Southeast Asia


MANILA — The Asian Development Bank last week approved loans and grants worth US$69 million to Cambodia, Laos, and Viet Nam for a community-based initiative to protect more than 1.9 million ha of threatened forests where 170,000 mostly poor people live.

The 32-year loan of $30 million to Viet Nam and grants of $19 million for Cambodia and $20 million for Laos will help the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) member nations carry out the GMS Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Project.

It follows a series of successful pilot conservation activities in the countries.

Read more: Asian Development Bank grants $69m for forest protection project


The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Department of Energy are supporting energy regulators in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries to establish energy efficiency standards and labeling programmes.

The US-ASEAN Energy Efficiency Standards and Labeling Workshop was held from 13-15 December 2010, in Hanoi, Viet Nam.

Read more: ASEAN and US Cooperate on Energy Efficiency Regulation


Singapore, December 16 - Following the recent ‘triple disaster’ in Indonesia - the flooding in Papua, the tsunami that hit the Mentawai islands, and the volcanic eruption in Central Java - some are wondering whether climate change will increase the intensity and frequency of similar events in the region.

The Singapore-based Economy and Environment Programme for South-east Asia (a project under the International Development Research Centre of Canada), for instance, has shown that the Philippines, the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam, Cambodia, North and East Laos, the Bangkok region, as well as West and South Sumatra, West and East Java are all highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Read more: Climate change can strain Southeast Asia's security


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