Economic growth in Southeast Asia has bought jobs and increased state revenues, but also wrought labour rights violations, community dispossession of land and natural resources, and environmental degradation. Carl Middleton argues that economic reform starts with greater Corporate Accountability, including across borders.
Is the economic development model by design sacrificing the health – both body and mind –for “economic growth”? We posit that structural changes in the Mekong region – often due to government economic development policies from agriculture to urban work patterns – creating conditions for ill health.
From ensuring access to natural resources to protection against exposure to health-damaging pollution, a clean and healthy environment and the fulfillment of human rights cannot be separated. In this Commons Comment, Carl Middleton and Aadi Samarkand argue that while there is a long way to go to in recognizing the right to a healthy environment in Southeast Asia, some windows of opportunity exist.
Sor.Rattanamanee Polkla is a public interest lawyer, and co-founder of the Community Resources Centre based in Bangkok. In this article, she talks with Carl Middleton about how public interest lawyers in Thailand work to enforce and reform the law in the interest of the public, case by case.
The urban farming movement in Thailand has grown rapidly over the past five years. In this article, we interview Nakorn Limpacuptathavon, a young and committed urban farmer who has been a central figure in the movement. He talks about the “City Farm Project” and the urban transformation it is catalyzing.
In the Mekong Region, after decades of governments, donors, corporations, experts and others pursuing development, winners and losers have emerged. In this first “Commons Comment” editorial, we discuss the changing lives in the Mekong Region, new development trends, impacts on the commons, and why Mekong Commons was initiated.