There are 49 items tagged:
Asia / Oceania

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  • The Homelands Blog

    Before we say goodbye to 2014 we thought we’d give you a sneak peek at what we’re cooking up for the year to come. If you feel it’s worth supporting, far be it from us to stand …

  • Countdown


    In this monumental piece of reporting, Alan Weisman travels to more than 20 countries, beginning in Israel and Palestine and ending in Iran, on an urgent search for ways to restore the balance between our species’ population and our planet’s capacity to sustain us.

  • Intensive Lunch

    Intensive Lunch

    Farmers in India say a novel way of growing rice and other crops has quadrupled yields while using less seed, water, and fertilizer. But some scientists doubt the gains are real.

  • Recycled Lunch

    Recycled Lunch

    In India, some farmers are replacing chemical fertilizers with the contents of their latrines. It’s cheaper and produces less greenhouse gas. Is it safe?

  • Low-Water Lunch

    Low-Water Lunch

    Growing more food with less water will be one of the biggest challenges in the coming era of surging populations and increasing climate disruption. In China, scientists say they’ve developed a new irrigation method that’s twice as efficient as today’s best technology.

  • Vegan Lunch

    Vegan Lunch

    Meat consumption in China is soaring, and so are the greenhouse gas emissions that meat production causes. But there is a nascent counter-trend – a small but growing vegan movement in the country’s big cities.

  • California Looks to Milk China’s Dairy Demand

    California Looks to Milk China’s Dairy Demand

    As U.S. demand falls, California dairies are finding new markets in China. That may make sense for the industry, at least for now. But what about the planet?

  • Farmers in India Find Promise in Ancient Seeds

    Farmers in India Find Promise in Ancient Seeds

    In India, climate change is forcing farmers to adapt to saltwater intrusion, flooding, and droughts. Scientists are racing to breed a new generation of climate-resilient crops that can survive these changes. But many farmers are turning to the seeds that sustained their ancestors.

  • In Search for Food, Singapore Looks Skyward

    In Search for Food, Singapore Looks Skyward

    In Singapore, the challenge of feeding a growing population is pushing the concept of urban farming to new heights.

  • No-Waste Lunch

    No-Waste Lunch

    Agriculture is the third-largest emitter of global greenhouse gas pollution. Yet roughly one-third of what we produce is never eaten. Cutting down on waste is a major challenge in China, where a grassroots “Clean Your Plate” campaign is taking aim at deeply ingrained attitudes toward leftovers.

  • Vertical Lunch

    Vertical Lunch

    A new super-efficient vertical farming system is producing greens for Singapore’s 5 million residents. Inventor Jack Ng hopes to increase local food security while helping cut down on the climate impact of food production.

  • China Strains to Satisfy Demand for Meat

    China Strains to Satisfy Demand for Meat

    China’s growing appetite for meat and dairy is driving big changes in everything from farming to food safety. For the country’s increasingly wary consumers, those changes can’t happen quickly enough.

  • Vietnam Fish Farms Look for Future-Friendly Formula

    Vietnam Fish Farms Look for Future-Friendly Formula

    More than half the seafood eaten in the world today is farmed, not wild. As demand for protein soars, scientists and fish producers look to lessen the impact of factory farming.

  • Graying Farmers Force Japan to Rethink Food System

    Graying Farmers Force Japan to Rethink Food System

    As the average age of its farmers creeps into the 70s, Japan grapples with a question that many industrialized nations now face: Who will grow our food in the future?

  • Water Man

    Water Man

    Fast-growing India is pumping its aquifers dry. Rajendra Singh says solutions will come from the ground up.

  • Bangladesh Farmers Confront New Climate Reality

    Bangladesh Farmers Confront New Climate Reality

    Bangladesh has made dramatic progress in feeding its people. Can it stop a changing climate from erasing the gains?

  • Philippines: Too Many Mouths?

    Philippines: Too Many Mouths?

    Once a leading rice producer, the Philippines can no longer feed itself. That leaves two options: increase supply or try to do something about demand.

  • Turning the Population Tide

    Turning the Population Tide

    When Filipino fishing families got access to birth control, the effects were dramatic: more food, kids in school, and a new will to defend their reefs.

  • Shipbreaking Worker

    Shipbreaking Worker

    Ismael “Babu” Hussein works as an assistant in one of Bangladesh’s shipbreaking yards, where armies of laborers dismantle old vessels the way ants devour a carcass. The work is perilous, the bosses abusive, the hours exhausting. Heavy stuff for a 13-year old kid.

  • Human Smuggler

    Human Smuggler

    For 30 years, Alidad has been smuggling Afghans on a secret nighttime passage through the mountains of western Pakistan into Iran. “I have a lot of sad memories,” he says.

  • Marriage Broker

    Marriage Broker

    If you’re a Korean man who wants to marry a Vietnamese woman, Hang Nga is your go-to gal. Vietnam’s government frowns on the match-making business, but Nga says it’s worth the risk. The money means a brighter future for her two young children.

  • Pirate


    Agus Laodi could barely feed his family with his earnings as a cocoa farmer. So he left his Indonesian village to seek his fortune on an island in the Strait of Malacca. Now he slips out at night to rob cargo ships with a machete.

