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Environment, Energy and Resilience

Indonesia has the largest share of the world's mangroves — coastal forests that have adapted to saltwater environments. They play important environmental and ecological roles.

 

Mangroves play a key role of acting as an ecological buffer in coastal region that provide the area with resilience against tsunamis, hurricanes and other forms of coastal flooding.  Their role in carbon sequestration is also vital as energy emissions globally continue to rise.  So let's jump scales: how are global issues locally important?  How is the local deeply global?  How can stakeholders at either scale find common ground with the other?  


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Indonesia is home to 1/4 of the worlds mangrove trees. These trees are salt tolerant and grow along the coastlines. They provide protection from tidal floods and erosion and provide homes for the islands biodiversity. The most important thing they do however is provide the villagers with wood  to make shrimp ponds and fire wood. They also protect the mangroves ecosystem. These trees are so very important to Indonesia, their economy and their life style. 

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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 12:22 PM

Agricultural development in Indonesia threatens local mangrove ecosystems as well as global systems. Indonesia's growing palm oil industry is providing an increased income for the country, but at what cost? Mangrove swamps are one of the most beneficial ecosystems to have, and the list of positive impacts includes decreased erosion. decreased water turbidity, better air quality, larger fish populations, just to name a few. But, global interests in palm oil are swaying Indonesia to convert these environments into agricultural lands. Combined with Indonesia's high rate of deforestation, this is causing major erosion issues as well as affecting the coral reefs. Fish populations are being affected since habitats are destroyed, affecting fishermen. Though these issues are prevalent, the trade off of one environment for money is causing Indonesia's integrated environments to collapse, which in time will be an incredibly expensive issue.

 

This brings into debate the issues involved when wealthier countries take interest in the resources of other countries. While the less developed country may need the economic resources provided by the developed country, often times the environmental impacts are not considered. 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:33 PM

These mangroves are key areas for palm oil development and are the source of income for many people who live in the areas with they grow. But the cost of using these Mangroves is devastating to the environment. They protect the coast from flooding as well as help with carbon sequestration. What needs to be done is the locals need to be educated on the long term damage being done by destroying the mangroves. Also there has to be an economic alternative, if the locals have no other way to make a living why would they stop? 

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:29 PM

Measures need to taken to manage, regenerate and conserve mangrove areas. Geo-literacy/education is also important in creating awareness for those who continue to cut down mangrove forests. 

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Drought led to demise of ancient city of Angkor

Drought led to demise of ancient city of Angkor | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
The ancient city of Angkor — the most famous monument of which is the breathtaking ruined temple of Angkor Wat — might have collapsed due to valiant but ultimately failed efforts to battle drought, scientists find.

 

Why do societies collapse?  Often they are overextended, consume too many resources for their hinterland network to supply or they aren't able to adapt to changes to the system.  Angkor Wat, the largest urban complex of the pre-industrial world, collapsed primarily due to drought conditions and a changing ecology.  Without sufficient water resources, the network collapsed.  What other environment 'collapses' can you think of?   


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Scientists have found that the ancient city of Angkor failed do to drought. Angkor has a system of moats, channels, and reservoirs, so with such a system in place how could they have such a drought? Simply there water system was unable to to handle the change in climate.  

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Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 2014 12:29 PM

It's easy to forget that for most of history, even the greatest of empires were subject to the whims of the climate. The ability to survive in places where humans really shouldn't thrive is only a recent development thanks to technology, but a drought is something the mightiest army can't fight, and all the wealth in the world will not stop, without the right technology.

James Hobson's curator insight, December 4, 2014 9:12 PM

(Southeast Asia topic 10 [independent topic 2])

Naturally, that which fails to adapt to its environment will not survive. Such was the likely fate of Angkor. But was this early industrial area the cause of its own drought demise? I'll answer this question with another modern one: Are booming metropolises of today having an impact on their environment? Look at the American Southwest, where the booming populations of Las Vegas and Phoenix, and the water use that goes along with it, are slowly sucking dry Lake Mead. Though in both cases the climate is becoming drier itself, adaptations could be the remedy. Just as the inhabitants of Easter Island caused their own demise as well, it truly pays to learn from the past and take proactive precautions to prevent such worse-case scenarios. Luckily today there is knowledge to do such that, and now the issue goes to getting that message acknowledged and acted upon.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:37 PM

This reminds me of the theories as to why Easter Island fell. Although what many people know of Easter Island is the giant heads, there was once a flourishing civilization in the area but many scholars theorize that they deforested the island to a point that they ran out of resources and had to flee to survive.

