Geography 200
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How Vietnam became a coffee giant

How Vietnam became a coffee giant | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

"Think of coffee and you will probably think of Brazil, Colombia, or maybe Ethiopia. But the world's second largest exporter today is Vietnam. How did its market share jump from 0.1% to 20% in just 30 years, and how has this rapid change affected the country?"

 


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article pointed out that while Vietnam does not drink much coffee it has become a large exporter of the bean.  The article also talked about the ramifications of coffee farming on the economy as well as he geography of this country.  I also found it interesting that a country that no one ever trained to grow coffee has reached the heights it has with just farmers figuring out what needed to be done.

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Chris Costa's curator insight, November 9, 2015 2:20 PM

Globalization is a polarizing topic, and that is embodied very well in this article concerning the economic ascendancy of the Vietnamese economy. Globalization is responsible for the colonization of the nation, and the subsequent century of bloodshed between opposing nationalist and international forces. Global trade, however, and the introduction of coffee in Vietnam by the French, is responsible for Vietnam's current economic boost. 30 years ago, 60% of Vietnamese lived below the national poverty line; today, that number has fallen to below 10%, an extraordinary achievement. How? Vietnam has emerged as a major player in the global coffee trade, its market share rising from 0.1% to 20% in the same time period, ensuring mass employment for the first time since colonization. Is the system perfect? No- we have learned that diversified economies are integral to development, and nations too dependent on a single sector of the economy can face ruin when confronted with fluctuating market prices, supply, and global demand. There could be improvements to the existing trade, and the government could be doing even more for those who fall below the poverty line- the average Vietnamese worker still only makes a paltry $1300 annual salary- but this is a major step in the right direction. Hopefully this trend can continue, and Vietnam can continue its rise and become a fully developed nation, much like its predecessors in Asia, South Korea, China, and Japan.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 8:59 PM

Well for one thing this gives a chance for growth at the expense of others. I noticed though that the numbers stated that since the end of the war in 1975 the poverty level has decreased from 60% to 10%. But what about the possibility of corruption? environmentally there appears to be  deforestation, lots of water usage therefore future water shortage.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:29 PM
Typically I would always associate coffee and coffee beans coming from Spanish speaking countries and I would associate Asian countries with drinking tea. This threw me for a little twist, The Vietnamese do drink coffee though. Coffee was introduced to Vietnam in the 19th century by the French. A majority of their coffee beans are exported since the country needs money. After the Vietnam war had ended, their communist ally, The Soviet Union did nothing to help the crippled country. Agriculture was a disaster, bu the government decided to take a risk in the 80s with growing coffee. It was a success and kept increasing 20%-30% every year in the 90s. Now it employs over two million people. Even major brands like Nestle has coffee bean growing rights there.
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Water and Development

Australia's engagement with Asia: Water - a case study on Flores

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This video shows a positive side to globalization.  The Australian organization that worked with the people in these rural villages to get them access to clean water.  The quality of life when up hugely when the people could access water in their homes.  The hours needed to trek to the wells was eliminated and the water have created jobs and better quality of life for the villages.

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 16, 2014 5:23 PM

In Indonesia, many areas lack clean water. This makes it hard to keep residents healthy. World Vision Australia works with Indonesian towns to set up pipelines to the clean water sources to transport it to the areas of dirty water. This helps the villages work together and benefit off having clean water to drink and uncontaminated food. This improves life in Indonesia and they are very thankful for it.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 18, 2014 8:38 PM

The children of this village were once sick and could not regularly wash their hands due to the fact water was hard to find, and if it was found the quality was poor. World Vision helped by building a pipeline, which brings clean drinking water to this village. They can now bathe regularly and drink clean water.

Having this clean water also benefits the community from an economic standpoint. The abundance of clean water now attracts educators to their village and it also helps with creation of bricks. These bricks can be sold and can be used for their home improvement projects. 

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:48 PM

This is a pretty sad short documentary, it tells of the diseases and the amount of people that go without water. Just to get water women will have to go to a well and walk a couple hours through a forest. Sometimes the well can be dry. The women and children are affected greatly. The women have neck and knee pain from the weight of the water they are carrying and the children are always sick from the poor drinking water so they are constantly missing school.  With permission, the people of the villages were able to engineer a freshwater system that ran through the different villages, a total of 27 kilometers. This made life significantly better than what it used to be. The one thing that really surprised me is that the villagers opted out to pay $120 a year to neighboring villages to keep the water clean and allow them use. 

