Unfortunately many glaring holes in your reporting. The root of many of these problems is poverty, population explosions and lack of legislation (land ownership rights).
Mangroves are cut down for making into charcoal since no easy access to electricity or gas for cooking (like you guys have in CANADA). Shrimp farming then comes along and take over some of these areas, areas with iffy ownership.
You show no evidence at all about shrimp farming destoying reefs.
Human trafficing from Burma – again poverty and geo-politics….bit like Mexico/USA?
Anti-biotics – Chloramphenicol is the only effective method in developing countries where eye infections due to bad quality potable water can be cured. There is no effective garbage disposal so empty dispensers end up tossed into the environment and into the water systems.
What more can I say – students who every decade pick up the same stories – happened also with Christian Aid, Greenpeace, EJF.
Nothing new but then, from the luxury of your heated homes, with your consumerism and easy life cycle how patronising can you get!
Go and live with the people for one or two years if you dare – two weeks – bit of a holiday hey!
I agree with Patrick that the report does not show the corelation between shrimp farming and destroying reefs and mangroves or even the helth issues.
Also, the fact that there are a lot of Burmese workers in Thailand is due to Thailand’s support for Human Rights (and offers herself as an asylum for Burmese refugees). And the facts that the Thai police raided and rescued the abused workers in the shripm factories in 2009 and the wrongdoers were convicteced in 2009 mean that Thailand is aware and trying to eliminate the illegal treatment and other human rights violations to the workers (Thais and Burmese).
It seems to me that the students who conducted the reserach had their mindset in certain way before doing a report and tried to find the story accordingly, regardless of the facts. This, to me, is unacceptable. Journalism should be about selling facts not distorting them.
I worked on mangrove recovery efforts in Thailand and I saw firsthand the desert landscapes created by shrimp farms. There are very strong corporate interests who try to discredit criticism of the environmental impact of intensive shrimp farming. I’ve even heard of people being physically attacked, so I’m not surprised that some people have left these distorted comments. It breaks my heart to see the environmental result of this practice. It is improving, and I think your report does make clear that Thailand is starting to realize the problems and change, but many other counties have copied these lucrative practices. Kudos for bringing attention to this important issue.
We need to see more reporting like this, because in a world that long ago left behind the consumption of locally-sourced and -produced products and materials as the majority of what we need for day-to-day life in the West (and indeed in much of what we call the developing world) it is important to bring attention to what consumption means and to what its real costs are. Those, as presented in this report, are of an overwhelmingly environmental stripe, but I think the report is especially eloquent at demonstrating how devastation of a physical landscape is accompanied by the selling of a mindset that encourages development at any cost. Rapacious business interests geared toward turning a profit are probably not inherent human qualities, but rather ones driven by the need to accumulate wealth that a now global society seems to have accepted as a precondition of life as we know it. Needless to say, reporting like this demonstrates the other side of that coin, as it were: that global society, both in local initiatives in Thailand (in the case) but also as exemplified in this sort of journalistic activity, does produce the possibility for thinking about, criticizing and counteracting the willful erosion of our natural resources. My congratulations to this team of students for launching an incisive look into one aspect of what it means to sate so many of our desires so easily.
Maybe the team would like to take on another challenge– the pressure that our exploding human population puts on the planet? I’d be glad to see that reporting.