LIFE SE ASIA MAGAZINE

Estelea's Blog

Occidental men of all ages, if you are looking for a beautiful girlfriend, come to the Philippines!

Candidates for this year's Miss Philippines- Earth beauty pageant. Filipinas are the most awarded Beauty Queens of the world. Candidates for this year’s Miss Philippines- Earth beauty pageant. The Philippines already won all International beauty pageants: Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss International, and Miss Earth.

Ask any Caucasian male how his ego feels in the Philippines, the answer is unanimous :” like a God. I would never dream of attracting so many beautiful women back home. And so easily“. The rudest ones would add “country of cheap booze and cheap stunning women!”.

Does it mean that those Filipinas who work in bars and sadly well known clubs have better tastes than us Occidental women? “all they want is to get pregnant, they are a bunch of gold diggers, real bitches” is how most expat women (and rich Filipinas) will tell you. While their husbands will probably nod their head and smile at…

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“Refugees are Human Beings” from an American that lives in SE ASIA

WE do not usual write about politics and try to just share the beauty of SE Asia with information to help you enjoy your stay here.

There are 4 reasons a country or people may object to helping.  FEAR IGNORANCE HATE or ECONOMICS

refugee

I am an American, Christian and live in SE Asia for a number of years.  I worked in Iraq as an american contractor so have seen what war does to families.  First refugees is a moral issue for me so that is the main factor shaping my view.  My grandfather was also an immigrant from Bohemia that came to America in the late 1890s to have a better life, so my family heritage.   I write this because have seen a number of americans some politicians, friends, and family that are against the US accepting Syrian refugees. This saddens me and is embarrassing but most of all disgusting!  Number of “want to be President of America” using fear and ignorance as a means to get votes! Not inspiring  americans but bringing out the worst in mankind.   Also, the Syrian refugees are not the only refugees, as in SE Asia the Rohingya Refugees is also a crisis!  The number of refugees around the world is a huge number “The latest figures available show that the number of refugees of concern to UNHCR in mid-2014 stood at 13 million refugees, up from a year earlier” UNHCR  “The refugees of concern to UNHCR are spread around the world, with half in Asia and some 28 per cent in Africa. They live in widely varying conditions, from well-established camps and collective centres to makeshift shelters or living in the open.” WikipediaAt the end of 2014, there were 19.5 million refugees worldwide 14.4 million under UNHCR‘s mandate, plus 5.1 million Palestinian refugees under UNRWA‘s mandate)”

Photos from Google Photos

Syrian Refugees

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Rohingya Refugees

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Refugee and immigration or fleeing religious persecution, economic hardship is not new.  America was founded by people fleeing Europe from religious intolerance  and poverty. 

Flowing Across Borders

text from UNHCR

The practice of granting asylum to people fleeing persecution in foreign lands is one of the earliest hallmarks of civilization. References to it have been found in texts written 3,500 years ago, during the blossoming of the great early empires in the Middle East such as the Hittites, Babylonians, Assyrians and ancient Egyptians.

Global migration patterns have become increasingly complex in modern times, involving not just refugees, but also millions of economic migrants. But refugees and migrants, even if they often travel in the same way, are fundamentally different, and for that reason are treated very differently under modern international law.

Migrants, especially economic migrants, choose to move in order to improve the future prospects of themselves and their families. Refugees have to move if they are to save their lives or preserve their freedom. They have no protection from their own state – indeed it is often their own government that is threatening to persecute them. If other countries do not let them in, and do not help them once they are in, then they may be condemning them to death – or to an intolerable life in the shadows, without sustenance and without rights.

 

An Introduction to Statelessness

text from UNHCR

People are often asked, at some point in their lives, what nationality they have. However, not many question how and why they have acquired their nationality. Is nationality something we are born with? Is it something we acquire? Can we lose it? The answer to these questions is yes. However, unless you have encountered problems with your nationality, you probably take it for granted.

Having a nationality is something so natural that people rarely stop to think about what life would be like without it. But at least 10 million people worldwide have no nationality. That is the same as the combined populations of Norway and Denmark. Moreover, most of these 10 million people are stateless by no fault of their own. Statelessness – not having a nationality – occurs because of discrimination against certain groups; redrawing of borders; and gaps in nationality laws.

The constant in all of this is that someone without a nationality cannot live the same life as someone with a nationality:

  • Try to get an ID card if you have no nationality;
  • Try opening a bank account without an ID card;
  • Try to board a flight without a passport;
  • Try to enrol in university without proof of nationality.

These things are impossible for stateless people to do in a way that is safe and dignified. So imagine a lifetime of obstacles and disappointment and imagine 10 million people who cannot achieve their full potential.

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Coral Day, A Dream to Restore Bangka Island

indahs: dive, travel & photography

Marine Life mediumEighth edition of Marine Life monthly post. Marine Life post is published every 19th of the month. It aims to share information on specific marine life species and to promote their conservation. All images are taken by Indah Susanti unless stated otherwise.

Coral reefs are often called as the rainforest of the sea. It is estimated that one quarter of the ocean population depends on the coral reefs for shelter and food. Without coral reefs, they will be homeless and have no place to reproduce. Oceans consist of only about 0,1% of coral reefs. Millions of people in the world directly or indirectly depend on the coral reefs for food, income and medicines.

“The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study found that coral reefs generate up to US$1, 25 million per hectare from tourism, coastal protection, bioprospecting and fisheries annually.” Source: UNEP, Coral Reefs – Valuable but Vulnerable.

