Asia and issues
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Asia and issues
This topic will provide information for us to look at as we discover things about our neighbours, their needs and issues.
Curated by Deanne B Dewar
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Bridging the Digital Divide

This is an inspiring project that seeks to elevate poor slum-dwelling Indians by providing educational resources to children.  As free computer terminals are made available, their literacy skills soar and possibilities are widened.  Visit the projects homepage at: http://www.hole-in-the-wall.com/ ;


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Seth Dixon's comment, November 29, 2011 5:50 PM
This is a fantastic program that I'm excited to hear about...education for the disenfranchised is one of the best vehicles for positive social change.
Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 19, 2013 2:35 PM

As a child, most of us probably didn't particularly learn through technology or computers but through other hands on methods.  In these slums, getting school supplies which we are fortunate to have may not be so easy.  There are just so many people and living conditions make it harder for each child to be benefit equally.  That being said, these computers just might benefit the youth in the long run.  It might not be traditional, or even equal at times yet it is a type of improvisation that can probably be helpful.  In the video you could see the kids waiting in line, wanting to use the touchscreen, wanting to learn.  It is an abstract approach to education, but with the growth and diversity, it just might work effectively.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 16, 2014 8:15 AM

In the United States we take for granted the resources that are so easily accessed like computers. In this poor neighborhood in India, a computer was put in a wall and the children taught themselves how to use the computer. These slum kids don't have the tools needed to get out of poverty. Given them these computers may seem like a drop of water in the bucket but it is an important step.

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Floods Show What Lies Ahead for Sinking Bangkok

Floods Show What Lies Ahead for Sinking Bangkok | Asia and issues | Scoop.it
The Thai capital, built on swampland, is slowly sinking and the floods in Bangkok could be merely a foretaste of a grim future as climate change makes its...

 

If 'natural' disasters are becoming more fierce and impacting human societies more, we need to ask ourselves: are the physical geographic systems shifting independently or is it human society that is causing the changes?  Is it the force of the hurricanes, earthquakes, floods etc. that have intensified or is the way within which humans live on the land that make us more susceptible and vulnerable to the effects of these disasters?    


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Al Picozzi's curator insight, November 26, 2013 11:24 AM

Seems that sinking cities is not just a problem for Venice.  As the cities grow larger and more and more land is needed, small cities that were built on unstable land are now larger.  These new cities cannot  be supported by the land they were originally built on.  As the natural disasters occur, and we know they will, they are intensified by the fact that a city has grown and more people are there.  There will always be natural disasters, but when a major flood hits and unpopulated area it is still a natural disaster just not on the same scale as hitting a city that is overpopulated or built up to a point where the land it is on just can't support it.  It is the human part of the disaster that makes it much more then just a natural disaster.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, April 29, 2014 6:17 PM

This situation with Bangkok is the same problem that New Orleans is facing. Building on lands that used to get regular deposits of silt is a bad idea. The ground not only continues to compact and essentially "sink" but the planet is covered in water that changes level regularly. Unfortunately, New Orleans has shown that levees don't really work and the earth will always reclaim the land it wants back.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 12:44 PM

Bangkok is one of the many cities that is severely threatened by flooding. Bangkok's slow sinking into the marshland combined with sea level rise could prove fatal for this city. Already the capital experiences major flooding, and officials are considering the prospect of moving the city. Otherwise, billions of dollars a year would be required to stave off the effects of climate change. 

 

Now that coastal cities (especially highly populated cities) are at more threat than ever from climate change, countries are going to have to figure out a way to battle the issue. Should we fight to maintain these lands, or do we allow them to return to nature? Natural environments are better able to buffer natural disasters such as storms and floods, but the cost, both culturally and economically would be incomprehensible. 

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Flexible Urban Planning

mixed used train-tracks/market place...

 

I've used similar videos in my classes and students are usually quite shocked to see how a city like Bangkok, Thailand operates.  I've used this as a 'hook' for lessons of population growth, urbanization, economic development, sustainability, megacities and city planning. 


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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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Child Labour - Wiki Article

Child labour refers to the employment of children in any work that deprives children of their childhood, interferes with their ability to attend regular scho...

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'Sharp drop' in India poverty

'Sharp drop' in India poverty | Asia and issues | Scoop.it
Poverty in India has dropped sharply thanks to increased spending on rural welfare programmes, the country's Planning Commission says.

 

KV: Government intervention has decrease poverty in rural India. More people are getting out of poverty in rural areas than urban areas. Programs funded by the government to help the poor has significantly changed many lives. People are given education, welfare, and proper sanitation. Once assistance is provided to the poor, the welfare and well being drastically changes for the better. As the Indian government prospers because of new business ventures, some of the increased revenue should be set aside to help many regions that are affected by poverty.

 

SD: For more resources on population, see this scoopit topic on the environment and society by KV.


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luisvivas64@hotmail.'s comment, February 3, 2013 10:19 AM
La pobreza es el càncer de la sociedad humana, ojalà sea posible reducirla, aunque soy escèptico, el dinero es muy sabroso y los pocos que lo tienen no lo sueltan, de allì las revoluciones, guerras ect.
Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 8, 2013 4:56 PM

Poverty in rural India has declined drastically, and much faster then in urban India. The decline is due to increased spending on rural welfare programmes, and rural poverty fell by 8% while urban poverty fell by 4.8%. I think this is great that the government is finally taking action and helping their people, instead of just 'sweeping them under the rug' in a way and pretending the issue isnt there.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 11, 2015 11:26 AM

This is yet another sign that India is developing into a great world power. The government has sought to curb the rates of rural poverty by instituting social welfare programs.  The programs are designed to provide those living in the rural areas of the nation, with education and proper sanitation. These programs appear to be succeeding, as a sharp drop has occurred in rural poverty. The governments recognition of the poverty issue is a major step towards tackling the major inequities in Indian society. Largely a legacy of the caste system, Indian society is still terribly divided along socio-economic lines. In order for Indian to achieve the status of a developed nation, the government must take action to bridge this inequities. An new  society based on equality may be on the horizon in India.

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Philippines floods: the aftermath

Philippines floods: the aftermath | Asia and issues | Scoop.it
The torrential rains that caused widespread flooding in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, have left the city reeling...

 

This is a grim, but captivating photo gallery showing how people adapt to environmental disasters.  Human settlements are vulnerable to disasters based on their environmental situations but people still display an amazingly capacity to be resilient in the face of danger.  "The torrential rains that caused widespread flooding in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, have left the city reeling. Thousands of people remain in evacuation shelters, and those who stayed in their homes during the deluge face a major clean-up operation." 


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Marissa Roy's curator insight, December 11, 2013 8:19 AM

Pictures truly are worth a thousand words. Seeing the disaster occur in someone home, or seeing how a locasl business has lost so much due to the disaster is powerful. It is one thing to read an article and it is another to see precious photos ruined by the disaster.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:57 PM

Flooding causes serious damage both emotionally and physically. People lose everything when floods happen. Their homes, cars and lives literally get lost in the water. Tragedy like this happens more often than we think. Being prepared for when something like this strikes is the key.

tyrone perry's curator insight, May 1, 8:37 PM
The flooding in the Manila caused widespread displacement and loss.  Many flood victims have resorted to go to temporary evacuation centers provided by the red cross to seek shelter and food.  People of Manila are have been forced to figure out how to work thru this crises because there is a limited amount of emergency workers.  floods destroyed home, businesses, and the environment across Manila.  kids are being quarantined at a designated hospital with dengue fever.  Manila has a long road for clean up and recovery.  
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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?  


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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.