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Gac is a dioecious tropical and perennial climber. The fruit is a rich source of carotenoids and is used in traditional cuisine and medicine. Improving propagation methods using simple techniques would increase production and improve conservation in regional areas. This study evaluated temperature requirements for seed germination, the use of rooting hormones to strike female cuttings and the grafting of female scions onto seedling rootstock. Seed germination was optimised between 25 and 35 °C, with a maximum germination percentage of 91% at 30 °C. However, increasing storage time from 6 to 18 months under laboratory conditions (21 ± 1°C and 60% relative humidity) reduced germination and this was associated with seed weight loss, highlighting the need to develop storage guidelines, particularly for the higher temperature and humidity conditions where Gac is grown. Survival of softwood cuttings was improved from 53 to 77% with indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) (3–5 g/L) and semi-hardwood cuttings did not require IBA treatment. Both splice and wedge grafting techniques achieved a survival rate > 53% and with the youngest rootstock (4 and 8 weeks) this increased to > 85%. Further work could investigate the production potential of crops using cuttings and grafted plants.
In the labour brokerage state of systematic recruitment and export for the maximisation of labour, development, and profit, the Philippines continues to simultaneously fashion migrant workers as temporary, yet heroic and sacrificial. As the largest migrant-sending country in Southeast Asia and the third largest remittance recipient in Asia, the Philippines’ discourse of migrants as modern-day heroes and martyrs reveals the interplay of nationalist myths and cultural values, alongside the neoliberal favouring of finance and flexible labour, to craft filial migrants and celebrate mobile, capitalist subjects over migrants’ welfare and well-being. The article explores the contemporaneous institutionalisation of migrant labour and migrants’ institutionalised uncertainty lived every day to investigate how this profound precariousness in the Philippines is perpetuated historically to shape the resilience and realities of migrants and their left-behind children today. Drawing from news reports and films on migrant lives and ethnographic fieldwork in the Philippines, this article considers how the formation and deployment of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) turns from a focus on sustaining the nation to supporting migrant families and developing translocal communities. Through this examination, the paper seeks to uncover who profits and is indebted from the precarity created and sustained by the larger economic system built on transnational labour migration.
Within and across Southeast Asian national borders, there has been a growing circulation of labour, capital, people, and goods. Meanwhile, urbanisation, agrarian changes, and liberal economic restructuring have been drawing a large section of the rural population into mobile economies and trade networks. This special issue explores the linkage between mobility and the growing precaritisation of labour resulting from neoliberalised development policies, nationalist citizenship regimes, and discourses, and arbitrary state power. Arguably, the consequent insecurity and uncertainty have profound implications for the social and economic life of migrant labourers. Although these conditions engender dangers and risks, they also hold possibilities for crafting translocal livelihoods and social relations. In this introduction, we investigate the diverse trajectories of labour migration in Southeast Asia through a critical discussion on the concept of ‘precarity’ that underscores the resilience of labour migrants despite the precarious conditions of their lives. The special issue suggests that, while precarious labour has long been part of regimes of control and exploitation in the region, precarity today is shaped by the blurry boundaries between the legal and the illegal, between local and global lives, and between different worlds of belonging.
During the last two decades, rural-urban migration and government programs have improved livelihood conditions in Javanese villages and brought down levels of poverty considerably. This article, based on two extended surveys in nine villages in Central Java, aims to understand the nature of change in rural Java by focusing on gender and precarity. As a result of migration, old forms of precarity have not completely disappeared: Families without children, elderly and people unable to work continue to live precarious lives. For those who work in the cities, dependence on single-source, low incomes, predominantly earned by men who work in construction, continues to keep families and especially women vulnerable for livelihood shocks and stresses. Increasingly, women from poor families work in low-paid agricultural jobs or keep the family farm running.
Migration to the cities makes it possible for many families to stay in the village and live the ‘good’ village life. The village is generally perceived, socially and ideologically, as a ‘better’ place. The flip-side of this preference is a reproduction of traditional family values and limited room to maneuver for women. Very few interesting and suitable jobs for educated women exist in rural areas. Women from poorer families need to work in agriculture. Their dependence on working men with single sources of income, continues the risk to end up or fall back into living precarious lives.