The contribution to people’s lives…

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Lemon in Cambodia

Ever had a rather ambitious idea and then actually made it happen? These past few weeks have seen a stroke of inspiration I had about a year ago evolve into something tangible.
My workplace, Sovann Komar, has always done sporadic community outreach work. When I accompanied the orphanage director and some of the children to see a book donation project last year, I was immediately interested in getting more involved. As of September, I have become the co-ordinator of my own little project: Sovann Komar Outreach Program for Education (SKOPE).
Through SKOPE, I will organise several projects each year, helping rural schools throughout Cambodia in various ways. We are aiming to provide these schools with the basic necessities: classrooms, running water (toilet blocks and wells), and equipment (text books, exercise books, pens, etc.). These are things we take for granted in western countries but many schools and families struggle to…

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Study: A third of big groundwater basins in distress

By Alan Buis, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory,

and Janet Wilson, University of California, Irvine

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 12.12.16 PM

Groundwater storage trends for Earth’s 37 largest aquifers from UCI-led study using NASA GRACE data (2003 – 2013). Of these, 21 have exceeded sustainability tipping points and are being depleted, with 13 considered significantly distressed, threatening regional water security and resilience. Credit: UC Irvine/NASA/JPL-Caltech. View larger image.

 

Groundwater storage trends for Earth’s 37 largest aquifers from UCI-led study using NASA GRACE data (2003 – 2013). Of these, 21 have exceeded sustainability tipping points and are being depleted, with 13 considered significantly distressed, threatening regional water security and resilience. Credit: UC Irvine/NASA/JPL-Caltech. View larger image.

About one third of Earth’s largest groundwater basins are being rapidly depleted by human consumption, despite having little accurate data about how much water remains in them, according to two new studies led by the University of California, Irvine (UCI), using data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites.

This means that significant segments of Earth’s population are consuming groundwater quickly without knowing when it might run out, the researchers conclude. The findings are published today in Water Resources Research.

“Available physical and chemical measurements are simply insufficient,” said UCI professor and principal investigator Jay Famiglietti, who is also the senior water scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “Given how quickly we are consuming the world’s groundwater reserves, we need a coordinated global effort to determine how much is left.”

The studies are the first to comprehensively characterize global groundwater losses with data from space, using readings generated by NASA’s twin GRACE satellites. GRACE measures dips and bumps in Earth’s gravity, which are affected by the mass of water. In the first paper, researchers found that 13 of the planet’s 37 largest aquifers studied between 2003 and 2013 were being depleted while receiving little to no recharge.

The most overburdened aquifers are in the world’s driest areas, where populations draw heavily on underground water. Climate change and population growth are expected to intensify the problem.

Eight were classified as “overstressed,” with nearly no natural replenishment to offset usage. Another five were found to be “extremely” or “highly” stressed, depending upon the level of replenishment in each. Those aquifers were still being depleted but had some water flowing back into them.

The most overburdened aquifers are in the world’s driest areas, where populations draw heavily on underground water. Climate change and population growth are expected to intensify the problem.

“What happens when a highly stressed aquifer is located in a region with socioeconomic or political tensions that can’t supplement declining water supplies fast enough?” asked Alexandra Richey, the lead author on both studies, who conducted the research as a UCI doctoral student. “We’re trying to raise red flags now to pinpoint where active management today could protect future lives and livelihoods.”

The research team—which included co-authors from NASA, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, National Taiwan University and UC Santa Barbara—found that the Arabian Aquifer System, an important water source for more than 60 million people, is the most overstressed in the world.

The Indus Basin aquifer of northwestern India and Pakistan is the second-most overstressed, and the Murzuk-Djado Basin in northern Africa is third. California’s Central Valley, used heavily for agriculture and suffering rapid depletion, was slightly better off, but was still labeled highly stressed in the first study.

“As we’re seeing in California right now, we rely much more heavily on groundwater during drought,” said Famiglietti. “When examining the sustainability of a region’s water resources, we absolutely must account for that dependence.”

In a companion paper published today in the same journal, the scientists conclude that the total remaining volume of the world’s usable groundwater is poorly known, with estimates that often vary widely. The total groundwater volume is likely far less than rudimentary estimates made decades ago. By comparing their satellite-derived groundwater loss rates to what little data exist on groundwater availability, the researchers found major discrepancies in projected “time to depletion.” In the overstressed Northwest Sahara Aquifer System, for example, time to depletion estimates varied between 10 years and 21,000 years.

“We don’t actually know how much is stored in each of these aquifers. Estimates of remaining storage might vary from decades to millennia,” said Richey. “In a water-scarce society, we can no longer tolerate this level of uncertainty, especially since groundwater is disappearing so rapidly.”

The study notes that the dearth of groundwater is already leading to significant ecological damage, including depleted rivers, declining water quality and subsiding land.

Groundwater aquifers are typically located in soils or deeper rock layers beneath Earth’s surface. The depth and thickness of many large aquifers make it tough and costly to drill or otherwise reach bedrock and understand where the moisture bottoms out. But it has to be done, the authors say.

To read the technical papers, visit here and here.

GRACE is a joint mission with the German Aerospace Center and the German Research Center for Geosciences, in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin. JPL developed the GRACE spacecraft and manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

Learn more about GRACE here and here.

via Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet: Study: A third of big groundwater basins in distress.

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