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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   1 April 2013  

ASEAN Peatland Media Award “Peat for Life”

The Global Environment Centre (GEC) and ASEAN Secretariat, is pleased to announce the launch of the ASEAN Peatland Media Award to stimulate and generate interest of individuals in reporting and highlighting peatland related stories in the media.   
The announcement was made today in conjunction with the 2013 World Forestry Day celebrations organized by the Forestry Department of Peninsula Malaysia in Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), Pekan campus.
The ASEAN Peatland Media Award with the theme “Peat for Life” will honour individuals or journalists for their reporting on peatlands that covers sustainability, biodiversity, community livelihood and environmental issues in Southeast Asia region. The award is organised by the ASEAN Secretariat and Global Environment Centre (GEC) with the support from the IFAD/GEF-ASEAN Peatland Forests Project (APFP) and of EU-SEApeat Project to promote sustainable management of peatlands in Southeast Asia.  
More than 24 million ha of peatlands are found in the Southeast Asian region. Peatlands are naturally forested and provide valuable goods and services including timber and non-timber forest products, fish, water supply, flood control, carbon storage and climate regulation. If peatlands are drained or degraded, they are susceptible to fire. Peatland fires are the main source of transboundary smoke haze in Southeast Asia which is ASEAN’s most serious regional environmental problem.
“Peatlands is one of the focal areas under the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution to tackle the root cause of transboundary haze caused by peat fire.  The ASEAN Peatland Media Award aims to raise awareness on issues and challenges in peatland management in the region and bring success stories of government action and grassroots peatland conservation efforts in ASEAN countries to the public’s attention,” said Dr Raman Letchumanan, Director of the Environmental Division of the ASEAN Secretariat, who is also Project Director of the APFP project.

The contest is divided into 2 categories, Print and New Media and submission is open to all individuals and organisations for articles on peat related topics published between 1st January and 31st December 2013. Topics can cover peatland related subject, ranging from ecological to socioeconomic, which has general significance to the ASEAN community; including peatland fire and haze, scientific research/discovery, peatland and climate change, deforestation and land degradation,  biodiversity conservation, community livelihood on peatland, economics and sustainability of peatland development etc.  
Print Media includes newspaper and magazine articles, reports and any other printed materials. For New Media, the category includes videos, blogs, and other materials which have been published online during the same period. Entries are judged based on the content, message and approach of the published article. Cash prizes totaling US$3600 and a stay in the award winning resort of Frangipani Langkawi worth US$1,000 are waiting for the winners of both categories for their outstanding reporting.  
Submission will be accepted beginning 1st April 2013 until midnight on 31st December 2013 (+8 GMT). The contest guidelines, rules and regulations, and additional information can be found at
ABOUT APFP and SEApeat  
The ASEAN Peatland Forest Project (APFP), funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); is led by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) Secretariat and selected ASEAN Member States while the related SEApeat project, funded by the European Union involve all ten ASEAN countries between 2010-2014.  The projects aim to enhance capacity, support fire prevention and sustainable management of peatlands in the region. Further details of these two initiatives can be found at  
Global Environment Centre is a Malaysian non-profit organization established in 1998 to work on environmental issues of global importance. GEC works regionally and internationally both directly and through many partners. It supports information exchange and capacity building as well as undertakes strategic projects, particularly in developing countries. GEC’s mission is to support the protection of the environment and sustainable use of the natural resources to meet local, regional and global needs, through strategic partnerships with communities and like-minded organisations. It is a founding partner of the ASEAN Peatland Management Initiative and has been appointed as the Regional Project Executing Agency (RPEA) for the APFP.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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