In past and present Vietnam, the dialectic of precarity and resilience shapes the everyday lives of mobile labourers. Vietnamese labour mobility is characterised by an interplay between precariousness ‘at home’ and the uncertainties of migration. The paper aims to highlight continuities and contingencies in the longue durée of Vietnamese work migration through a historical contextualisation of precarious labour relations. Both colonial ‘coolie’ workers and present-day labour migrants share similar experiences, for example socioeconomic marginalisation in the regions of origin, opportunity and risk, and emerging translocal identities.
The invisibility of migrants has been widely analysed in relation to states’ policies and practices. I argue in this article that emphasising the role of states and institutions in marginalising vulnerable populations by rendering them invisible throws a shadow over the multifaceted ways in which migrants interpret and relate to invisibility. Among Myanmar migrants in Thailand, as we shall see here, the notion that invisibility provides a protective shield to migrant bodies is in fact widespread. While invisibility is at times perceived as a threat to the future of these people, conceiving of invisibility solely as a tool of domination precludes us from fully understanding the complexity of Myanmar migrants’ experiences in Thailand and, more specifically, the many forms of empowerment that shape these experiences. Privileging the discourses and practices of Myanmar migrants in Thailand about their sartorial choices reveals that migrants appreciate invisibility for its capacity to create control over their own bodies. Further, it reveals the complexities of negotiating and expressing diasporic sartorial conventions.
This study probes the relationship between legal precarity and transborder citizenship through the case of the Karen from Myanmar in Thailand. Collected through ethnographic multi-sited fieldwork between 2012 and 2016, interconnected individual life stories evolving across the Myanmar-Thailand border allow the critical interrogation of the political and legal categories of ‘migrancy’, ‘refugeeness’, and ‘citizenship’, teasing out their blurry boundaries in migrants’ experience. Following the recent critical research in legal ethnography, this study demonstrates that legal precarity is not simply an antithesis to citizenship. The social and legal dimensions of citizenship may diverge, creating in-between areas of not-yet-full-citizenship with varying levels of heft (Macklin 2007). The article consists of three parts. First, it offers a theoretical framework to reconcile the Karen legal precarity (even de facto statelessness) and citizenship, even on both sides of the border (legally impossible). Second, it presents the three groups of Karen in Thailand, produced by the interaction of three major waves of Karen eastward migration and tightening Thai citizenship and migration regulations: Thai Karen, refugees, and migrant workers. All three face varying levels of legal precarity of temporary status without full citizenship. However, the last part demonstrates the intertwined nature of those groups. A grassroots transborder perspective reveals the resilience of the Karen networks when pooling together resources of the hubs established on Thai soil by the three waves. Even the most recent arrivals in Thailand use those resources to move from one precarious legal status to another and even to clandestinely obtain citizenship.
This article discusses the everyday practices of a mobile network of migrant waste traders originating from northern Vietnam, locating them in an expanding urban waste economy spanning across major urban centres. Based on ethnographic research, I explore how the expansion of the network is foregrounded by the traders’ dealing with the precarious nature of waste trading, which is rooted in the social ambiguity of waste and migrants working with waste in the urban order. Characterised by waste traders as a “half-dark, half-light zone”, the waste economy is unevenly regulated, made up of highly personalised ties, and relatively hidden from the public. It is therefore rife with opportunities for accumulating wealth, but also full of dangers for the waste traders, whose occupation of marginal urban spaces makes them easy targets of both rent-seeking state agents and rogue actors. While demonstrating resilience, their practices suggest tactics of engaging with power that involve a great deal of moral ambiguity, which I argue is central to the increasing precaritisation of labour and the economy in Vietnam today.
