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  • Flood crisis threatens to kill Vietnam’s rice bowl

    08/22/2016

    The Mekong Delta makes up 55.5 percent of the country’s annual rice output. Shortage of floods has resulted in a hefty 50 percent decrease in sediment deposited in the Mekong Delta each year, causing Vietnam’s largest delta to face serious subsidence and likely disappearance in the future.

  • Myanmar green energy sector faces hurdles

    08/22/2016

    Myanmar’s goal of achieving a 100 per cent electrification rate by 2030, with 20 per cent of energy from renewable sources, is achievable but several hurdles need to be tackled first, energy experts have said.

    At the Myanmar Green Energy Summit 2016 last week, panellists agreed that hydroelectricity, plus wind and solar energy, were good choices given available resources.

  • Myanmar’s Suu Kyi assures China of solution to stalled dam

    08/19/2016

    Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi told China’s premier on Thursday that her new government is willing to look for a resolution that suits both countries to a suspended Chinese-funded hydropower project in northern Myanmar, a senior Chinese diplomat said.

    Finding a solution to the US$3.6 billion Myitsone dam project is important for Suu Kyi who needs China’s cooperation in talks with Myanmar’s ethnic minority armed groups operating along northern borders with China.

  • Major rivers of Vietnam’s Mekong Delta become unusually deeper

    08/18/2016

    Vietnamese scientists have warned of the unusual increase in the depth of two major rivers in the Mekong Delta, with sand mining and hydropower dams said to be the cause.

    According to experts, instead of being accreted, the 250-kilometer long Tien (Front) River and 200-kilometer Hau (Back) River have become five to seven meters deeper since 2008.

    The Mekong separates in Phnom Penh into the Tien River, the main northern branch, and the Hau River, the primary southern distributor, after entering Vietnam.

  • “Kong – Loei – Chi – Mun” Mega Project and Experts Concerns

    08/17/2016

    Currently, the Mekong Delta provinces are facing saline water intrusion as a result of low water levels in the Mekong River. Cambodia and Lao PDR are also plan for similar water diversion projects. If the Kong-Loei-Chi-Mun and similar projects will be implemented in Cambodia and Lao PDR, the volume of flood water to Vietnam’s Mekong River Delta area will be significantly reduced. Furthermore, climate change and El Nino phenomenon will make the issue even more challenging.

  • Mekong Eye News Digest: 17 August 2016

    08/17/2016

    A weekly update of news, commentary and resources on Mekong development projects, investment, EIAs and other development issues. We include a balanced and representative range of news and views from local, regional and global sources. The Digest reaches around 3500 key development professionals, government officials, business leaders and journalists.

  • China’s Three Parallel Rivers national park threatened by illegal mining

    08/16/2016

    China’s best preserved forests in south-west China’s Yunnan province are under threat from illegal mining, according to a new report.

    The study by Greenpeace shows mining and industry activity in the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan protected area is destroying pristine forests in one of the world’s most biodiverse regions. The researchers combined remote sensing data and field visits to show mining is leading to deforestation, water pollution and habitat loss in the mountains of north-west Yunnan on the eastern foothills of the Himalayas.

  • China’s lack of cooperation causing problems for Vietnam’s water resources programming

    08/15/2016

    According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MARD), the total area of the entire Red-Thai Binh River basin is 169,000 square kilometers, of which 86,700 square kilometers, or 51.3 percent, belong to Vietnam, 81,200 square kilometers (48 percent) to China and 1,100 square kilometers, or 0.65 percent, to Laos.

    Tong Ngoc Thanh, director of the National Center for Water Resources Planning and Investigation (NAWAPI), said at a workshop held recently that since China was uncooperative, and that it was difficult for Vietnam to get information for development programming about the water source in the upper course belonging to the Chinese territory.

  • New Commission to Decide Fate of Myitsone Dam in Kachin State

    08/15/2016

    President Htin Kyaw on Friday formed a new commission to evaluate all proposed hydropower projects on the Irrawaddy River prior to their going ahead.

    The committee formation comes a week before State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s trip to China as Burma’s foreign minister.

    Since the installation of the National League for Democracy (NLD) government in April, China has been lobbying for the resumption of the multi-billion dollar Myitsone Dam, which was being constructed with Chinese backing just downriver of the confluence that forms the Irrawaddy, in Kachin State, prior to a government suspension order in 2011.

  • Into the Zone: SEZs in the Mekong Region, Income…or Instability? (Part 2)

    08/15/2016

    While neighboring Thailand’s Special Economic Zones are now progressing without much public consultation or review, Myanmar may be moving in the opposite direction. Its three SEZs which were launched in the waning years of the junta, are now under the direction of the civilian government fully aware of concerns raised by communities and independent researchers, and inclined to take stock of what their predecessors set in motion. At issue are a whole range of social and environmental grievances, as well as the viability of the projects themselves and to what extent they reflect the new leadership’s priorities.

  • Myitsone on agenda for China tour

    08/15/2016

    The Chinese will certainly lobby on the suspended Myitsone dam project during State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to China, Kyaw Zeya, director-general of the Foreign Affairs Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a press conference.

    Officials from the ministry, the Electric Power and Energy Ministry and the Border Affairs Ministry held a press conference on their undertaking in their first 100-day plans under the new government at the Information Ministry in Nay Pyi Taw.

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