ASIAN Geographic

ASIAN Geographic 1/2019

ASIAN Geographic is the bi-monthly magazine that scours the region to bring readers the most compelling stories and images from the world's largest and most diverse continent. Readers enjoy a unique melting pot of breathtaking photography and in-depth features covering culture, nature, sustainability issues and exploration into the history of this diverse region. A regular 'Exploration' segment follows brave field editors as they travel deep into Asia's unexplored regions to take readers on a journey.

Asian Geographic Magazines Pte Ltd
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8 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
editor’s note

Our environmental journey hasn’t been an easy one. We have progressed in many aspects, but we are paying the price — one we didn’t expect and realise we cannot afford to. As mankind progresses, the environment deteriorates. Like an ungrateful child who has turned against his mother, we callously strip Earth of the treasures it provides us with. In the feature story The Battle for Sustainability (p36-71), we lay plain the effects of prioritising economic development over environmental concern. With the spotlight on plastic pollution, we trace the history of this man-made monster and discuss how various factors like mindless consumption, cultural beliefs and poor waste management have led to the severe pollution of five rivers in Asia. We reveal some shocking statistics of our plastic usage (p18 and 45) and…

3 min.
natural beauties

01 Renowned for its awe-inspiring terraced 06 rice paddy fields, Yuanyang County in Honghe Prefecture in southeastern Yunnan, China is part of the 45th World Heritage Site listed by UNESCO. Inhabited mainly by members of the Hani ethnic group, the town of Old Yuanyang sits on top of a ridge in the Ailao mountain range and is a widely visited tourist spot because of the picturesque rice-paddy terracing. Sony ILCE-7R f/13.0, 1/80s, ISO400 02 A snow mountain in Inner Mongolia Sony SLT-A77V f/8.0, 1/250s, ISO100 03 Popular among landscape photographers, Xiapu county is located in Ninde, Fujian, China, along the East China Sea coast. Blessed with many harbours and islands, it is an agricultural and fishing town with stunning coastal scenery and beautiful mudflats. Often referred to as the most beautiful fishing village in China, it is…

3 min.
when cultural values impact environmental behaviours

Bhutan Bhutan takes great pride in its rich culture and identity, which it has managed to preserve while making unprecedented progress in working its way out of poverty. Committed to its stand that economic progress should not take precedence over the nation’s unique culture and pristine environment, Bhutan takes a holistic approach to development by balancing economic growth with social development, environmental sustainability and cultural preservation. The landlocked Himalayan kingdom’s model of governance emphasises what it terms “Gross National Happiness”. According to this approach, development should improve the happiness and well-being of its people and keep its natural landscapes and resources intact. It is this very quality that has played a pivotal role in leading the country to achieve its current carbon-negative status – a remarkable distinction attained by only one country…

7 min.
glimpses into singapore’s crazy, rich shores

Murky waters, barren reefs and trash-strewn beaches – these are likely the first images that come to mind when one envisions Singapore’s marine environments. Truth is, we also often stop short of exploring for ourselves what truly lies beneath the surface surrounding this tiny, island state – habitats teeming with colourful and diverse marine flora and fauna. And that comes as not much of a surprise. Singapore is geographically situated near the Coral Triangle, a marine area in the western Pacific Ocean that spans the seas of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), this area is the planet’s richest in terms of marine life, with nearly 600 species of corals and six out of the world’s seven…

3 min.
have micro and nanoplastics become part of our diet?

Ocean plastic pollution is a major and growing global problem. Scientists estimate that the Earth’s oceans may already contain more than 150 million metric tonnes of plastic, with eight million metric tonnes more entering the oceans each year. Plastics do not degrade easily. In the marine environment, plastics are usually broken down into smaller pieces by the sun, waves, wind and microbial action. These micro- and nanoplastic particles in the water may be ingested by filter-feeding marine organisms such as barnacles, tube worms and sea squirts. What happens when plastics end up in the marine environment? In a study funded under the Marine Science Research and Development Programme of the National Research Foundation Singapore (first published online in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering in March 2018), a team of scientists…

1 min.
the reality of recycling plastic

While the RIC labelling system seeks to promote recycling by facilitating the separation of different types of plastic, the effectiveness of it is unclear. Awareness of the importance of knowing and categorising our plastic waste — as well as how to recycle — is still low amongst many Asians. I cringe each time I see people throw plastic straws, bags or food containers into the bin. Do we realise that our mindless consumption and insouciant disposal habits have already created massive environmental problems beyond our ability to cope? 91% of all the plastic waste we create is not recycled. China is the biggest importer of the world’s plastic waste, importing 45 percent of all plastic waste (106 million metric tons) since 1992. In 2016 alone, half of all plastic waste…