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Disputed Isles

Disputed Isles | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

Competing territorial claims have led to maritime disputes off the coast of Asia. See a map of the islands at issue.

 

This is an nice interactive map that allows the reader to explore current geopolitical conflicts that are about controlling islands.  This is an good source to use when introducing Exclusive Economic Zones, which is often the key strategic importance of small, lightly populated islands.   

 

Tags: EastAsia, SouthEastAsia, political, unit 4 political, territoriality, autonomy, conflict, economic. 


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This interactive page gives relevant information about islands that are disputed over in southeast Asia.  I liked it because you could see the information in context with the map.

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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 16, 2014 6:20 PM

This interactive map discusses the current disputes between the islands and why the land is being disputed. 

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:47 PM

This is like a game of Monopoly when people try and get all the houses or businesses. Except this is real life and real isles. Whose is whose? How does Asia decide where and how the EEZ's should be divided.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:05 PM

considering that half of the nations involved are island nations, this is hardly surprising. every nation has issues with their neighbors. even the us and Canada dispute some territory. but these disputes can hardly end as well, when half of these nations have fought wars with each other for most of their histories.

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Coca-Cola Returning To Myanmar; Now It Sells In All But 2 Nations

Coca-Cola Returning To Myanmar; Now It Sells In All But 2 Nations | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
With the country also known as Burma taking steps toward democracy and respect for human rights, Coke is returning after a 60-year absence. What are the two nations where it still won't be doing business?

 

Globalization has made many companies and products ubiquitious throughout the world.  We take their presence as a matter of course, a sign that the largest brands are in essentially every country in the world--but not all.  Until recently Coca Cola was not in three markets, all for political reasons.  Now that Burma is becoming more democratic, Coca-Cola will bring their product to all countries of South East Asia.  Any guesses on the 2 countries that still don't have Coke?

 

UPDATED CORRECTION: Thanks to the great people at About.com 's geography page, I was informed that there are more than just the initially listed two countries (North Korea and Cuba) not within the Coke universe (such as Somalia and East Timor to name a few).  For more on this see: http://geography.about.com/b/2012/06/15/coca-cola-in-every-country-but-three-no.htm


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This was an interesting but short article.  It is interesting to realize that Coke is sold almost universally worldwide with just a few exceptions.  It is truly the poster boy for globalization.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 2014 11:03 AM

Coke is another product that is a worldwide phenomenon. People love their soda (even if its terrible for you). People that migrate from country to country bring with them unique items such as Coke, that the foreigners don't know about. This is how different countries come to pick up on other countries foods and customs.

Cyrena & Chloe's curator insight, October 27, 2014 7:43 PM

GEOGRAPHY: North Korea, although one of the smallest nations in the world, is still arguably the most defiant. They're completely cut-off from the outside world, and they've displayed this once again by not selling Coke in their borders. Being a classic American drink, Coca-Cola is likely viewed as an enemy to North Korea, judging by their hatred of America and its citizens. They're one of only two countries in the world not to sell Coke, and this just goes to show that even though they're physically connected to us, they are isolated from the world.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 28, 2015 7:06 AM

Coca Colas return to Myanmar signals a change in the history of that country. The recent democratic reforms in the nation have made it a nation that can be attractive to major international cooperation's.  Coke will likely be the first of many international cooperation's that seeks to return to this market. Often, democratic reforms are initiated  in the hope that it will make the nation attractive to outside businesses.

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Floods cover more than half of Philippine capital

Floods cover more than half of Philippine capital | Geography 200 | Scoop.it

"Flooding caused by some of the Philippines' heaviest rains on record submerged more than half the capital Tuesday, turning roads into rivers and trapping tens of thousands of people in homes and shelters. The government suspended all work except rescues and disaster response for a second day."



Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

The Philippines which experiences monsoon weather is imperiled by the deforestation and clogged water ways due to increased population.  This country must do something to fix these issues or more large scale floods will likely be in its future.

