Is Hanoi more polluted than Beijing?

Aqicn.org, the website which provides real-time figures about the air pollution levels in cities all over the world, showed that the PM2.5 Index (the fine dust particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter) in the air in Hanoi in the last two days reached 388 microgram per cubic meter at maximum and 114 microgram per cubic meter at minimum.

Vietnam’s PM2.5 national standard is 50 microgram per cubic meter. Meanwhile, the level recommended by WHO is 25 micrograms.

This means that the dust concentration in the air in Hanoi in the last days was higher than the allowed level by 2-8 times.

Sea dykes collapse in Mekong provinces

Several sea dyke sections in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces of Bac Lieu and Soc Trang have collapsed because of high tides and strong waves.

In Bac Lieu Province, water broke through several sections of Ganh Hao Sea Dyke in Dong Hai District early last month, causing sea water to flow into residential areas.

Nguyen Van Be, who has lived near the dyke for 40 years, said he had never seen such strong waves.

Hydropower dams cause VND5,194,153m in damages to Mekong Delta

Mainstream hydropower projects on the Mekong River caused a loss of VND5,200 billion (USVND5,194,153 million) in seafood and agriculture output to the Mekong Delta, said former Deputy Chairman of National Committee of Science and Technology, Nguyen Ngoc Tran.

The announcement came at a conference on the impact of mainstream hydropower projects on the Mekong River held by Can Tho University’s Research Institute for Climate Change yesterday.

The construction of eleven mainstream hydropower dams caused landslides, ecological imbalance as well adversely impacting local farmers and fishermen in the lower Mekong River region, said Tran.

Road building threatening special-use forests

In Thua Thien-Hue province, the companies belonging to the Ministry of Transport are speeding up the clearing of 49 hectares of forest in the core area of the Bach Ma National Park to make room for a highway.

A 4-lane road that links Thua Thien-Hue and Da Nang City will ‘slice’ through the park.

In late 2015, local newspapers reported that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) gave a license to build a road through the Cat Tien National Park.

Iron mine damages 25ha of rice fields

The exploitation of an iron mine has caused landslide, damaging some 25ha of rice fields in Ho Hamlet, Huong Son Commune, Huong Hoa District of the in this Central Quang Tri Province.

The local authority identified an upstream iron mine, managed by Hoanh Son Industry, Trade and Services JSC, as the source of the problem.

ASEAN’s special role in managing energy decision: LS2 dam

Mekong countries’ chronic shortage of electricity which threatens to stymie economic growth, could be eased by pushing for acceleration of plans by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) for a regional power grid. However, damming the Mekong River can causes widespread controversy in South East Asia. Lower Sesan 2 dam on Mekong river in Cambodia is a typical example.

Iron mine damages 25ha of rice fields

The exploitation of an iron mine has caused landslide, damaging some 25ha of rice fields in Ho Hamlet, Huong Son Commune, Huong Hoa District of the in this Central Quang Tri Province.

The local authority identified an upstream iron mine, managed by Hoanh Son Industry, Trade and Services JSC, as the source of the problem.

Apart from ruining the rice fields, which have now been abandoned, sand and rubble from the mine have blocked the Khe Let stream. Moreover, vehicles transporting the iron ore have damaged a section of the road connecting the commune with Huong Hoa District.

Eye On: Baht Beyond Borders

With public opposition to major infrastructure projects a growing concern, and willing partners in neighboring countries eager to pick of the slack, Thailand’s industrialists are fanning out in all directions. Energy projects dominate the mix, including coal, gas and hydropower. As a result, it’s the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand driving much of the activity.