  • Sex Worker

    Sex Worker

    Samanta plies her trade in Baku, an oil boom town. In a corrupt and violent society, it can be a very dangerous life – especially for a woman who was born a man.

  • Tannery Worker

    Tannery Worker

    Mohmen left his village at 13 and quickly found work stacking animal skins in one of Karachi’s many tanneries. Now 17, he’s still doing the same job. The longer he works, the deeper his debt. “I don’t want to smile,” Mohmen says, “but it’s all I can do.”

  • Silk Merchant

    Silk Merchant

    Chanta Nguon says Cambodian women are supposed to be quiet and cool, like moonlight. She’d rather be sunlight.

  • Express Mail Driver

    Express Mail Driver

    Mr. Wang has traveled through Beijing picking up perhaps a quarter of a million packages destined for dozens of countries. Does he ever wonder what’s inside? “No,” he says, “I just want to make some money!”

  • The World Without Us

    The World Without Us

    How would the Earth respond if humans were suddenly to disappear? How quickly would our cities, our objects, our waste, and the myriad other changes we have wrought disappear – or would they disappear at all? Most urgently, asks this New York Times bestseller, what can we do to lessen the damage we’re inflicting on the only planet we have?

  • The Street of the Cauldron Makers

    The Street of the Cauldron Makers

    Modern Turkey emerged in the 1920s as a secular, westernized nation where the rule was always to look forward, never back. But novelist Elif Shafak says buried memories have a way of rising to the surface. She takes us on a tour of an Istanbul street, where battles over identity, modernity, ethnicity, and minority rights have played out in miniature.

  • Seeking the Middle Way

    Seeking the Middle Way

    For decades, the goal of the tiny Himalayan Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan has been neither to keep pace with the rest of the world nor to hide from it, but rather to increase what the king calls “Gross National Happiness.”

  • The Reindeer People

    The Reindeer People

    About 40 percent of all Mongolians are nomads, but officials there say they want most of them to settle down. With their reindeer herds dwindling and government support disappearing, the Tsachin people have to decide whether to abandon their ancient way of life.

  • The Face of the Shaman

    The Face of the Shaman

    For thousands of years, the Mongolian shaman has been the intermediary between the human and spirit worlds. Shamanism was suppressed for 70 years under communism. Now it’s back in the open, competing for customers in a market that’s crowded with alternatives.

  • Competing for Souls

    Competing for Souls

    Korea’s transformation into an industrial powerhouse has been accompanied by an equally dramatic spiritual shift. With Christians now dominant in political and economic life, Buddhists wonder whether they have a role to play in the country’s future.

  • Tell Me Wai

    Tell Me Wai

    Musicians Mina Ripia and Maaka McGregor learned to speak Maori in college, after the New Zealand government made it an official national language. Now they’re part of a new generation of Maoris who have decided to move their culture forward rather than leave it behind.

  • Singapore Renewal

    Singapore Renewal

    Singapore’s Chinatown used to be a crowded and chaotic place. Then the government renewed the life right out of it. Authorities are working to restore the neighborhood’s authenticity, but with little success. Little India, meanwhile, has retained its character. Is there a lesson here?

  • Higher Ground: Borneo Resettlement

    Higher Ground: Borneo Resettlement

    In the late 1990s, the government of Malaysia uprooted 15,000 indigenous people to make way for the giant Bakun dam. Most were resettled in “model” towns, where unemployment, drugs and crime took root. About 400 members of the Kenyah tribe decided to build their own resettlement center instead.

  • Sarvodaya: An Alternate Path

    Sarvodaya: An Alternate Path

    Can development based on spiritual values, local activism, and volunteer labor compete with a global system built on western market economics? From Sri Lanka, Sandy Tolan reports on a movement that seeks to improve the lot of millions of poor people with self-help programs steeped in Buddhist principles.

  • An Exodus Of Women

    An Exodus Of Women

    Hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankan women work abroad as housemaids, mainly in the Middle East. Their remittances are a cornerstone of their country’s economy, and a desperately needed source of income for their families. But their absence is keenly felt.

  • The Poet and the Rickshaw Driver

    The Poet and the Rickshaw Driver

    An Indian poet, Gagan Gill, describes her encounter with a homeless rickshaw driver on the streets of Delhi.

  • Miracle Farmer

    Miracle Farmer

    In India, where signs of faith are everywhere, a deeply spiritual farmer has found a way to grow abundant supplies of rice without the use of harmful chemicals.

  • Women’s Empowerment in India

    Women’s Empowerment in India

    The cultural, religious, and social realities that stand in the way of lowering fertility rates in India are apparent in the tiny farming villages where one women’s group is trying to bring about change.

  • India Food and Global Trade

    India Food and Global Trade

    Indians have long considered “food security” to be a national priority. Now, dependence on the global economy sends India on an uncertain and, some say, dangerous course.

  • Norplant


    In India and Brazil, population control advocates have come into conflict with feminists over the contraceptive drug Norplant, considered by some to be among the most effective birth control methods available.

  • Family Planning in India

    Family Planning in India

    With funding from USAID, Indian health officials have launched a massive new family planning effort in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most densely populated state.

  • Food for a Billion Indians

    Food for a Billion Indians

    It’s growing increasingly difficult for food production to keep pace with population growth. In India, failure could spell disaster.