Search Results for Tag: environment
Find the biggest polluters in your neighborhood
DateJanuary 23, 2012
Cuc Phoung National Park – wildlife in danger
I go to national parks to see beautiful nature, endemic species and the last paradises on earth. After being in some, I know that I have to be lucky to see any animals. They are shy and wild – and won’t just jump in front of my camera. Still, I always hope they will. National parks are established to protect nature. But in Vietnam, that goal has not been reached and species are still more a product than something that has to be protected.
Some days ago I went to the Cuc Phoung National Park in Northern Vietnam. It is its oldest Nationalpark and was established in 1962. Walking though the deep rainforest it is said that you can see more than 200 different kinds of trees and several mamals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. And there are also caves of prehistoric humans you can visit. But the park is very quiet. From time to time I heard bird tweeting-but that’s all.
The reason is poaching – a big problem in Cuc Phuong. “Hunters are especially interested in chasing monkeys and turtles. And then they sell them to China,“ Ling, our tourguide, tells us. As the park is located in the middle of four different provinces, which means four different department are responsible, it is difficult to protect the area. To enhance awareness of endangered species and nature, the park has established conservation centers for primates and turtles. Let’s hope they will be successful.
DateDecember 22, 2011
Take a deep breath in Laos
As a Journalist from Berlin, traffic in Asian cities is usually quite chaotic and for foreigners mostly an adventure. In Mumbai, India crossing a street could be a struggle of survival as one has to pass a mixture of motorbikes, cars, cows and rikshas. It’s the same in Bangkok,Thailand – just without cows. The worst about the traffic is not the chaos, it’s the pollution. The air people inhale is filled with dust, it sticks on the skin and it is also full of emissions polluting the air.
In Laos, the chaos has not arrived yet. The streets of its capital Vientiane are quiet and mostly empty. There are just a few bikes, scooters or motorbikes – sometimes a car. That keeps the CO2-emission low: 2010 Laos emitted a little more than 1,5 million tons, the United States for example 5,7 billion tons. Another reason is, that Laos has no heavy industry. But it would be a mistake to think of Laos as climate-friendly country where everyone could take a deep breath of clean air. Because it is not people’s climate-awareness that makes Laos climate friendly. The reason is the poverty of the country. The Human Development Index lists Laos as a one of the poorest countries in the world. People just can´t effort a car.
DateDecember 19, 2011
Bangkok´s dressed up – at first sight
Thailand´s capital is gleaming. Not just because of the smiling people in the streets, but especially for the week-long birthday celebrations in honor of Bhumibol Adulyadej, the country’s king who turned 85 last Monday. A day before his birthday, the flood in Inner Bangkok was officially pronounced over. The city’s governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra declared that the situation in eleven districts had eased and that locals could return to their homes.
Since Monday the inhabitants are celebrating, the Grand Temple and the ministries are sparkling with fairy lights, and it appears that cleaning brigades are constantly out and about to sweep the streets – at least you can´t find any litter anywhere.
Well, at first sight. Only a few meters away from the celebrations you stumble into another side of Bangkok – its grungy one. The city’s canals, like this one near the Great Palace, are nothing to celebrate about. You literally have to hold your nose when the stinky grime – including dead fish, plastic bottles and sewage – passes you by. But it doesn’t stop there: The smelly mix continues on its way into the Mae Nam Chao Phraya, the river flowing through the city – and pollutes the environment.
DateDecember 9, 2011
Growing rice + fishing
A new study out of China has some encouraging news for farmers and the environment: according to the six-year long report from the National Academy of Science in China, rice cultivation and fishing can take place side-by-side in the same place!
In the study, fish were allowed to swim in flooded paddies at the same time as farmers were cultivating rice. Over time, researchers found out the farmers grew the same amount of rice as usual but cut down drastically on the amount of pesticide and fertilizer they normally use. Fewer chemicals in the paddies means a lower environmental impact. Plus, one of the study’s authors says areas that don’t have enough water and land for rice and fish production can combine the two and benefit everyone. You can read more about the study on the Science and Development Network.
DateNovember 25, 2011