Industrial maize farming in Myanmar’s Shan State is devastating families and landscapes as well as fuelling ever-increasing levels of transboundary haze, generating urgent calls for serious changes to animal feed supply chains.
Businessmen in Laos’s Attapeu province are selling timber hidden for years in the forest after being harvested illegally, mixing it with other timber allowed by provincial authorities to be sold by local villagers, Lao sources say.
Cambodia had denied reports by Amnesty International and the Prey Lang Community Network (PLCN) that large scale illegal logging has increased in the Prey Lang wildlife sanctuary.
The delta, the country’s largest rice, fruit and seafood producer, is facing a higher than normal level of saltwater intrusion from the sea through river mouths in the ongoing dry season. However, it is not as severe as the level of the previous dry season.
The fluctuations have made it “challenging for authorities and communities to prepare for and respond to possible impacts”, says to Dr Winai Wangpimool, Director of the MRC Secretariat’s Technical Support Division.
Based on the 2016 energy demand, the researchers estimated that prolonged droughts reduce hydropower production in the Thai-Laotian grid (refer to image) by about 4,000 GWh/year, increasing carbon dioxide emissions by 2.5 million metric tons, and increasing costs by US$120 million in one year.
As for tiny Laos, they add, it could boost a heavily resource-reliant economy with more trade, tourists and industry — if at the cost of crippling debt and the growing sway of its giant neighbor.
“In the next four to five years, old power plants will need to be removed from the 4,000-5,000MW system, with the expanding economy increasing demand for electricity. Therefore, all parties have to accelerate the planning of sufficient power generation capacity.”
“What’s certain is a lot of the adaptation and mitigation work done with international support like the Green Climate Fund and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) will stop.”
“Despite their importance to local communities, freshwater fish are invariably forgotten. Freshwater fish matter to the health of people and the freshwater ecosystems that all people and all life on land depend on. It’s time we remembered that,” said Mr. Seng Teak, Country Director of WWF-Cambodia.