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Dutch flood expert reports on last year flooding mayhem

Dutch flood expert, arrived in Thailand in early October last year, to find the country struggling to prevent a wall of water from flowing southwards to Bangkok.

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When Adri Verwey, a Dutch flood expert, arrived in Thailand in early October last year, the country was struggling to prevent a wall of water from flowing southwards to Bangkok. It was also struggling against itself. Government departments were working alone – even sometimes against each other – and in charge was a weeks-old administration led by a relative unknown in Yingluck Shinawatra trying to protect the opposition-run capital.

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The prime minister also ordered an increase in the number of the Flood Relief Operation Centre hotline 1111 ext 5 after complaints were made on insufficiency of the line

“There were these political problems,” says Verwey, a consultant with Deltares, a Dutch institute specializing in flood solutions. Contacted by Thai authorities through the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok, Verwey was soon taking charge of crisis meetings involving the new prime minister, the army and numerous ministries as they tried to plug leaking dykes and flush water out to sea via poorly maintained flood channels.

via Can Thailand Avoid Becoming a Modern-Day Atlantis? | The Diplomat.

Environment

Southeast Asia remains a hot spot for plastic pollution

The use of plastics is deeply embedded in our daily lives, in everything from grocery bags and cutlery to water bottles and sandwich wrap. But the quest for convenience has gone too far and we are failing to use plastics efficiently, wasting valuable resources and harming the environment.

Victoria Kwakwa

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Southeast Asia has emerged as a hot spot for plastic pollution because of rapid urbanization and a rising middle class , whose consumption of plastic products and packaging is growing due to their convenience and versatility.

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Environment

Diamonds are forever but “James Bond Island” in Phang Nga Bay may not

Boris Sullivan

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Thailand’s Department of Mineral Resources will assess the stability of the limestone karst towers, which make up the chain of islands, after several similar rock formations, in both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, have collapsed.

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Environment

Climate Change: how Asia-Pacific will affect the whole planet

Pursuing a green recovery in the aftermath of COVID-19 might sound daunting, but it’s actually a great opportunity to direct recovery spending into stimulating sustainable jobs and growth and fight climate change.

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Forget the poetic flap of a butterfly’s wings in Beijing causing rain in Central Park. Climate change issues in Asia-Pacific are measured in superlatives. The world’s biggest population. Two of the three largest carbon dioxide-emitting countries and the largest share of emissions globally.

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