The Annamite mountains of Viet Nam and the Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao) are an area of exceptional mammalian endemism but intensive poaching has defaunated much of the region, creating an extinction crisis for the endemic species. To make efficient use of limited conservation resources, it is imperative that conservation stakeholders obtain basic information about poorly known and threatened endemics. We present the first comprehensive information on the ecology, distribution and status of the little-known endemic Annamite striped rabbit Nesolagus timminsi. We used a systematic camera-trapping design to study the species in five areas in Viet Nam and Lao. In 29,180 camera-trap-nights we recorded 152 independent events at 36 of 266 stations. We obtained an additional 143 independent detections across 12 stations from a supplementary non-systematic survey. We analysed activity patterns and social behaviour. We also used single-species occupancy models to assess factors that influence occupancy at the landscape scale. We used N-mixture models to obtain local abundance estimates in one target area. The Annamite striped rabbit was found to be nocturnal and primarily solitary. Species occupancy was best explained by a proxy for past hunting pressure, with no significant relationships to current anthropogenic or environmental factors. Local abundance was 0.57 individuals per camera-trap station for one of our sites, and estimated to be zero at the other site where hunting appears to have been more intense. Our results provide information on priority areas for targeted anti-poaching efforts and give the first conservation baseline for the species.
To determine the prevalence of co-morbidity of two important global health challenges, anaemia and stunting, among children aged 6–59 months in low- and middle-income countries.
Secondary analysis of data from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted 2005–2015. Child stunting and anaemia were defined using current WHO classifications. Sociodemographic characteristics of children with anaemia, stunting and co-morbidity of these conditions were compared with those of ‘healthy’ children in the sample (children who were not stunted and not anaemic) using multiple logistic models.
Low- and middle-income countries.
Children aged 6–59 months.
Data from 193 065 children from forty-three countries were included. The pooled proportion of co-morbid anaemia and stunting was 21·5 (95 % CI 21·2, 21·9) %, ranging from the lowest in Albania (2·6 %; 95 % CI 1·8, 3·7 %) to the highest in Yemen (43·3; 95 % CI 40·6, 46·1 %). Compared with the healthy group, children with co-morbidity were more likely to be living in rural areas, have mothers or main carers with lower educational levels and to live in poorer households. Inequality in children who had both anaemia and stunting was apparent in all countries.
Co-morbid anaemia and stunting among young children is highly prevalent in low- and middle-income countries, especially among more disadvantaged children. It is suggested that they be considered under a syndemic framework, the Childhood Anaemia and Stunting (CHAS) Syndemic, which acknowledges the interacting nature of these diseases and the social and environmental factors that promote their negative interaction.
In early May 2014, Chinese deep-water oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 (HYSY-981), accompanied by around eighty ships, started oil exploration activities at an area off Vietnam's central coast. Vietnam sent naval vessels to the area to prevent the stationing of the rig. Vietnamese authorities also said they would do everything they could to protect the country's sovereign rights and jurisdiction since the HYSY-981 was positioned well within the 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) measured from Vietnam's baseline. China responded by claiming that the rig was still inside China's waters measured from the Paracel Islands and within Beijing's maritime claims based on the nine-dash line.
The subsequent standoff, which lasted until July, witnessed a cat and mouse game between maritime law enforcement forces of the two countries, with naval vessels of both sides looming in the background. Chinese ships aggressively rammed and fired water cannons at Vietnamese vessels that were trying to obstruct the rig's operation. The crisis led to two deadly anti-China riots in Vietnam, and created a sense of brinksmanship in the country for weeks. Following the incident, strategic trust between the two countries fell to its lowest point since bilateral normalization in 1991.
The incident further reinforces Vietnam's perception of the China threat in the South China Sea where China has since the late 2000s become increasingly assertive. Over the years, Vietnam has taken various measures to counter China's pressures and to improve its strategic position vis-à-vis China in the South China Sea. In the wake of the crisis, Vietnam has even stronger motivations to step up these efforts and to adjust its domestic as well as foreign policies in anticipation of higher levels of coercion from China in the future.
