New & Noteworthy
Local elections in Timor-Leste are scheduled for October 29. Citizens will vote for Village Chiefs, delegates for Village Councils, and Hamlet Chiefs.
Timor-Leste has been undergoing a process of decentralization, which the current government has declared to be a priority. The new local, or suco, law stipulates expanded administrative authority for the Village Chief and Village Council including in community development, dispute mediation, and revenue collection.
Sidney Jones, one of the leading experts on extremism in Southeast Asia, writes that Islamist extremists are gaining ground because of a lack of political leadership in Indonesia.
Support for ISIS has deepened cooperation among extremists in maritime Southeast Asia, according to the latest report from the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict. The report argues that law enforcement agencies in the region need to have expertise on groups outside their own borders, especially in Mindanao.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is now America’s fourth-largest trading partner. Two-way trade in goods and services has tripled since the 1990s and the United States is the largest source of foreign direct investment in ASEAN. U.S.
The Philippines will serve as ASEAN Chair in 2017, at which time ASEAN will mark its 50th anniversary. Having successfully served as host of APEC in 2015, the country has demonstrated that facilitating massive, significant international events is well within its capability—thus observers’ attention can focus on substance instead of administrative details. And there is considerable attention directed to the Philippines at the moment, not least because of the outspoken new president, Rodrigo Duterte.
The potential effect of such extreme weather was shown in 2011 when Thailand was hit by the worst flood it had experienced in 50 years. This study produced the first comprehensive estimate of the economic losses experienced by households that were badly affected by the 2011 Bangkok flood. The study finds that the median household economic cost of the 2011 Bangkok floods was equivalent to about half of an average household’s annual expenditure.
Landowners’ Preferences for a Payment for Environmental Services Program: A Case Study in East Thailand
This study aimed to design a desirable payment for environmental services (PES) program to be implemented in Eastern Thailand. Landowners’ preferences on program factors were both identified and quantified using a choice experiment. The results showed that all hypothetical programs attributes were statistically significant to landowners’ participation decisions, except free-to-choose in-kind benefits. Willingness to accept (WTA) calculations suggested that higher monetary incentives could help induce landowners to participate in PES programs that generate desirable environmental benefits.
Payment for Environmental Services (PES) programs have been implemented in PES and PES-like forms in Cambodia focusing on watershed, biodiversity conservation, recreation/landscape beauty, and carbon sequestration and storage. However, a specific PES law or policy has yet to be developed. This report presents a review of selected current literature on PES and/or PES-like schemes implemented in Cambodia. Local and international NGOs were visited and interviewed in order to capture the elements of the individual programs.
In its latest report, The Anti-Salafi Campaign in Aceh, the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) examines the background to the latest phase of the ideological struggle between traditionalist clerics in rural Aceh and their urban rivals. The report explores the the risk of violence this rivalry poses.
The ever insightful team at Action for Economic Reforms have released a new report analyzing the current state of the Philippine economy and the performance of the Aquino administration and proposes a framework for the Duterte administration and beyond that focuses on an innovative industrial policy that would address the structural weaknesses in the Philippine economy as well as policies to address vulnerability.
Declassified U.S. Documents Help Fill Void Left by Thailand’s Silence on 38th Anniversary of Thammasat University Massacre
This week marks the 38th anniversary of the student massacre at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand on October 6, 1976, which saw between 50 and 100 leftist student protesters tortured and killed, hundreds more injured, and thousands arrested. Thanks to the declassification efforts of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), over 75 previously classified documents are available, helping fill the void left by the Thai government’s silence on the event.
The events surrounding the 40th anniversary of the tragedy, seen by many as the darkest day in modern Thai political history, includes conferences, art works, plays and cultural events and come amid heightened political sensitivities in Thailand under a ruling military government since May 2014.
Thousands of people have been killed since Rodrigo Duterte became president and, according to one officer, secret police teams are partly responsible
In May, Rodrigo Duterte, who served as Davao’s mayor for 21 years, was elected president of the Philippines, defeating four other challengers with a promise to purge the country of drug dealers.
The annual Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and Indiaexamines Asia’s regional economic growth, development and regional integration process. It focuses on the economic conditions of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. It also addresses relevant economic issues in People’s Republic of China and India to fully reflect economic developments in the region.