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Louis Mazza's curator insight, March 26, 2015 1:24 PM

For the second day in a row, the Philippines government has been forced to shut down all work, except for rescuers and disaster responders. Flooding has submerged more than half of the cities capital, Manila. Roads have turned to rivers and tens of thousands of people are trapped in homes and shelters. 7 deaths have been recorded so far. The capital holds 12 million people and more than 200 hundred evacuation centers have been opened. The monsoon that caused the floods is expected to travel north and cause havoc throughout the provinces surrounding Manila.

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2015 11:03 PM

The area of Minila received more rainfall in day than it typically gets in a month.  Flights were delayed and cancelled, roads were turned into rivers.  Some of the thoughts of why this is happening are because of deforestation of mountains, clogged waterways and canals where large squatter communities live, and poor urban planning

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 28, 2015 6:44 AM

Flash flooding is probably the least understood natural disaster in the world. People often underestimate, how dangerous a flash flooding situation can become. The Philippines and South East Asia suffer from widespread monsoons. The regions fertile farmland is a result of the widespread heavy rainfall. A darker consequence of this phenomenon is the occurrence of dangerous flash flooding conditions. This particular rain in the Philippians was strong enough to submerge more than half of the capital underwater. The government in Manila has suspended all government operations that do not pertain to response and rescue missions. There will be major economic effects from this event. The loss of private property, and infrastructure such as roads will put a dent into the local economy.

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Laos May Bear Cost of Planned Chinese Railroad

Laos May Bear Cost of Planned Chinese Railroad | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
China wants a railroad linking it to Thailand and on to the Bay of Bengal in Myanmar, but some international groups warn that it may put a big burden on Laos.

Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

The article discusses how China’s wish to build a rail road through southeast Asia will most likely incur a high cost from the country of Laos that the rail road will go through.  China is anxious to regain its power in the area and its terms for the rail road will leave Laos severely indebted to China to such an extent that many see it as China trying to make Laos a vessel state.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2014 4:53 PM

This article depicts the major problem between trade route going through Laos. Laos is upset because they have no input in anything even though the railways will intersect through their country by the Chinese and their railways for imports and exports. "China wants a railroad linking it to Thailand and on to the Bay of Bengal in Myanmar, but some international groups warn that it may put a big burden on Laos". China wants to link to  Bangkok and then on to the Bay of Bengal in Maymar expanding China’s  enormous trade with Southeast Asia. Creating no way for Laos to get out of this deal though there has been some hesitation there will not be any stopping the maintenance of the soon to be power railways suffocating Laos. 

 
Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, December 12, 2014 2:18 AM

This is interesting, Laos pays for a railroad that they can't afford because China wants it? Now how does that make sense.  These people that barely make enough money to live as it is can no where near afford to have a railroad put through their country especially when they won't be able to reap many of the benefits.  Even with China's letting the country borrow the money to fund the project not only do they have to pay back the money but also give China minerals throughout the duration of the loan.  The people of Laos need to really think about the consequences to this railroad could be, both good and bad, for the country before any agreements are made to construct the railroad.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 28, 2015 7:01 AM

Once again China is getting its way without having to bear almost any coast. When the nation of China makes a deal with a neighboring nation, that deal is almost always one sided. China would not enter into this railroad agreement, if it was not beneficial to the governments bottom line. The looser in this scenario will be Laos. Laos is a rural largely undeveloped nation that would love to become a major economic partner with the dominate nation in the region. The problem with this scenario is, Laos will see little of the actual bennifits of this rail line . This railroad is being built to secure Chinese influence in the region. China hopes to dominate this region and make it a Chinese spear of influence. Laos will foot the bill for the railroad, and be dominated by China. Laos is getting the losing end of this bargain.

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Flexible Urban Planning

mixed used train-tracks/market place...

 


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

I found this video disturbing.  Maybe because we have train safety taught to us were they stress that you need to stay away from the tracks, here the people are sitting next to a train track and even have goods for sale that the train drives over.  I think it is interesting how they reclaim the space but the mom in me worries about kids getting run over by the train.

