Extractive Industries: Global Goods, Local Costs

A discussion with two Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting grantees

How “Green” Bio-Fuels are Destroying the Little People of the Rainforest

James Whitlow Delano

Biofuel in Malaysia is neither “green” nor an alternative to fossil fuels. Meanwhile, two indigenous “little peoples”–little in stature, little in number and of little importance in the eyes of the government–are in the process of losing or have already lost their rainforest homelands to logging and ultimately oil palm plantations. Malaysia is now the world’s second largest producer of palm oil after its larger neighbor, Indonesia.

James Whitlow Delano has lived in Asia for 17 years.  His work has been recognized internationally: the Alfred Eisenstadt Award (from Columbia University and Life Magazine), Leica’s Oskar Barnack, Picture of the Year International, Photo District News and others.  Delano’s series on Kabul’s drug detox and psychiatric hospital was awarded 1st place in the 2008 NPPA Best of Photojournalism competition for Best Picture Story (large markets).  His first  book, Empire: Impressions from China and work from Japan Mangaland have been shown at several Leica Galleries in Europe. Empire was the first ever one-person show of photography at La Triennale di Milano Museum of Art.  His second book, I Viaggi di Tiziano Terzani was released in spring 2008.  His work has appeared in magazines and photo festivals on five continents from Visa Pour L’Image and Rencontres D’Arles; to Angkor, Cambodia; Lianzhou, China; Noorderlicht; Netherlands; Rovereto, Italia; and Foto Freo, Australia.

Panama: The New Conquistadors [WATCH VIDEO]

Mellissa Fung
A battle is being waged in the rainforests of Panama – between those who want to keep their way of life, and those who want economic growth. Canada is on the frontlines of that new battle, and billions of dollars worth of precious metals are at stake. As the developing countries in Latin America turn to the mining industry to secure their economic futures, Canadian mining companies are eager to expand their claims. Already, they hold about 1,400 mining properties from Mexico to Argentina, bringing to mind for some Latinos images of an old enemy, the Spanish Conquistadors.

Mellissa Fung is an award-winning journalist who has been with CBC Television since 2000. As a national correspondent, she has reported a wide range of stories on both Canadian and world affairs, including the Beijing Olympics and the war in Afghanistan, as well as in-depth documentaries on topics as diverse as asbestos mining and post-traumatic stress in soldiers returning from war. Her first book, Under an Afghan Sky, chronicles her experience as a hostage after she was kidnapped by insurgents in Afghanistan. Fung divides her time between Toronto and Washington, D.C.

Moderated by Mark Lycett, Director of the Center for International Studies and Program on the Global Environment.

This event is cosponsored by the Program on the Global Environment, UChicago Careers in Journalism, and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

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© 2015 Center for International Studies