order for us to be consistent with the 1.5 deg C goal (spoiler alert: we’re far off the mark). There’s also a great graphic on how half a degree of warming can make a critical difference. This is an enlightening read if you haven’t yet gotten the chance to read the IPCC report.
The Nation continues to excel in situating Thailand in a global climate context. Piyaporn Wongruang’s special report on Thailand’s renewed climate mitigation efforts caught our eye. Highlighting that Thailand is one of the 16 countries extremely vulnerable to future climate change impacts over the next 30 years, the piece explores what policies Thailand needs to put in place to stay safe.
Pradit Phulsarikil has also developed an informative graphic of Thailand’s climate response. The graphic covers Thailand’s commitments, goals, and history of national response. Graphics are a fantastic tool to disseminate information to the public, and Pradit’s done a great job of compressing almost three decades of history into a one page spread.
Meanwhile, Pratch Rujivanarom covers community-led emergency response plans being developed along the Mekong river basin following flood damage this monsoon season. We’re heartened to see that communities and NGOs are mobilising ahead of bureaucratic government responses.
At the heels of the devastating earthquake in Sulawesi, Sunny Verghese, Group CEO of OLAM International business group and ambassador of global Food and Land Use Coalition, is calling for Indonesia to continue to take action. “Indonesia’s leadership on climate change and protecting its natural resources has never been more critical,” he writes in this informative op-ed. “Time is not on our side.”
Viet Nam News has been highlighting extreme weather events that put the country’s rice production and cities at risk. According to farmers, these are the highest tides they’ve seen in the past ten years. The saltwater has contaminated crops and floods have halted daily life in the city. With flood damage at a high this season, we’re looking to see what efforts are taken to help farmers adapt.

Got a piece you want to share? Send it to lily@climatetracker.org. 

Lily Jamaludin

About Lily Jamaludin

Lily Jamaludin is a Malaysian writer and researcher. Previously, she helped design education opportunities for stateless youth in Borneo, and assisted in eviction-prevention initiatives in the Bronx. She’s excited to mobilise more young writers from developing countries to influence national debate around climate change.