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Kendra King's curator insight, April 13, 2015 9:15 PM

On the one hand this disturbed me. All I kept thinking when I saw the people go back on the tracks is that they could easily be killed.In fact, I wonder how many accidents have ever occurred near this area. All it would take is some sort of malfunction on the train in which the horn wasn’t sounding to provide ample warning or someone gets in another person’s way so there isn’t enough time to close down the shop. On the other hand, this made me realize just how efficient a population could become at using space. Everything was timed so that the entire area moved out of the way without an issue. So rather than let any land go to waste, the area uses it despite the risk to its population. Though it really isn't like the population has a choice though. So in instances where there is such overpopulation, it is interesting to see how well the society can adapt to the phenomenon. I do wonder what would happen if the country becomes more developed and the population declines. Would this type of land continue in the future or be disband? I know that in our country there are many laws that would make this illegal, but our country also has the space avoid developing the land in such a manner. When comparing it to the laws of the United States, I would think the country would eventually drift away from this use of land when possible. However, now that I watch the video, I have a new appreciation for maximizing land and I hope that the efficient could continue. Just in a less scary manner. 

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2015 2:51 PM

Talk about using every inch of space available to you.  I find this video crazy not only because of the safety hazards, but just how people seem to go about this like it is normal.  This would never take place in America!

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 7, 2015 1:29 PM

An absolute amazing dynamic is seen in this video.  To say that Bangkok is trying to use most of its open space up would be an understatement.  In developed countries, you would not only never see this happen but you would not even see a thought of doing something like this.  There are violations every where you look.  

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Unusual ways to avoid Jakarta's traffic

Unusual ways to avoid Jakarta's traffic | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
Jakarta's traffic is legendary and locals have now become experts at finding ways to get around the jams, with some even making money out of them.

 

The population of Indonesia is heavily concentrated on the island of Java, and the capital city of Jakarta faces a tremendous strain on it's transportation network.  This video show that resourceful people will find inventive ways to make an unworkable situation manageable. 


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This video was interesting.  It shows that with increased urbanization come the problem of increased traffic congestion.  Government that are growing need to be aware of this and build their cities accordingly to have transportation that can accommodate all the people swelling the city.

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:35 PM

The amount of traffic in Jakarta is staggering and the traffic itself has built up a business of making commuting to work easier. What is troubling is that the government hasn't made enough of an effort to fix the problem of traffic in its largest and most economically viable city. If Jakarta wants to keep growing the government has to step in and find a way to make getting to work realistic for Indonesians.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 9:38 PM

The traffic in Jakarta is insane, to be in a constant standstill on your way to work is unreal. The reporter in the video says that if the city of Jakarta continues on its current path, it could be "in a state of Paralysis" which for an entire city is not good. The traffic has, for some, become a way to make money, illegally but money nonetheless.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 13, 2015 9:01 PM

Humans instinctively look to profit when the situation arises, this is one of those situations. The government implemented regulations that barely seem to manage the traffic jams, i.e. having 3 people per car. Since people do have to work and may not always be able to meet the requirements, others have started making a living as a “jockey,” an individual who offers to ride in a car so the 3 people limit is met. Doing this is considered illegal. Yet, there aren’t good enough jobs for people to work (otherwise they won’t be a jockey) and those who do work can’t seem to always follow the rule without it harming there work life.  Plus, more police now turn their attention towards these people thereby deterring them away from their other duties. I realize that the state probably never intended these consequences to happen, but now that it is I really wonder just how useful this law really is. One thing is certain though, without better planning or economic innovation by the government, the jams will continue to happen.

 

I find it odd that the people keep staying despite the major traffic problem. As one interviewee mentioned. I guess as long as you can find ways to stay productive and still receive enough compensation, the time spend in traffic isn't enough of a hassle for them. As someone who has enough economic opportunity with far less wait time in traffic though, I would find this situation unbearable. Clearly, this isn't that case though. So, I am not sure of the immediate solution. As we learned in class, the government tried transmigration. This just lead to more problems. It was then suggested that the type of opportunity. If that is the case though, what should the government do now? Waiting for a more natural economic opportunity to get the people out of Jakarta won't happen quick enough to curb the increasing population growth. Therefore the strain on the infrastructure will continue because the population's carrying capacity is exceeded. Whatever the answers, I think this would be a great case study for urban planning and the impact raising car dependency has on a society as this driving nightmare shows just how important planning is with more cars.