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Sugarcane’s bitter effects on the environment

Are the environmental costs of sugar production worth suffering for a substance that contributes nutrition-less empty calories to the human diet? Part of our special series Sweetness & Power

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What lies below should stay below

Fearing an environmental crisis that could end their traditional way of life, a local protest group in Sakon Nakhon is fighting against a Chinese mining project.

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My mother, the marriage migrant

People looked down on my mother because she used marriage to create a better life for us overseas. What’s so shameful about that?

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Lao women in Isaan’s karaoke bars: “Men certainly don’t pretend we’re waitresses.”

Under the guise of waitresses in karaoke bars, Lao migrant women continue to work in the sex trade in the Northeast, despite the risk of arrest and deportation.

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LATEST UPDATE

Features

Sweetness & Power (9) – Sweet but risky: Sugarcane and the biochemical industry in Isaan

The government wants Thailand to become the bio hub of ASEAN by 2027, and Isaan will play a role with its own bio hub in Ban Phai district. But this state-sponsored development is too often pushed through without meaningful participation of local people, writes guest contributor Maenwat Kunchon na Ayutthaya.
Features

Sweetness & Power (8) – Trouble brewing over Thailand’s sugarbowl

The government's sugarcane strategy calls for the construction of 29 new sugar mills in Isaan, each with its own biomass power plant. Locals are concerned the mills and power plants will jeopardize efforts to promote organic agriculture, take communal resources, pollute water sources, and impact long-term health and well-being of communities.
Opinion

Be ready for the next deluge: Ten challenges for flood risk management in Isaan

Floods and droughts happen every year, but the Thai government has never addressed the issue with any sort of long-term vision. It’s time to systematically address the problems of flood risk management in the Northeast, writes guest contributor Pattawi Choti-Anan.
Opinion

How Isaan’s alternative energy future could shine bright

Northeast Thailand has the potential to become a solar power hub. But with high installation costs, the government should do more to promote the use of alternative energy.
Features

Sweetness & Power (7) – Thailand dreams of a sugary future as farmers struggle to survive

Thailand's ten-year sugar plan glowingly envisions more than doubling sugarcane production and making the country the “bio-hub” of Southeast Asia. But in the Northeast where nearly half the country’s sugarcane is produced, growers both large and small are struggling to keep their heads above water.