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Myanmar's Isolation Gives Way To A Flood Of Visitors

The rapid pace of political change in Myanmar in the past year — capped by the recent election of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to Parliament — has tourists and foreign investors rushing to the country.

 

So many tourists want to see the change come to the democratic institutions of Myanmar to become a politically just Burma.  And yet, they also nostalgically want to keep Myanmar in a non-globalized state.  In what can be called the paradox of progress, many westerners want an idealized pre-modern state. 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Due to rapid pace of political change in the last year tourists and foriegn investors are flooding into Myanmar. The country went through 50 years of brutal military rule and isolation that has left them stuck in time. What has been so heartbreaking for the people of Myanmar has is they same thing that makes it attractive and appealing to tourists and brings them now pouring in. Many of the tourists like it there because it hasnt been "ruined" by corporations and fast food chains yet.  

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Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 7, 2012 1:05 AM
What a transition. Burma is now free. After suffocating under military rule, Myanmar now has the chance of progressing politically and economically.
Stacey Jackson's curator insight, May 8, 2013 8:40 PM

This article touches on something I've always thought about when considering tourism and development. Many of the cities and places I like to visit I go to because of there charm and lack of robust tourism culture. This is a bit of a dual edged sword. Cities and countries stand to gain considerable wealth from the expansion of their tourism industry. But, part of me wonders if something else is also lost. 

James Hobson's curator insight, December 4, 2014 9:02 PM

(Southeast Asia topic 9 [independent topic 1])

Myanmar (aka Burma) might end up being the next 'hidden gem' that ends up being scratched by over-visitation and over-westernization. However, this is by no means set in stone (no pun intended...).  Just as locals don't want to spread word about their favorite swimming hole, many past visitors and some locals hope that they can maintain that which keeps Myanmar unique. On the other hand, the welcoming of change offers the lure of increased tourism revenue and further globalization to an area recovering from isolationism. In my opinion a balance should be reached, in which local culture is properly maintained while modest introduction of foreign culturals is done in an as-necessary, beneficial-majority-proven basis.

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Philippines Overtakes India as Hub of Call Centers

Philippines Overtakes India as Hub of Call Centers | Meagan's Geoography 400 | Scoop.it
Many companies have moved their customer service lines to Manila to take advantage of workers who speak lightly accented English and are familiar with American culture.

 

The geography of globalization is epitomized by relentless change and marked by continual turnover.  Cultural and economic factors play significant roles in creating potential advantages for receiving outsourced jobs (whether that is beneficially long-term is another discussion). 


Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's insight:

Companies have moved their customer service lines to Manila because there the workers speak a lightly accented English and are more familiar with American culture then they are over in India. This shows the maturation of the outsourcing buisness and shows the preference for American English.  

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Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 12, 2012 1:40 AM

I liked this article simply because I could relate it to my own personal experiences speaking with someone at a call center.  I guess it is kind of interesting that the Phillippines has overtaken India in terms of number of call centers.  What was reallly interesting though was how familiar those at the call centers were of Americans. 

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 2014 12:41 PM

The fact that so many Filipinos speak English is an important one to understand. This brings jobs to the Philippines, but at the expense of local culture. High income and social standing in the Philippines is often correlated with English, as many of the high-ranking citizens attend universities in the United States and return with degrees, and in turn teach their children English. This marginalizes their own language in a way, and is something to keep aware of, as it's one thing that the United States does not face in many areas, that most other countries around the world do.  

 

Kendra King's curator insight, April 13, 9:16 PM

I was most shocked by how Americanized these individual were. I understand that the Philippines were under American control for a fair period of time, but the country obtained its sovereign independence of the US sometime in the mid-40s. They have had close to 80 years to develop their own history, yet the author mentioned the citizens were still watching shows like “Friends” and speaking American English better than other foreign English speakers. It just goes to show how a colony is permanently marked by their past. I am not entirely sure this is a good thing, but at least one positive that came out of the US’s impact is that in speaking more American English there are more call center jobs. As the article mentioned, the jobs helped their sluggish economy. Still, the only reason these jobs are being offered is due to the amount companies save. Not only do the companies avoid paying American workers, whose salary is much higher, the companies are also in an area with better infrastructure. So even though the article claims the companies paid more because the Philippine workers cost $50 more than those from India, they save money on overhead and have better satisfied customers! Looking at call centers from the company’s perspective shows that this former colony is just a pawn once again. Therefore, when we look at intent, globalization just becomes negative again.