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A FRESH ATTITUDE FOR A NEW ERA

Being a catalyst for positive change.

Changing Times is about making a difference. It’s about being informed and taking positive action.

When we are informed, our choices are more conscious. In the face of current challenges, we need to work together to find durable solutions and bring balance back into society; we need to share information, and support each other’s efforts.

Unscrupulous governments and industry are wreaking untold havoc. From the Great Barrier Reef and the forests of Tasmania to the Arctic, the Amazon, Alaska, and huge swathes of Southeast Asia, the flora and fauna without which our planet will become a wasteland are being destroyed.

Changing Times aims to help halt this devastation, and contribute to turning things around.

On this one website, you can read about the plight of koalas in Australia and orangutans in Indonesia, the campaign against fracking in France and elsewhere, urban overdevelopment in Kuala Lumpur, and – on the lighter side – world music in Borneo.

You can also find out about reiki, ayurveda, homeopathy, and other healing practices, and read thought-provoking travel articles.

Journalism can be holistic!

The News and travel blog is the hub of Changing Times, the place to go to keep up to date with the latest posts.

For the whole of March, 2014, the blog was dominated by articles about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. I have now scaled back my coverage of the plane’s disappearance, but will bring readers further information if anything concrete finally emerges about what happened to this aircraft and the 239 people on board.

I am just back from Sumatra, so will be bringing you updates about deforestation – and reforestation, and an article about whether there can be true sustainability in the palm oil industry.

I was in Australia recently, so will also be keeping you up to date about the fight to save the Great Barrier Reef and the plight of the koala.

Other stories coming soon include an article about ag-gag laws – a serious new threat to activists who produce undercover videos and other material exposing animal cruelty, for instance.

My article “Koala extinctions already a reality ” paints a disturbing picture of inaction on the part of many local authorities and the national government in the face of the threats to koala survival. The situation is worsening all the time.

Koalas are already considered extinct in Avalon, north of Sydney, and are in danger of disappearing from many other parts of Australia. The iconic animal that tourists queue up to cuddle is suffering the ravages of disease and sustaining horrific injuries on logging plantations.

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As koala habitat continues to be destroyed for urban and industrial development, thousands of the animals are dying as a result of car hits and dog attacks. Bushfires continue to kill thousands more.

There are two new resources on Changing Times: the News links page and Campaign and petition links.

There are links to news and petitions about palm oil, land rights, animal protection, food sovereignty and safety, and global food control.

Press and internet freedom and the threats posed by the Trans-Pacific Partnership – the international trade agreement being negotiated by the United States, Canada, and 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region – are just some of the other issues that Changing Times follows very closely.

Changing Times is a platform for long-form journalism. One of my current focuses is urban development and what is being done to try and bring balance and humanity back into our cities. One of my most recent articles is about local resistance to the proposed high-rise redevelopment of Kampong Bharu – the last remaining urban village in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Another main focus on Changing Times is the mass cultivation of palm oil in Indonesia and the disastrous effect this is having on forests and wildlife.

Following on from the destruction of large swathes of the Tripa peat forest in nothern Sumatra, there are now plans for further industrial expansion in the area. Under a proposed new spatial plan, large areas of protected forest in the Leuser Ecosystem would be re-zoned for mining, logging, and palm oil cultivation.

This is a shocking development that further menaces wildlife and biodiversity in the province of Aceh, where thousands of acres of the Tripa forest have already been destroyed by palm oil companies. (See the News and travel blog for full information.)

The Leuser Ecosystem covers six million acres and is an area of great biodiversity. It is home to the densest populations of orangutans anywhere in the world and is the only place where tigers, orangutans, elephants, sun bears and rhinos share the same habitat.There is a petition on change.org, which appeals for the Ecosystem to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Petition

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There was good news in January, when an Indonesian court found the palm oil company PT Kallista Alam guilty of illegal burning in Tripa.

The court ordered the company to pay 114.3 billion rupiah (nearly 9.4 million US$) in compensation and 251.7 billion rupiah (close to 20.8 million US$) to restore the 1,000 hectares of forest affected.

See the full story here: Palm oil company fined millions of dollars for destroying forest.

Read, too, about the pollution haze that each year blankets Singapore and western Malaysia and is caused by slash-and-burn fires in Riau province in neighbouring Indonesia.

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Melaka, June 22, 2013.

Read also on Changing Times about campaigns to prevent shale gas exploitation in France. This latest push by the oil and gas companies to blast resources out of the earth is an issue for people all around the world.

Go to Video stories to learn about Indonesian fishermen who are risking life and limb diving for sea cucumbers. There is also an article on the News and travel blog.

divingPhoto by Roni Bintang.

For inspiration, check out the film reviews, and, for information on how to stay in good form, click on Health and well-being.

You can read a very interesting guest article by five element acupuncturist Debra Kaatz. A new interview – with House of Yoga teacher Karla Kelly – will be online soon.

For music lovers, there is full coverage of the 2013 Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo.

Also see my latest guest post – about writing creatively as a journalist – on the World of Writing blog. World of Writing

A quote to remember: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” – Albert Einstein.

Einstein also said: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Chinese proverb: “Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”

And here are a few inspiring links:

The Intelligent Optimist
Spiritual Cinema
Gaiam TV
The Shift Network
The Grandmothers Speak
Playing For Change
Humanity’s Team

A friend has asked me to mention this organisation: Cancer Support France . She says the local Languedoc branch particularly needs support. CSF-Languedoc

And please support Ian Singleton’s initiative to raise awareness about climate change and raise funds for the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme: Climbing Kilimanjaro

Links to partner websites:

Queensland Koala Crusaders

House of Yoga

Zenagraphique

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“Agathe”, a work by Zena Zenazena. (Copyright Zena Zenazena.)

Apologies; ads are now appearing on this website; it’s now WordPress practice to place such ads and I have no control over what appears. I’ll monitor the situation and decide whether to pay to remove them.

Unless otherwise stated, all original content © 2000-2014 Annette Gartland. All rights reserved.