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Prior to leaving for Claremont Colleges’ Envriolab Asia trip to Malaysia and Singapore, I was conflicted by the question: Do we have the moral authority to interfere with resource extraction and oil-palm development in SE Asia? At that time, the trip seemed imperialistic. Why should people from Malaysia, Indonesia or any developing SE Asia country listen to a group of liberal arts college faculty from a city where widespread habitat modifications have led to significant loss of native habitats, declines in biodiversity, and changes in how these ecosystems function? Many observations transformed my opinion and have inspired me to advocate for transformative environmental and social change both in SE Asia and at home.



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