This chapter analyses the impact of the 2014 oil rig crisis on Vietnam–China relations, focusing on Vietnam's responses to counter the growing threat from China after the crisis. The chapter first reviews the significance of territorial and maritime disputes as a sticking point in bilateral relations. It then details how the 2014 oil rig crisis evolved and discusses mechanisms and diplomatic efforts that Vietnam and China made to mend their relations during and after the crisis.
A prevalent problem in general state-space models is the approximation of the smoothing distribution of a state conditional on the observations from the past, the present, and the future. The aim of this paper is to provide a rigorous analysis of such approximations of smoothed distributions provided by the two-filter algorithms. We extend the results available for the approximation of smoothing distributions to these two-filter approaches which combine a forward filter approximating the filtering distributions with a backward information filter approximating a quantity proportional to the posterior distribution of the state, given future observations.
Since the Doi Moi in 1986, Vietnam has been progressively opening up its services sector. In recent years, it has made significant efforts to liberalize the sector by participating in various trade agreements, including bilateral, and multilateral agreements related to trade in service, namely GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services), AFAS (ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services), different ASEAN+1 FTAs and recently the EU–Vietnam FTA (EVFTA) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. In line with its commitments, Vietnam has reviewed, revised and issued numerous legislative regulations and policies towards a freer flow of services. Consequently, the regulatory framework related to the services sector in Vietnam has become more transparent and open to foreign suppliers, enabling them to have better access to its domestic services market.
However, the ease of doing business in Vietnam remains at a relatively low ranking — the 90th among 189 countries (World Bank 2016), partly because the services-related policies are still relatively restrictive towards foreign direct investment (FDI). Therefore, there is a need for Vietnam to evaluate its challenges in services liberalization, especially in the aspect of commercial presence (i.e. mode 3), by examining the impediments to FDI inflows in services so as to enable Vietnam to benefit from ASEAN's initiatives to liberalize services.
This chapter analyses the development and contribution of the services sector to Vietnam's economy. It also discusses services trade liberalization under AFAS and GATS along with the domestic FDI policies in the services sector. The logistic sector was selected as a case study for a deeper analysis of Vietnam's services liberalization. Based on these economy-wide and sector-specific discussions, the chapter will identify key challenges facing Vietnam in attracting FDI into the services sector. The chapter concludes with policy recommendations for Vietnam as well as for ASEAN.
Strongyloidiasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by the roundworm Strongyloides stercoralis affecting 30–100 million people worldwide. Many Southeast-Asian countries report a high prevalence of S. stercoralis infection, but there are little data from Vietnam. Here, we evaluated the seroprevalence of S. stercoralis related to geography, sex and age in Vietnam through serological testing of anonymized sera. Sera (n = 1710, 1340 adults and 270 children) from an anonymized age-stratified serum bank from four regions in Vietnam between 2012 and 2013 were tested using a commercial Strongyloides ratti immunoglobulin G ELISA. Seroreactivity was found in 29·1% (390/1340) of adults and 5·5% (15/270) of children. Male adults were more frequently seroreactive than females (33·3% vs. 24·9%, P = 0·001). The rural central highlands had the highest seroprevalence (42·4% of adults). Seroreactivity in the other regions was 29·9% (Hue) and 26·0% and 18·2% in the large urban centres of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, respectively. We conclude that seroprevalence of S. stercoralis was high in the Vietnamese adult population, especially in rural areas.
Radiation environment of near-Earth space is one of the most important factors of space weather. Space Monitoring Data Center of Moscow State University provides operational monitor and forecast of radiation conditions both at Geostationary Orbits (GEO) and at Low Earths Orbits (LEO) of the near-Earth space using data of recent space missions (Vernov, CORONAS series) and current (Lomonosov, Meteor-M, Electro-L) ones. Internet portal of Space Monitoring Data Center of Skobeltsyn Institute of Nuclear Physics of Lomonosov Moscow State University (SINP MSU - [swx.sinp.msu.ru]) provides possibilities to monitor and analyze the space radiation conditions in the real time mode together with the geomagnetic and solar activity including hard X-ray and gamma-emission of solar flares.