Green Echoes #14: Water shortages, deforestation and wildlife training

Dear friends and supporters,

Welcome to Green Echoes, a newsletter from the Environmental Reporting Collective that highlights key investigative stories, data sources, funding, reporting and training opportunities and our projects from across Asia.

This week's issue is a shorter one, with a round-up of events, resources, and training. But keep an eye out for our next issue, in two weeks, for an exciting update from us.

Best Reporting from Asia

Tempo Magazine has just published an in-depth investigation into why the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry gave a construction permit to a tycoon-owned company to build a mining road through a forest in Sumatra that is the habitat for several endemic plant and animal species. They've found several suspicious moves, business entanglements, and inconsistencies, which may be signs of corruption playing a role.

To watch: Channel News Asia has just released a short documentary called The Longest Day. The team of journalists explores how water shortages connected to climate change are impacting people in the Mekong Delta region, Jakarta, and Sumba Island in Indonesia. The takeaway: the impact is real.

Deeply concerning, according to this piece by Rina Chandran for Thomson Reuters Foundation, is this trend: countries across Asia are diluting land and environmental laws to spur growth, partly due to the pandemic. Something we need to see more local reporting on too.

Opportunities and Trainings

Bookmark this: A regularly updated list of media funding opportunities from the Global Forum for Media Development

For Chinese journalists interested in covering Africa, China Dialogue and the Africa-China Reporting Project are holding an Online Environmental Journalism Training Workshop focused on improving the quality of reporting on Africa-China issues. NOTE: Deadline tomorrow (Aug 20)

Two webinars tomorrow - Resource Watch is holding a free webinar on Turning User Feedback Into Smart Digital Design. It will explore user testing around their 2.0 Explore catalog, which features over 300 open data sets on everything from climate change to water scarcity, food insecurity to flooding.

WildEye is holding one on Investigative Wildlife Trafficking & Conservation Reporting: How to Become a Top Wildlife Journalist, which will train participants on how to use data-driven techniques to conduct effective reporting on wildlife trafficking and conservation in Asia.

The yearly journalism conference N3Con will be held online from Aug 27 to 30. There are nine panels including ones on US-China relations, reporting on protests and disinformation, diversity in the newsroom, along with training workshops. Tickets go for $10-$20. There are some limited sponsored tickets. Let us know if you’re interested. 

Wiley and the American Geophysical Union are holding a science talk on The Impact of Climate Change on Health and Society (Sept 22).

Data and other resources

Global Fishing Watch has released a new public Carrier Portal that shows users the breadth of transshipment activity worldwide.

NASA has released study maps of global mangrove loss, including detailed imagery and data from several Asian countries. See the analysis and data here.

For those of you covering wildlife trade, this study, published in World Development, argues that addressing the wildlife trade in China requires first understanding it thoroughly. (To get started, join us Slack, we have a channel dedicated to environmental journalism in China).

That’s all for this week. Anything we missed or that you’d like to see here? Want to pitch us a story? Please respond and let me know.

Stay safe and healthy,

Nithin Coca


The Environmental Reporting Collective is a group of reporters and editors across Asia and elsewhere, working together to rethink how environmental journalism is done. We support collaborative journalism projects that start new conversations on how our societies impact our planet. Such stories are complex and expensive. That’s why they require new approaches to research, reporting, editing and distribution.

To learn more about our work, check out our website, Investigative.Earth, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. You can also let us know what you would like to see in this newsletter by responding to this email.