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As Indonesian fires rage, government turns a blind eye to pulp and paper industries

The government in Jakarta may not exactly be fiddling while Indonesia burns, but a recent report released indicated that it’s certainly not doing enough to punish the pulp and paper companies complicit in the widespread environmental destruction. The report, released on January 20th by a...

Malaysia to send palm oil delegation to Europe 

Malaysia is sending a delegation to four European countries to argue that the palm oil industry has reformed.  Malaysia’s primary industries minister, Teresa Kok, said she would visit the UK, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium and stress the importance of conservation efforts with forest replanting...

Indonesia axes deal with WWF

Indonesia has cut ties with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) amid claims the organisation overstepped its role and unfairly criticised efforts to control last year’s forest fires. Jakarta said it was ending a co-operation agreement that was signed in 1998 and was due to expire...

Top UN court orders Myanmar to defend Rohingya from genocide

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ordered Myanmar to prevent acts of genocide against the Rohingya Muslims and to stop the destruction of evidence of abuse. The unanimous decision consolidates Myanmar’s pariah status in the eyes of the international community. However, the ruling will only...

Facebook sorry for Myanmar translation blunder 

Facebook has apologised after translating Chinese President Xi Jinping's name as “Mr Shithole” during the high-profile visit to Myanmar by the all-powerful leader of the dominant regional power.  Xi was on the final day of his two-day state visit to Myanmar marking the 70th anniversary...

Indonesia recruits fishermen in South China Sea dispute

Indonesia says it will mobilise fishing crews in the South China Sea to help expel Chinese vessels from Indonesian waters.  President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced: "There is no negotiation when it comes to our sovereignty." The standoff around Indonesia’s northern Natuna islands – where a Chinese...

Observers denied access to Cambodia treason trial 

The court hosting the treason trial of Cambodia's opposition leader has turned away independent journalists at the start of proceedings. Reuters and the Phnom Penh Post staff said they were told the 30-seat courtroom was full while a few others were allowed to enter.  Kem Sokha...

China’s Xi Jinping to discuss Myanmar mega projects  

Chinese President Xi Jinping is due to visit Myanmar next week to boost ties and investment projects as the countries mark 70 years of diplomatic relations. Xi is scheduled to arrive on January 17 in the first presidential visit since Jiang Zemin’s trip in 2001. Luo...

Widodo visits Natuna Islands in South China Sea dispute 

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has reaffirmed the archipelago’s sovereignty over a group of remote atolls in the South China Sea that are within Beijing’s controversial “nine-dash line” of territorial ambition.  Beijing claims around 80 per cent of the South China Sea as its territory and...

Indonesia to curb coal output to protect price

Indonesia has ordered coal mines to cut their output not out of environmental concern but because record exports last year reduced prices. The authorities in Jakarta have set a production target at 550 million tonnes for 2020, 9.8 per cent lower than the 610 million...

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Pangolin critically endangered , wildlife watchdog warns

Shy, scaly and highly elusive, pangolins exist primarily in Asia and Africa. Today, they are also currently the most heavily trafficked mammal in the...

Indonesia shares blame for rising seas 

It is customary to blame the developed world for creating climate change after centuries of putting profits before environmental concerns.  The argument goes that western...

Indonesia counters coronavirus with interest rates cuts

Bank Indonesia (BI) has cut its benchmark interest rate to address the economic impact of the coronavirus.  The Indonesian central bank cut its benchmark interest...