Mekong Eye

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Stories - Page 308

  • ASEAN insurance role in infrastructure financing


    Insurance, known for its long-term nature, plays an essential role in supporting and sustaining economic growth in the ASEAN region. Beyond the traditional protection products, the insurance industry provides capital with a long-term investment horizon and generates opportunities for public-private partnerships in infrastructure projects that are instrumental to economic growth.

  • Endangered dolphins at risk as controversial Don Sahong dam takes shape


    “When I was born, my grandparents told me, ‘The dolphins are special. If you see them, you will get good luck. If you capsize your boat, the dolphins will save you. You can trust them.’”

    The young man in his 20s is standing on the bank of the Mekong River in a section that a small pod of the critically-endangered Irrawaddy dolphin calls home – a home which is about to sit next to perhaps the most divisive hydropower dam project in the region.

  • Opponents call for cancellation of Hat Gyi Dam


    Representatives from 150 concerned communities in Shan and Karen states attended a seminar at Chiang Mai University on Sunday where Sunnee Chiros, a former Thai human rights commissioner, presented a study she had done, which found that the dam’s environmental impact assessment process was flawed.

    The group statement said the Myanmar government should abandon all dam projects on the Salween and pursue sincere peace talks in the region.
    It said the Hat Gyi Dam would destroy the environment, harm people’s livelihoods and threaten regional peace, and urged people to campaign for power generated by environmentally friendly technologies.

  • “The law of the jungle” on Annamite Range


    “The law of the jungle” on Annamite Range: the strength of local customary laws helped maintain the village’s forest when all surrounding forests have turned into barren hills or been replaced with industrial plants.

  • Xayaburi dam: ‘Testing ground for untried technologies’


    “I miss the Mekong.” A sad smile flickered across the face of Thongkham Phalibai, a mother of two and owner of a grocery store in Luang Prabang.

    “I was living by the river for so long, earning money from gold panning and farming. But I can’t go back there anymore. I don’t know where my old house used to be.”

    It has been four years since Thongkham left a simple life in her old village of Pak Neun for a new one in Neunsavang, a remote village 80 kilometres south of Luang Prabang. She was among the 2,986 villagers who were forced to resettle because their homes either sat on the location of the controversial Xayaburi dam or were in areas that will be flooded.

  • Amid environmental concerns, stricter supervision of coal-fired power plants is needed


    Another 12 plants under construction are scheduled for completion between now and 2020, causing growing concerns over environmental safety, especially in regards to ash disposal and air quality standards.

    The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has confirmed that all coal-fired power plants have submitted their environmental assessment reports to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

  • Development as Unfreedom: Shrinking Democratic Spaces in Asia


    The real sign of development and democracy is how a country respects, protects and promotes freedoms and human rights. The biggest challenge of our times is the increasing gap between the promises and performance of states and governments in relation to the protection of the freedoms and human rights of their people. This is most evident in many countries in Asia, with the shrinking of freedom and democratic spaces resulting in increasing attacks on human rights defenders.

  • Changing the Conversation around Development Projects: Over 2000 Comments Received on Regional Public Participation Guidelines


    Citizens, governments and businesses from around the region provided over 2000 comments during landmark public consultations in October to finalize guidelines on ensuring communities have more say in infrastructure projects. Over 500 participants attended six national events across the region, a number of local outreach sessions and an online comment portal.

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