MANILA, Dec 12 (IPS Asia-Pacific) – When Myo Thant, many years ago, forwarded a proposal that asked the government of Myanmar to help temper the rapid increase of HIV transmission and occurrence of AIDS in the population, his request was rejected. “Only Elizabeth Taylor works on HIV and AIDS,” he recalled one state official’s response written on his proposal paper, referring to the late American actress’ advocacy and philanthropy.
Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago, loses some 30 trillion rupiah (slightly over 3 billion U.S. dollars) a year because of illegal fishers, most of whom are from South-east Asian countries. How is Indonesia coping, and what is ASEAN’s role in solving the problem of illegal fishing? This set of four stories by Heriyanto looks into these issues.
SUNGAI KAKAP, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, Nov 26 (IPS Asia-Pacific) – Morning, approximately three o’clock. Dozens of boats are docked at Sungai Kakap, Kubu Raya District, West Kalimantan province. The dock is beginning to buzz with activity. A boat is unloading its catch. One by one, large fish are removed from the storage in the vessel’s hull and hauled into a shed close to the boat.
SUNGAI RENGAS, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, Nov 26 (IPS Asia-Pacific) – On the dock of the Pontianak Monitoring Station of the Marine Resources and Fisheries (PSDKP) here on Kapuas River in Kubu Raya District sits yet another illegal fishing vessel that Indonesian authorities had caught and confiscated recently.
JAKARTA, Nov 26 (IPS Asia-Pacific) – Faced with a continuing stream of foreign vessels that harvest its marine resources illegally, Indonesia has stepped up efforts to have the problem resolved at the regional level. But it is not finding it easy to push for action within ASEAN, despite all the discussions about illegal fishing among the members of the regional organisation.
Photo: Phoongsab Thevongsa
Photo: Joel Chong
HANOI, Oct 29 – ASEAN nations will pilot a free labour market for skilled workers and professionals in 2015 as part of a plan to integrate the region economically. This will enable workers to move freely in the region. However, little information on the process has been made available. Most Vietnamese have never heard of the scheme.
It has been five years since ASEAN adopted a declaration to protect and promote migrant workers’ rights, but it still has not managed to hammer out a legally binding instrument to implement this path-breaking declaration. Critics say ASEAN is much more friendly to business than to its own migrant workers, prompting one to call it “schizophrenic”. Vera Files’ Tess Bacalla reports on ASEAN’s uphill climb to come to terms with the migrants in its midst.
SINGAPORE (IPS Asia-Pacific) – Say ‘ASEAN’ and South-east Asians are likely to know of their main regional organisation. But this good recall does not always mean they understand how ASEAN really works, its kind of regionalism, or how this relates to their governments’ policies or their daily lives.