Mekong Eye

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Stories - Page 351

  • Lao govt opens Don Sahong project to all concerned parties

    02/17/2016

    The Lao government recently opened the construction site of the Don Sahong Hydropower project, located in the Khon Falls area of Mekong River in Champassak Province, to all agencies concerned about the latest development of it, Lao News Agency reported.
    The objective of the opening is to address any concerns among domestic or international agencies and provide them the opportunity to see and observe for themselves that the project is being carried out in compliance with international standards and the 1995 Mekong Agreement.

  • Investors buy up Dawei real estate

    02/17/2016

    The price of property in Dawei has risen beyond the reach of local residents as investors from overseas and Upper Myanmar buy up land in anticipation of a new special economic zone.

    While the zone has been eight years in the making, there are still few signs of development on the ground. However, recent announcements that construction is moving ahead, combined with escalating conflict in the north of the country, has led to a rise in real estate investment in the area, local residents said.

    Buying property in Tanintharyi Region is an “adventure for investors” they added, as township authorities have no specific land-use policies and land ownership documents are scarce. It is therefore hard to discover who owns the land, as sellers often do not transfer ownership in written form.

  • Environment Ministry worried for mineral overexploitation in Delta

    02/16/2016

    Plans to evaluate mineral reserves and marine natural resources and to help residents better adapt to climate change nationwide – especially in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region, the area predicted to suffer the most from climate change – are high up on the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment’s agenda this year.

    Minister Nguyen Minh Quang announced the priorities at a recent press conference to outline the environment sector’s targets this year.

    Quang said the country’s natural resources were expected to be effectively managed when the detailed evaluation was released. At present, the country was facing many environmental issues triggered by the overexploitation of minerals.

  • Fair Share: Toward an Equitable Resource Revenue System

    02/16/2016

    Myanmar’s government currently collects much of the trillions of kyat generated by oil, gas, gemstones and other minerals each year, primarily through its state-owned economic enterprises (SEEs). In the face of such centralized control over revenue, many ethnic groups have long asserted their right to make decisions over resource management in their states. In fact, combatants in areas of active conflict and leaders from several ethnic minority parties—particularly those associated with Kachin, Rakhine and Shan states—have openly called for greater resource revenue sharing.

  • Coal plant in Thepa ‘would inflame the insurgency’

    02/16/2016

    ACTIVISTS have voiced concern that a coal-fired power plant proposed for Thepa district in Songkhla will cause more violence in the Deep South – as mosques, a religious school and Muslim cemeteries would have to be moved to make way for the plant.

    They also claimed that all three public hearings about the plant and its coal transport pier were not held properly. They have said the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP) should revoke the Environmental and Health Impact Assessment (EHIA) on the project.

    Yesterday, the Southernmost People’s Network of Community Right and Environment Safeguard for Peace (Permatamas) and a group of locals and students from Prince of Songkla University’s Pattani Campus gathered at ONEP to give a petition to the agency’s secretary general.

  • Why the Mekong River Commission May Be In Peril

    02/15/2016

    The fallout from the Great Fall in financial markets, equities and currencies is ricocheting through the regional economy and beginning to exact a toll – initially among badly-run companies and poorly-managed government institutions.

  • Mining ministry calls for by-law proposals

    02/15/2016

    The Ministry of Mines is preparing to amend the by-laws for a new mining law and has asked for suggestions and proposals.

    The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw passed the new mining law in December and amended the Myanmar Gemstone Law on January 29. The ministry is now drawing up the corresponding rules and regulations.

    Stakeholders can send their suggestions to the Department of Mines and Myanmar Gems Enterprise by March 6, the ministry said.

  • What a New Vietnam-Russia Deal Says About the Mekong’s Future

    02/15/2016

    It is potentially an unusual business transaction. While the prospect of a Vietnamese company taking over a Russian group in of itself is unusual, the buyout of a strategic stake in a major fish distributor is also a reflection of changing attitudes to the management of the Mekong River.

    Food security is the priority issue dominating the political agenda surrounding the lower Mekong subregion for the Vietnamese and Cambodian governments. It’s a stark contrast to thinking in Laos, which sees the Mekong primarily through the lens of hydropower.

  • Mea Moh Coal Burning Plant

    Coal Power on the Rise: Mekong Region Digs In

    02/14/2016

    While initiatives by the Asian Development Bank, ASEAN, United States, Japan, France and the private sector aim to advance renewable energy within the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), coal-fired power plants are slated to become an increasingly larger share of the region’s electricity generating portfolio.

  • Big Jungle, Big Data

    02/12/2016

    Can a free piece of open source software help rangers combat the country’s rapid deforestation?

    A long with their camouflaged jackets and AK-47s, rangers in Preah Vihear protected forest now carry tablets or smartphones into the jungle when they go out on patrol. When they encounter loggers or find evidence of illegal logging, they type in details about the encounter, such as how much timber was found, or how many chainsaws were confiscated into the device. The data is linked to their location, and the team moves on to the next bust.

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