Author Archives

Lisa Peryman

Lisa Peryman has worked with Greenpeace Australia and The Wilderness Society (Australia). She studied journalism in New Zealand and book and magazine publishing in Canada. Her background includes reporting and editing for daily newspapers and trade magazines, as well as creative copywriting for broadcast. Lisa is continuing her studies in Canada and currently works with Probe International as an editor and writer.

China’s smog battle ongoing but skies are clearer for Beijing

The problem of smog is declining faster in Beijing than elsewhere in China, where air pollution remains at hazardous levels, reports Greenpeace. Chinese authorities, meanwhile, are making a “big deal” of going after small-time or individual polluters rather than industrial polluters. Why the smoke screen?

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A taxing new era

As foreign aid dries up in the age of austerity, low-income countries are being asked more and more to generate their own funds for development. One recommendation is taxation. Taxes produce revenue and taxed citizens are more likely to hold their governments to account for how development funds are spent. Developing countries say rich nations need to pay their share of taxes too.

Silence of the dammed

Among the conflicting opinions over hydroelectric development of the Mekong River Basin, one voice seems to be missing, writes longtime development worker and researcher JeeRung: the local communities of Laos directly affected. She breaks down why.

Environmental protests expose weakness in China’s leadership

Mass protests are a growing fixture in China’s grassroots’ not-in-my-back-yard environmental justice movement. A lightning rod for public action concerns PX plants – chemical factories located elsewhere in the world that do not incite large-scale protests the way they do in China. Yet the Chinese government cannot convince citizens they are “no more harmful than a cup of coffee.”

Ten years later: China’s golf course crackdown gets serious

On March 30, China’s National Development and Reform Commission ordered the immediate closure of 66 golf courses across the country — the first sign of follow-up on a 10-year moratorium on new courses that a report by Beijing Today describes as “an admission of the failure” of that ban. During the past decade, instead of declining, the number of golf courses on the Chinese mainland exploded from 178 in 2004 to 528 in 2013. How did that happen in the face of a government crackdown?

Bo Xilai’s pet project blocked … for now

Construction of a controversial hydropower project that would flood one of the last remaining unaltered stretches along China’s famed Yangtze River has been blocked by the country’s environmental regulators — a surprise defeat in the face of an unrestrained dam-building boom that many opponents worry will cause an irreversible legacy of damage.

MDB “knowledge” banks

Former IMF chief economist Kenneth Rogoff says “far too little attention has been devoted to understanding why multilateral development lending has so often failed”. In his experience, MDBs are most valuable as “knowledge” banks — sharing soft development infrastructure such as experience and best practices rather than financial muscle. The latter, he says, has led to their “greatest failures”.

China’s blind “barefoot lawyer”

Blind human rights activist, and self-taught lawyer, Chen Guangcheng, gives an extraordinary interview here with the British broadcaster Matthew Bannister, detailing his very dramatic escape from China to the U.S., as well as his difficult childhood as part of a misunderstood and mistreated disabled community, where he first began speaking out to demand change.

Answerable to no one

Just as China took a moment to enjoy Washington and Tokyo’s discomfort over Europe’s biggest economies declaring in favour of a new Chinese-led Asian investment bank, Washington and Tokyo took a moment to caution joiners to beware of governance standards. We say: beware of multilateral development banks in general.