Green Echoes #2

Key investigative stories, data sources, funding/training opportunities and our projects from across Asia.

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.

Green Echoes helps you and hundreds of fellow journalists stay in the loop on the latest in environmental reporting. If you have questions, ideas or suggestions, reach me by responding to this email. 

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This week’s best reporting from across Asia

In Myanmar, Michael Tatarski reported on a massive seizure of 850 tons of teak and other wood from illegal sources. Check out the photos - this is a LOT of wood. The massive seizures and difficulty to track timber, the lack of data on the location of the logging and final destination of the wood, are raising questions about transparency in the timber sector that warrant further reporting.

In 2019, the Earth Journalism Network gave a grant to journalists Ingrid Gercama and Nathalie Bertrams to look into the trade of ornamental tropical fish and living coral. Here’s a piece looking at how they undertook investigating what had been, up to then, a largely uncovered sector of the global wildlife trade. The full version of their final English language story, published by the BBC, is here.

This quote in their piece is notable when considering the future after Covid-19: "The challenge will be to ensure that any reopening of the farmed coral trade in Indonesia does not lead to a 'gold rush' on wild coral reefs." 


Pitch us! We’re looking for experienced reporters to contribute stories on how media companies are reporting the environment. We want to know how they did the story, how it could be replicated elsewhere, and what they plan to do next. More details here (rolling deadline).

Splice is accepting applications from small to medium sized newsrooms in Asia for Lights On grants, $5000 meant to help fund short-term content, freelance, or operational initiatives related to Covid-19 (rolling deadline).

The Global Investigative Journalism Network has an extensive list of global funding opportunities

If you’d like to highlight a funding opportunity, let me know by responding to this email.  

Data and other resources

We’ve worked with GlobalLeaks to release a Vietnamese version of their open-source anonymous and secure whistleblowing service this week. Volunteers are currently working on Thai, Khmer, Tamil and other languages. Get in touch if you want to help, or use it for your website. 

Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) has made all their data training videos free during the pandemic. You can find 60 short, skill-based videos for journalists to learn tools, tricks and strategies for working with data.

Aqueduct Floods is a new tool from the World Resources Institute that measures water-related flood risk by urban damage, affected GDP, and affected population at the country, state, and river basin scale across the globe, as well as 120 cities.

Resource Watch and Relief Web have released a new database of current disaster events. This includes data about countries experiencing disaster events including floods, droughts, severe storms, earthquakes, epidemics, insect infestations, technological disasters and more.

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has just launched a new Medium page, where their research, tech, data, and editorial specialists will share what they’ve been working on, including the work that goes into their investigations. 

Is there a new data source you’d like us to highlight? Let me know by responding to this email.

Events and Trainings

The Pulitzer Center is holding a webinar on May 5 with Wahyu Dhyatmika and Marina Walker on Investigating Environmental Crime: The Data, The People, The Money. It will go over three key methodologies used broadly in investigative journalism, and provide case studies related to tropical rainforests.

NASA’s Applied Remote Sensing Training program is enrolling for their Advanced Webinar training on Forest Mapping and Monitoring with SAR Data, which takes place during 4 sessions over four weeks, starting on May 12. 

For those of you in Indonesia, there are Environmental Data Hackathons taking place in various cities in June. Deadline to apply is May 4.

And a reminder - Kuek Ser Kuang Keng is leading an Introduction to Digital Mapping webinar, aimed at beginners, on May 1! He will explain the concepts of digital mapping and show how to make your own simple, quick, and free online interactive map.

Are you hosting an event you want to feature here? 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.