Green Echoes #3

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. If you have questions, ideas or suggestions, reach me by responding to this email.

Also a thanks to everyone who has filled out our survey! We'll be sharing the results next week. If you haven't yet, please do. It will help us understand your needs and interests and build a better community.

This week’s best reporting from across Asia

We're especially excited to see this investigation by our colleague Bao Choy, published this week by Oxpeckers. It exposes how Chinese courts are giving lenient punishments to those convicted of pangolin-related crimes, the reasons for this, and the potential for stronger laws in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. They also made the English-language data available for follow-up reporting.

This piece in Caixin from Quan Yue and Denise Jia looks into the decision by Papua New Guinea to not extend the license of China’s Zijin Mining. Environmental damage and social unrest are cited as key reasons for the decision. It is worth watching how this evolves, as China has threatened to retaliate. 

Roberto Jurkschat received a grant from the Earth Journalism Network in 2018, to investigate the illegal trafficking in snakeskins from Southeast Asia to Europe. In this detailed piece, he describes how he ended up finding surprising conflicts of interest that even implicated members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Read his final story, published in Buzzfeed, here.

If you’d like to highlight a story here, let me know! Just respond to this email.


The Kurt Schork Memorial Fund is accepting submissions for its 2020 Awards in International Journalism,each of which come with a $5000 prize. They focus on those reporting in developing countries, with categories for local reporters, freelancers, and fixers. See details here, and the deadline is May 31. 

National Geographic is accepting applications for its Covid-19 emergency fund for journalists. They'll distribute between $1000-8000 USD to journalists from all around the world who wish to cover COVID-19 and its impacts within their own communities (rolling deadline). 

Money Trail is accepting applications for projects that investigate cross-border illicit financial flows, tax abuse, money laundering and corruption in Africa, Asia and Europe. NOTE: Check the requirements – for the most part, you need to submit applications as a team with journalists in another region. If you're considering applying and need partners, respond to this email and let us know – we might be able to help connect you with potential collaborators (Deadline June 15). 

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

Data and other resources

Digital security is an important part of any investigative journalist’s toolkit. Engage Media has released a guide on keeping your online presence clean, safe, and secure. It’s available in English, Thai, and Indonesian, with more Asian languages coming.

Being stuck at home is an opportunity to do desk research. Project MUSE, one of the leading databases of scholarly and academic resources, is making a large amount of  scholarly content available for free on our platform during the pandemic. Check out their huge list of available collections here, including the National Bureau of Asian Research and Johns Hopkins University Press.

The Society of Environmental Journalists has released a toolbox to aid journalists investigating oil market data – of particular importance right now as global oil prices are changing dramatically. It includes price resources and potential data and information sources.

The Stimson Center has just released the Mekong Infrastructure Tracker, an interactive tool that allows anyone to track, monitor, and quantify the development of energy, transportation, and water infrastructure assets and the social, economic, and ecological changes along the Mekong River. Check it out – it includes numerous datasets, and they have a guide on how to discover stories using their tools as well.

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

Events and Trainings

The Earth Journalism Network and Oxpeckers are hosting a webinar on COVID-19 and environmental crisis TODAY, May 6, focused on how you can use data to report on the pandemic’s links to everything from wildlife trafficking to inequality. Register here.

Reuters Institute is holding a webinar on fact-checking global stories on May 20. Register here

The Berring Data Collective is holding two “Fishing for Data” webinars, also on May 20. They'll go over several tools, and introduce the work they're doing to promote communication and data standardization when it comes to fishing activities around the world. Register here

And in case you missed it, we have a recording of our webinar from last week: Using Data to Investigate Pangolin Trafficking.

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.