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  1. Current Issues SE Asia and Oceania

  2. Great Barrier Reef World’s largest reef system; over 2900 reefs What does it do? About $5.4 Billion in tourism for Australia coral reef structure buffers shorelines against waves, storms and floods, helping to prevent loss of life, property damage and erosion Huge biological diversity Supports people by providing fish Sacred space for Aboriginal People

  3. Damage to the Reef • Threats: • Runoff • Most pollution comes from rivers running into the Reef • 30major rivers and hundreds of streams flow into the reef • Runoff from farms (fertilizer and pesticides)

  4. Climate Change and Coral Bleaching • climate change accompanied by mass coral bleaching • Believed to be biggest threat • corals expel their algae (photosynthesizing zooxanthellae) which provide up to 90% of the coral’s energy requirements • turn colorless, revealing their white calcium carbonate skeletons, under the stress of waters that remain too warm for too long. • the coral is still alive, and if the water cools, the coral can regain algae • If the water does not cool within about a month, the coral will die of starvation. • Australia experienced its warmest year on record in 2005. Abnormally high sea temperatures during the summer of 2005-2006 have caused massive coral bleaching

  5. Coral Bleaching

  6. More Threats to the GBR • The Crown-of-Thorns Starfish • a coral reef predator • preys on coral polyps by climbing onto them, extruding its stomach over them (eww…), and releasing digestive enzymes to absorb the liquefied tissue. • An individual Starfish can eat up to six square meters of living reef in a year • They have been in the GBR for thousands of years, but outbreaks are much more recent • Increases due to: • Reduction of water quality associated with agriculture can cause the crown-of-thorns starfish larvae to thrive. • Overfishing of its natural predators, such as the Giant Triton, is also considered to contribute to an increase in the number of crown-of-thorns starfish.

  7. Humans in the GBR • Overfishing of key species, such as the Giant Triton and sharks, can cause disruption to food chains • Impact of Fishing • increased pollution from boats, • by-catch of unwanted species (such as dolphins and turtles) • habitat destruction from trawling, anchors and nets • Overfishing of herbivore populations can cause algal growths on reefs • According to a study published in 2012 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the reef has lost more than half its coral cover since 1985

  8. Human-Environment Interaction • About half of the most polluted cities in the world are in Asia • SE Asia was trying to stop pollution, but financial crisis in the late 1990s halted efforts • pressures to export ever-larger quantities of fish, minerals, agricultural and plantation products • additional incentives to increase commercial tropical timber production and export. • Philippines already has lost 99% of the forest cover it had 100 years ago • In Indonesia, illegal fishing (dynamite fishing, cyanide fishing for aquarium fish exports) also appears to have increased during this period of financial crisis.

  9. Southeast Asian Countries: Islam % • Malaysia: majority, but great diversity • Cambodia, Laos: very small minority • Islam is the state religion in Malaysia and Brunei

  10. Buddhism in SEAsia • Buddha established the sangha, the order of Buddhist monks, that is still flourishing today in mainland SEA • Virtually all male Buddhists enter the sanghato become monks for at least a short time during their lives; • provides merit for their parents • The sanghacontinues to help spread and protect the Buddhist faith • Buddhist monks are not supposed to get involved in politics, but in some cases, such as in Myanmar and Thailand they do • Mainland SEA is still predominantly Buddhist; in all areas, Buddhism is mixed with elements of animist and Hindu beliefs Buddhist Monks in Burma

  11. Sectarian (Religious) Violence in Myanmar • In Myanmar there is a history of tension between Muslims and Buddhists • Muslims mostly of Indian descent, fled from India after WWI, tension grew during the Great Depression • From 2012-13, violence has broken out between the Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar • first flared in western Rakhine state nearly a year ago, when mobs of Buddhists armed with machetes razed thousands of Muslim homes, leaving hundreds dead and forcing 125,000 to flee • Mosques and Muslim businesses have been destroyed • Human Rights Watch has accused authorities of encouraging ethnic cleansing • allegations that the small Muslim minority was dominating business there and trying to take over the country by increasing its birthrate and secretly sterilizing Buddhists • On Tuesday (yesterday), the Dalai Lama put out a statement condemning the violence

  12. Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge • Pol Pot • Pol Pot was a communist revolutionary who led Khmer Rouge (Cambodian Communist Party) from 1963-1998 • He was the Dictator of Cambodia from 1975 -79 • Forced urban dwellers into the country to work on collective farms and in forced labor • During the three years of his rule, 25% of the population of Cambodia died due to forced labor, executions, malnutrition, and poor medical care • He was driven out of power in 1979, fled and continued to lead the Communists in exile • Cambodia has struggled with the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge • Population is very young and females outnumber males • Tourism is beginning to return and economy is growing • Currently, Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy

