Green Echoes #6

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.

A quick note why we are doing this: We want to connect journalists and newsrooms and help us all do better reporting. If you know someone who might be interested, please forward this email to them or invite them to subscribe using the button below.

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Also, we've just launched a bi-weekly Chinese-language newsletter. You'll find it has a stronger focus on Chinese-language reporting.

If you read Chinese, subscribe here, and please do share with your Chinese-speaking friends and colleagues and let us know how we can make it more useful to you. 


Featured Journalist: Ian Morse

As part of a new, ongoing feature in Green Echoes where we speak to journalists directly, I asked Ian some questions about his reporting. He has just published two stories for Mongabay on the environmental impacts of mining in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, driven by the growth in demand for nickel for zero-emissions and electric vehicles.

Was it a challenge to report this remotely, or due to the ongoing pandemic?

“It was definitely a challenge, considering I had to take extensive notes on the documents before I left Indonesia, then repeatedly circle back to sources to check facts, when I couldn’t see them in person. It’s hard to chase sources through WhatsApp.”

What do you hope readers take away when they read your reporting?

“I’d hope that people see some alternatives and nuance in the whole question of ‘where do we get the metals that are needed for the clean energy transition?’ I know some companies are already citing land waste as a reason to seabed mine, but there’s more to it than that.”

You can follow Ian on Twitter @ianjmorse, and read more of his reporting on Southeast Asia on his Mongabay contributor page.

This week’s best reporting from across Asia

Here's a worrying piece in Reuters by Rina Chandran on how lockdowns and restrictions related to Covid-19 have made farmers and indigenous people across Asia more vulnerable to losing their land. As the pandemic eases, we hope to see more access and reporting on what's happening in remote regions.

The Earth Journalism Network has just published the English version of Mawa Kresna's in-depth feature on the flow of trash down the 600-km long Bengawan Solo river in Java, Indonesia (original Indonesian language version here).

At Saigoneer, Mike Tatarski reports on a unique course at a college in Vietnam that trains students to become future conservationists – with a specific focus on combating illegal wildlife trade. 

Aathira Perinchery reports about how Indian scientists are now able to obtain the whole genome of wild tigers just from their shed hair. This method could aid tiger translocations and forensics – and, we hope, could be applied to other species.

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


The Logan Nonfiction Program is accepting applicants for their Fall 2020 fellowship class. Applications must be at work on a long-form project in order to apply (Deadline June 1).

Climate Tracker is currently looking for people with media experience to co-design a regional media analysis of coal in Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Winners get $400 a month (Deadline June 11) and training.

The Third Pole is offering grants to journalists based in Bangladesh, Bhutan and India to support in-depth stories on the ecology and the economy of the transboundary Brahmaputra/Jamuna, Meghna and the Teesta river basins (Deadline June 15).

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is accepting entries for its 2020 Kavli Science Journalism Awards from journalists worldwide (Deadline August 1).

The Fund for Environmental Journalism announced it is accepting applications for a new category - Oceans and coasts globally, including fisheries, sea-level rise and coastal restoration (Rolling deadline). 

If you’d like to highlight a funding opportunity, let me know!  

Data and other resources

Resource Watch has a new blog post showing how their platform can be used to understand what countries and regions are vulnerable to locusts swarms, a growing concern in parts of Asia and Africa.

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

Events and Trainings

For those of you who are interested in using remote sensing to monitor air quality, NASA is holding an introductory webinar on how they measure air pollution on May 26.

Also on May 26 - The Journalism and the Pandemic Project – a research collaboration between ICFJ and the Tow Center – are holding a webinar on how#COVID19 is transforming journalism.

AAJA-Asia is holding their next Digital N3 Salon on using data to find impactful Coronavirus stories, and diversity. It features Kuek Ser Kuang Keng, Opennews' Erika Owens and Sisi Wei. It's on May 30.

The World Economic Forum is hosting a series of Virtual Ocean Dialogues, starting on June 1. See the whole schedule and RSVP here

And for your calendar: Global Fact, a conference for fact-checkers, is going fully virtual. It will take place between June 24-27. More details here.

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.