Bangkok, Thailand, March 17, 2016
Environmental scholars and a network of Civil Society Organizations protested against NCPO’s order no. 9/2559 which permits the state enterprises to select private companies to initiate their projects before an environmental impact assessment (EIA) gets approval. On March 10, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment as the primary agency responsible for the preparation for EIA reports, clarified regarding the concerns raised by academics and the CSO network that called for review and cancellation of the order. Former deputy-general of Department of Water Resources confirmed that the order doesn’t unlock the EIA process. In the statement, it is clearly outlined that project agencies do not have private rights. This means that ultimately, if the project doesn’t pass the cabinet’s approval, these private companies will not be able to complete the construction, nor they will be able sue the state on this account. The Secretary General of ONEP added that currently there are about 70 projects that are getting benefits from this order. More than half of which belongs to transportation projects especially those project to build rail and motorways.
Read more in Thai language at PPTV Thailand