The tiny island nation of Nauru, an eight-square-mile speck of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, was once one of the richest countries in the world, with a phosphate industry accounting for 80% of its economy. But around the year 2000, everything changed. The phosphate that had enabled many to live in affluence at home, buy houses abroad and send their children to expensive boarding schools was running out. The island needed to reinvent itself urgently. (by Vlad Sokhin)
The elephant is not only of great cultural and historical significance in Myanmar, but is also of major economic importance in the country’s nationalized timber industry. With teak export as the second most important source of foreign exchange, captive elephants working in Myanmar’s logging industry are also bringing about the destruction of their natural habitat at an alarming rate.
With the second highest population of wild elephants in Asia and the largest continuous area of natural habitat, Myanmar is a crucial battleground in the survival of the species. Myanmar is home to the largest number of captive elephants in the world and is the only country that continues to use elephants on a large scale in industry. The capture of elephants for use in the timber trade is acknowledged as the biggest threat to the survival of wild elephants.
In the tropical seas around the Indonesian archipel a war is being waged. Illegal fishing on a huge scale has robbed Indonesia of an estimated US-$ 3.2 billion annually through poaching by syndicates from Thailand, China and the Philippines.
The Maritime and Fishery ministry was established to develop Indonesia`s maritime sector. Their patrol efforts have helped to limit the number of illegal vessels.
Fauzan Ijazah for Infocus Asia (IFA) and National Geographic Channel
As we continue our dangerous experiment with the Earth’s climate, it’s expected that extreme weather and natural disasters will become more frequent and intense. The water cycle will become so unpredictable that droughts, floods and rising sea levels could cripple entire cities and countries.
With its low elevation and severe tropical storms, Bangladesh is among the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, though it has contributed little to the emissions that are driving it.