  13. Myanmar and Aung San SuuKyi • Leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD) • Father was assassinated when she was 2, exiled until 1988 • Called for a non-violent revolution against Burma’s “fascist government” • Under house arrest for 15 years between 1989 and 2010 • Won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 • For her “non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights. “ • Unable to accept because she was under house arrest; finally accepted it and made her speech on June 2012 • 1990, military junta called an elections • SuuKyi’s party won landslide victory, but the junta overthrew the results and refused to hand over power • 2012, elected to Myanmar’s parliament

  14. ASEAN • Association of Southeast Asian Nations • Founded in 1967 • Headquarters in Jakarta • Promote regional security issues and economic stability • Originally wanted to stop spread of Communism. • Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. • Laos, Burma (1997) and Cambodia (1999) joined later. • East Timor has applied to join • Has agreements with Japan and EU • Since 2007, the ASEAN countries gradually lower their import duties among them and targeted will be zero for most of the import duties at 2015 Footer text here

  15. Golden Triangle • Second largest opium producer in the world (Afghanistan in first) • Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand • Exports of Opium appear to be as much as all of the legal exports from the area • Brought to the US by smugglers on commercial flights; usually to Hawaii and CA

  16. Human Trafficking • Trade in humans for sexual slavery, forced labor, or for organs • Usually they do not “travel” anywhere • Forms: • Bonded Labor: Agree to work to pay off a debt or loan; most common form of trafficking • Forced Labor: being forced to work against your will • Child Labor: for debt bondage, drug smuggling, prostitution, labor, soldiers, • Sex Trafficking: usually women are told they are going to be doing domestic labor and are sold to brothels • Some people act as brokers to send women to other countries • Estimated 27 million people are in modern-day slavery • Internet is widely used to traffick people; MySpace, Craigslist, Facebook, etc… • If people escape trafficking, fitting back into their regular lives is difficult and many return to trafficking or become traffickers

  17. Aboriginal People • Much debate over where they originally came from • Genetic studies had shown the Aboriginal peoples to be related much more closely to each other than to any peoples outside Australia • in 2011, researchers found evidence, in DNA samples taken from strands of Aboriginal people's hair, that the ancestors of the Aboriginal population split off from the ancestors of the European and Asian populations between 62,000 and 75,000 years ago—roughly 24,000 years before the European and Asian populations split off from each other. • At the time of first European contact, it is estimated that between 315,000 and 750,000 people lived in Australia,

  18. Europeans and the Indigenous People • wave of European epidemic diseases such as chickenpox, smallpox, influenza and measles, • worst-hit communities were the ones with the greatest population densities • The second consequence of British settlement was appropriation of land and water resources. • took the view (Terra Nullis) that Indigenous Australians were nomads with no concept of land ownership, who could be driven off land wanted for farming or grazing and who would be just as happy somewhere else. • loss of traditional lands, food sources and water resources was usually fatal • By the 1920s, the Indigenous population had declined to between 50 000 and 90 000 • The 1967 referendum, passed with a 90% majority, allowed the Commonwealth to make laws which discriminated Aboriginal people and those of other races • In 1992, the Australian High Court declaring the previous legal concept of terra nullius to be invalid.

  19. The Stolen Generation • the children of Australian Aboriginal descent who were removed from their families by the Australian government agencies • Reasons • Protection • Fear that the black populations would die out • Results • no tangible improvement in the social position of "removed" Aborigines • less likely to have completed a secondary education, three times as likely to have acquired a police record and were twice as likely to use illicit drugs. • removals occurred in the period between approximately 1909 and 1969 although in some places children were still being taken until the 1970s • enabled the Aborigines' Protection Board to remove Aboriginal children from their parents without having to establish that they were in any way neglected or mistreated; • Some accuse this of being attempted genocide, the idea being that the aboriginal people would die out The hand-written note reads: “I like the little girl in the centre of the group, but if taken by anyone else, any of the others will do, as long as they are strong”

  20. Rabbits in Australia • Introduced to Australia in 1788Century • Bred as food animals • First outbreak in 1869 • Cause millions of dollars of damage to crops • suspected of being the most significant known factor in species loss (plants) in Australia • Major cause of erosion: eat native plants, leaving the topsoil exposed and vulnerable to erosion • Many methods to try to contain them • Rabbit-proof fence in 1907 (not so practical) • Myxoma virus in 1950s • population went from 600 million to 100 million, but began to recover in 1990s Erosion caused by rabbits Location of the rabbit-proof fences Footer text here