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July 2008

Cambodia's Relative Peace Brings the Challenges of Growth

Stéphane Guimbert's picture

Workers scale one of the skyscrapers under construction in Cambodia.
Last Sunday, more than 8 millions Cambodians were called to vote. This is already the fourth general elections since the 1991 Paris Peace Agreement. Many – including me before I moved to our Phnom Penh office last summer – still connect Cambodia first to what we learned in history classes. The splendor of the Angkor civilization and the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge regime probably come on top of the list. And there is some truth to that. Angkor Wat and its neighboring temples remain magnificent. The Khmer Rouge regime has left deep stigma for the people and for the society. The Khmer Rouge tribunal is attracting a lot of international attention as well. Most landmine fields have been cleared, although there remain some in more remote areas.

But, for all this, this connection more and more misses a key fact: over the last couple of years, Cambodia has achieved a relative peace that has enabled dramatic social and economic change.

Dead as a Doha?

Michael Figueroa's picture

After seven years of fitful trade negotiations, the WTO’s Doha Round has collapsed, and the post mortems have already hit the newsstands.  Writing in the International Herald Tribune, Keith Bradsher points to a new alliance between China and India, both pushing for so-called “safeguard” rules for agriculture, translating int

A closer look at that rotten papaya - facts on food waste

Claudia Gabarain's picture

I'm getting a lot of satisfaction lately from this blog, and here is the very last example: in response to a rather light posting simply calling attention to an ingenious awareness campaign, I received this comment from reader S.Y.

Long-distance knowledge sharing network expands in Indonesia

Philip E. Karp's picture

GDLN Indonesia covers more than 220 public and private universities across the archipelago, opening up opportunities to share knowledge both within Indonesia and with other countries.

Biodiversity restoration in Lake Dianchi, China - Part 3: Alien invaders both hold back and support recovery

Tony Whitten's picture

Red-eared Sliders, one of the invasive alien species in Lake Dianchi. See full photogallery.
Another notable achievement of the ‘Restoration of Freshwater Biodiversity in Lake Dianchi’ project (see previous entries--part 1 and part 2) was the discovery and action taken against a number of invasive alien species which had not been recorded from the lake before the surveys initiated by the project. These include the Golden Apple Snail, Louisiana Crayfish, Red-eared Slider (the turtle or terrapin commonly found in pet shops the world over), and Muskrat. Their introduction to the area, as with many alien invasives, “seemed a good idea at the time” but they all have – or likely will have – serious negative economic and ecological impacts. The Golden Apple Snail has a predilection for young rice plants, the Louisiana Crayfish burrows into bunds, and the Red-eared Slider predates on fish.

First comprehensive picture and analysis of the impact of Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar

Claudia Gabarain's picture

The Government of Myanmar, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations have released the first comprehensive report covering the impact of Cyclone Nargis on the people in the Ayeyarwady Delta and Yangon. Among the highlights:

Asia internet growth outpaces that of all other regions worldwide

Claudia Gabarain's picture

The Asia- Pacific internet audience grew last year 14 percent to 319 million visitors by April 2008, according to a recent report by one of the leading companies in measuring the digital world.

While the strongest proportional growth occurred in India with a 27 percent surge, that equals 28 million more internet users. China, following with a 14 percent growth, added however a total of 102 million users.

Search and ye shall fund – Donating to charities through everyday web tasks

Claudia Gabarain's picture

Some months ago Michael posted a short note about donating rice through an internet game: get the meaning of an English word right and you’ve donated 20 grains of rice to the UN's World Food Program. Keep playing and you can actually fill a bowl in a few minutes.

Supply meets demand: Chinese infrastructure financing in Africa

David Dollar's picture

China is emerging as a major financer of infrastructure projects in Africa, as documented in Building Bridges, a report released this week by the World Bank.  This is a very welcome development because Africa has an infrastructure deficit and China has both the financial resources and the construction industry capacity to help meet the demands.

Launch of earthquake reconstruction video and website

David Dollar's picture

Two weeks ago a World Bank team visited Sichuan, including some of the most devastated areas such as Beichuan county.  My colleagues, Mara Warwick and John Scales, took photos and produced a slideshow --see it below in video version:

 

 

 

 

NASA's Climate Time Machine shows changes in key indicators

Claudia Gabarain's picture

G8 countries are discussing climate change this week, and I just came across a cool site from NASA and the California Institute of Technology: a very simple, visual "Climate Time Machine" website that shows changes in som

What can make rural-to-urban migration successful in China?

Xiaoqing Yu's picture

When we visited a poor village in Qingxing county of north Guangdong a few weeks ago to work on a study of inequality,  I was struck by the severity of poverty in places only a few hours away from the most dynamic and prosperous Pearl River Delta. One family that we visited had almost no furniture. Another only lived on 90 yuan (US$13) per month from the social assistance program.

New website offers resources for businesses to fight corruption

Deborah Perlman's picture

The new site www.fightingcorruption.org, is a collaboration of a number of stakeholders from the NGO sector, the business community and other stakeholders: the World Bank, the UN Global Compact, the Center for International Private Enterprise, the

Multiple realities around Nam Theun 2’s successes and problems

William Rex's picture

It’s been a while since I’ve contributed anything to this blog – many thanks to Nanda for holding the fort. Over the last 6 weeks I’ve done five trips to various parts of the NT2 project, and am starting to feel in need of salt – more on that later.