Environmental Conflicts in Asia

NEW DELHI (DataLEADS/ANN) - While India records the highest number of environmental conflicts arising mostly from nuclear, water management, biomass and land conflicts in the world, Bhutan records none.

India enjoys the dubious distinction of having more conflicts than any other country in the region and the world.  Despite opposition from people protesting coal mining, hydropower projects and various waste management plants, India has relentlessly pursued these projects. Recently in the southern state of India, 13 people lost their lives in protests demanding closure of Sterlite plant. The country has 271 political conflicts, which is way more than other countries.  

China is second in Asia in terms of the number of conflicts. The conflicts range from resistance to copper mining, waste incarceration, chemical plants and construction of dams. In total, the country has 76 conflicts.

Indonesia has 61 environmental conflicts and has third highest conflicts in Asia. Out of total conflicts the country has 38 biomass and land conflicts. Philippines has the fourth highest number of environmental conflicts in Asia.  Out of 47 conflicts, 25 are related to mineral ores and building extraction.

Sri Lanka has fifth highest number of conflicts in Asia at 29, followed by Japan with 27 conflicts.  Japan has seven conflicts related to industries and utilities.

Cambodia has 22 conflicts out of which 17 are related to biomass and land conflict.  Land grab for sugar plantation, lake eviction, illegal sand mining and illegal rosewood logging are some of the environmental conflicts in Cambodia.  It is followed by Myanmar with 21 conflicts, most of which are related to water management.

Vietnam has 20 environmental conflicts followed by Thailand and Bangladesh with 16 and 14 conflicts respectively. South Korea has 9 conflicts related to nuclear, fossil fuels and climate justice.

Malaysia has 7 conflicts related to biomass and land conflict and water management. Pakistan has 7 conflicts. The location of dams in Pakistan administered Kashmir are a source of major conflict with India that stakes claim to the territory.

Nepal has four environmental conflicts mostly related to water management. Maldives has one conflict related to waste management. The landfill established in Thilafushi, an artificial island on an artificial lagoon has become a toxic bomb for the country.

Bhutan is the only Asian country that records no environmental conflict.