The Globe as you know it is changing.
Coming June 2019

  • More thought-provoking stories that inspire
  • Independent, free and member-supported
  • Vote for, pitch and commission stories
  • Member engagement with our journalists

To understand more about why you are so important to our member-supported initiative, we encourage you to read the following from our managing editor ~ Read more

The Globe as you know it is changing.

Since 2007, Southeast Asia Globe has been a space for some of the region’s best writers and photographers to take our readers behind the headlines into the stories that shape people’s lives. Every month, you could expect to pick up our latest print edition and find high-quality journalism, analysis and artwork waiting on every page. And since 2007, we’ve fought to uphold our promise of quality and independence to you, our readers.

But, like we said, the world is changing. Print publications just aren’t reaching the audiences they need to fulfil their promise of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Advertisers continue to invest in digital platforms while printing costs creep ever higher. Print may not be dead, but it’s fighting for its life. And we’re tired of waiting by a sickbed for its condition to improve. We want to be present at the birth of something new.

That’s why Southeast Asia Globe is relaunching as a member-driven platform featuring daily long-form features combining world-class journalism with enthralling art design and data-centered tech. Through our core pillars – Power, Money, Life and Earth – we are focusing in on the central issues that our readers have always engaged with most, with the same in-depth coverage of politics, business, social affairs and the environment that you’ve come to expect since 2007.

But leaving print behind us doesn’t just save our backs from lugging stacks of magazines across Southeast Asia. It opens up a global readership who don’t just want to read the news, but have a say in the stories that we tell and the way that we tell them. We’re not asking you to take out another magazine subscription – our stories are open to all. What we’re offering our members is a space where they can pitch and vote on the stories that they think deserve to be told. We want to inspire an engaged and active community of members who vote for, comment on and contribute to the stories that matter most to them. We want to work with our members to curate the way they engage with the news – not just as readers, but as an active extension of our editorial team.

That’s how we’re changing to bring you great stories. Here’s how we’re not.

We’re independent. Always have been, always will be. We’re not owned by any corporation or aligned with any state. We choose the stories that we tell, and the way that we tell them.

We’re creative. We’re not interested in churning out breaking news stories on the hour, every hour. We believe that the best stories are the ones that come alive on the page, digging deeper into the issues that shape Southeast Asia – and bringing you along for the ride. From our dedicated designers to our new software development team, our commitment is to constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways of reaching out to our readers.

We’re open. Challenging governments, NGOs and businesses to be transparent with the public means nothing if we keep our own readers in the dark. That’s why we will be completely open about why we tell the stories that we tell – and how we pay for them. Work with us to build something that endures where many media fail, and decide with us exactly where that money is going.

Above all, we’re optimistic. And yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Faced with impending climate collapse, the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, widening wealth and income inequality and deepening divisions rooted in race or gender or creed, it’s hard not to open the papers and feel the weight of the world pressing down. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe that when people work together, they can make their little corner of the world a more just, open and equal place.

And that’s why we can’t do this without you. We believe that across the globe is a community of people who care deeply about social justice, environmental action and press freedom – and who will join in to help make those ideals a reality. We’re not just holding our hand out – we need your voice to play a vital role in building Southeast Asia Globe into a leading space for progressive causes in the region. Tell us what stories the mainstream media is missing. Share with us the causes that matter most to you, and how we can champion those causes not just across Southeast Asia, but the world.

Our vision is clear. By 2025, we want to be recognised for building a great space for outstanding journalists from across the region to explore new ways of telling Southeast Asia’s most vital stories. Let’s bring together a community of engaged and loyal members who want to help reshape the media rather than just read it. And we want to reach a point where our readers, not advertisers, are the ones working to support our shared vision of an inclusive media.

We can’t do this without you. Let’s get together and build something that we all believe in.

If you’re interested in joining us, sign up to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. And watch this space.

Naga Earth / Turning Temple Town green through ‘upcycling’

By: Lily Hess - Posted on: January 8, 2019 | Cambodia

A social enterprise in Siem Reap is coming up with innovative solutions to the ever-accumulating wastes at the tourism hot spot of Siem Reap. It “upcycles” refuse into biofuel, soap and durable goods

Naga Earth’s volunteers giving a free paper recycling workshop to staff from Brown Cafe

Siem Reap is Cambodia’s tourism cash cow. Over a million visitors fly directly to the city every year, and the city and nearby temples attracted more than 5.6 million people in 2017, a number that has been rising over the past 20 years.

Such an influx of tourists presents environmental challenges. Cambodia already has a variety of environmental issues like illegal logging and a lack of recycling facilities, let alone the waste of millions of tourists. Tim Waterfield wants to help as the founder of Naga Earth, a social enterprise that’s trying to make tourism greener in Siem Reap.

Cooking oils are often emptied down drains by street food vendors, which can lead to environmental issues down the line. Naga Earth collects used cooking oil and turns it into biodiesel fuel. The outfit got started ten years ago with biofuel when Waterfield, an American mechanical engineer, partnered with a Siem Reap hospital to power it with biodiesel. Years later, the enterprise has expanded beyond that original first step.

“Now we’re working with a number of businesses that use our biofuel,” said Waterfield. He counts Angkor Golf Resort and Grasshopper Adventures among the 20 businesses now using his biofuel.

Tim Waterfield standing next to Josette Vanneur of Siem Reap Pagoda Cats

Waterfield explained how tourism benefits the environment in Siem Reap: “Siem Reap works very hard as a community to keep the community clean, and there’s a lot of environmental initiatives in Siem Reap…. I would say the environmental awareness in Siem Reap is much higher than most other places [in Cambodia]. We have a very good rubbish collection in Siem Reap. People do pretty well recycling [here].”

The increasing demand for environmental sustainability is driving positive changes, said Waterfield.

“Part of it is that green business makes good businesses for a lot of people, and I think many of the Cambodians recognise this. I think over the years they’ve had many requests from international visitors for green opportunities like green hotels to stay in, green tours to do, things like this.”

Beyond recycling oil, Naga Earth turns the glycerin by-product from its oil processes into biodegradable soap. It distributes the soap to schools, non-profits and NGOs, and has a programme that teaches children about hygiene, which Waterfield noted is “one of the most prominent problems facing Cambodian children”.

And Naga’s various initiatives, Waterfield explained, have a negligible environmental impact.

“All of our distribution we’re trying to do zero-waste and eco-friendly,” he said. “So, for example, all of our containers are reusable…. We’re giving them upcycled soap and then in a reusable bottle.”

The central idea behind Naga Earth is “upcycling” – turning a used product into a more premium product. This includes turning used cooking oil into two products worth more than the original. Naga Earth also collects plastic straws from hotels and restaurants in Siem Reap, and turns them into more durable and reusable items. Naga Earth recently partnered with GAEA, the local trash collection company, in a glass recycling project. Naga will collect glass bottles and turn them into gravel pieces to be used for water filtering.

Waterfield wants Naga Earth to focus more on the soap side of the business. As for its recycling projects, despite the challenges brought by millions of tourists, he is positive about the community’s recycling ambitions.

“I think the community response [to increased tourism] is good, and as a result, Siem Reap is ahead of most other communities…. I think there’s plenty of Cambodians that are environmentalists just like many Westerners are, but in Cambodia, we also have the drive from the tourism [sector] to be green.”