Eco-business – Anna Simpson, curator of Forum for the Future’s Futures Centre discusses two mutually reinforcing pressure points that urge sustainable change in the Asia Pacific region.
The forest fires that raged across Chiang Mai in March may have dissipated, but the cancer risk for those who breathe in the dust particles year on year has not. Nor has the pressure on contract farmers to meet growing demand for animal feed and ethanol: a factor contributing to illegal slash-and-burn practices. According to one resident, an area more than six times that of Bangkok (which occupies 1,569 square kilometres) of dry corn stalks is set alight after the harvest to make way for the next crop.
Vietnamese farmers harvest peanuts. Food and job security are among Asia’s most pressing development concerns. xuanhuongho / Shutterstock.com