Archaeologists have long puzzled over the collapse of the mighty medieval Khmer kingdom in Southeast Asia best known for its resplendent capital, Angkor. New findings suggest that a decades-long drought at about the time the kingdom began fading away in the 14th century may have been a major culprit.

Southwest China's alpine lakes have lost many of their native species. Researchers may have found a way to reboot the ecosystem.

The elusive Asian houbara bustard could fall victim to falconers and poaching without strong international protection.

Confronted with land degradation, chronic water shortages, and a growing population that already numbers 1.3 billion, China is looking to a transgenic green revolution to secure its food supply. Later this month, the government is expected to roll out a $3.5 billion research and development (R&D) initiative on genetically modified (GM) plants. "The new initiative will spur commercialization of GM varieties," says Xue Dayuan, chief scientist on biodiversity at the Nanjing Institute of Environmental Science of the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Rice is the staff of life for 3 billion people, predominantly in Asia. But does the food that sustains half of humanity also increase the risk of cancer for some? That question arises from three sets of findings-including data now in press-that report elevated arsenic levels in rice and products such as rice bran and rice crackers.

Turkmenistan intends to create a huge lake in the desert by filling a natural depression with drainage water. Critics say it's a bad idea that could even spark a war.

Officials in southern China's Guizhou Province are hoping to head off future attempts at "biopiracy"--the plunder of natural resources--by enshrining the protection of indigenous knowledge into law.

In impoverished Yunnan Province in southwestern China, a confrontation is brewing between economic growth and habitat preservation-and authorities are sending mixed signals about their intentions.

From delicate orchids and magnolias to rare Chinese yews and Kwangtung pines, the flora of Guangdong Nanling National Nature Reserve is considered so precious that ecologists call the reserve "a treasure trove of species." But winter storms have reduced the biological hot spot to a splintered ruin.

Indonesia's major earthquake last year (2005) tilted Nias Island like a seesaw, disrupting villagers' lives and pointing to future dangers.