Presentation Title

Trouble in Paradise: Water Pollution in Southeast Asia

Faculty Mentor

Chris Loeffler

Start Date

17-11-2018 8:30 AM

End Date

17-11-2018 8:45 AM

Location

C155

Session

Oral 1

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Historically, inhabitants of the remote regions in the Southeast Asian islands have sustained themselves through fishing and agriculture. As industrialization and western capitalism start to infiltrate these regions these ancient traditions are starting to disappear. This research project examines how fishermen and farmers in this region are changing their subsistence strategies to adapt to the increasing pollution of local water sources. The pollution is a result of multiple factors including: domestic and foreign plastic waste, chemical runoff from textile manufacturing, and the importation of packaged goods. This degradation of the environment is exacerbated by the lack of organized waste management and the ineffective execution of the government’s environmental policies. Because the plastic and chemical pollution is affecting the rivers and oceans from which farmers and fisherman make their living -- these tradesmen are resorting to more readily available jobs such as collecting recyclables and working in textile factories. These new subsistence strategies result in less potential income, lower quality of life for the workers and their families, and further health degradation of the people and their environment. I use the environmental, social, and political conditions of the countries of Tuvalu,The Philippines, and Indonesia to represent a microcosm of traditional farmers and fisherman in developing and underdeveloped countries worldwide. I plan to demonstrate how this shift in the traditional subsistence strategies of this region feeds into a vicious cycle that will end up negatively impacting lower socio-economic Southeast Asian people for generations. I also discuss current environmental and political conditions and possible solutions to address this growing problem.

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Nov 17th, 8:30 AM Nov 17th, 8:45 AM

Trouble in Paradise: Water Pollution in Southeast Asia

C155

Historically, inhabitants of the remote regions in the Southeast Asian islands have sustained themselves through fishing and agriculture. As industrialization and western capitalism start to infiltrate these regions these ancient traditions are starting to disappear. This research project examines how fishermen and farmers in this region are changing their subsistence strategies to adapt to the increasing pollution of local water sources. The pollution is a result of multiple factors including: domestic and foreign plastic waste, chemical runoff from textile manufacturing, and the importation of packaged goods. This degradation of the environment is exacerbated by the lack of organized waste management and the ineffective execution of the government’s environmental policies. Because the plastic and chemical pollution is affecting the rivers and oceans from which farmers and fisherman make their living -- these tradesmen are resorting to more readily available jobs such as collecting recyclables and working in textile factories. These new subsistence strategies result in less potential income, lower quality of life for the workers and their families, and further health degradation of the people and their environment. I use the environmental, social, and political conditions of the countries of Tuvalu,The Philippines, and Indonesia to represent a microcosm of traditional farmers and fisherman in developing and underdeveloped countries worldwide. I plan to demonstrate how this shift in the traditional subsistence strategies of this region feeds into a vicious cycle that will end up negatively impacting lower socio-economic Southeast Asian people for generations. I also discuss current environmental and political conditions and possible solutions to address this growing problem.