Mekong Eye

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Stories on “Opinion & Blogs“

  • The soul of the Mekong is in serious trouble

    02/08/2017

    Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha last week asked reporters why non-governmental organisations (NGOs), environmental activists and academics continue to protest against the planned blasting of rapids in the Mekong River.

    He said many of these protesters are outsiders, meaning people who do not live by the riverside, do not fish its waters or make a living from the river and do not, in fact, have any stake in the river at all.

  • Beyond Sustainable Development for ASEAN

    01/12/2017

    In view of various climate change phenomena, how can economies develop sustainably? Specifically, can economies grow while giving equal consideration to the tri-nexus of economy, environment and society? It is a question confronting policymakers in Southeast Asia on a recurring basis.

  • Asean at 50, and Beyond

    01/11/2017

    Asean is 50 years old this year. It is a true milestone for a loosely constructed regional organization created by five countries at the height of the Cold War to have come this far. Since its conception, its member countries have transformed Asean into a rules-based entity encompassing all the countries in Southeast Asia.

  • New species found, but Southeast Asia in grip of biodiversity crisis

    01/08/2017

    Rich in wildlife, Southeast Asia includes at least six of the world’s 25 “biodiversity hotspots” – the areas of the world that contain an exceptional concentration of species, and are exceptionally endangered. The region contains 20% of the planet’s vertebrate and plant species and the world’s third-largest tropical forest.

  • The NLD should start 2017 by scrapping the Myitsone dam

    01/04/2017

    The beginning of the year is always a time of prediction and thus peak season for pundits. Twelve months ago, many pundits on Myanmar predicted the National League for Democracy-led government would, once it assumed power, quickly scrap the controversial Myitsone dam project. Three reasons were provided for this prediction. First, the NLD-backed government would not dare […]

  • Spare the Mekong

    01/04/2017

    The Prayut Chan-o-cha government made an out-of-the-blue decision that paves the way for the demolition of the Mekong River’s rocky outcrops for the sake of “improved waterway navigation”.

    The justification offered is both weak and unjustified. The public was neither consulted nor informed while the well-being of the ecology of the world’s tenth longest river is at risk. And the party gaining the most significant trade benefits will obviously be China.

  • The Mekong Part III: Scaling Back Lao Dams

    01/03/2017

    Farmers and fishermen in downstream countries are complaining about the impact of Mekong River dams located upstream in both China and Laos.

    But a think tank now has a plan to reduce the damage done to crops and fish stocks by hydroelectric dams. Its focus is on Laos, Southeast Asia’s poorest country, which it says could benefit from scaling back on some of its planned dams.

  • Hydropower in Myanmar: For Whose Benefit?

    12/17/2016

    Amidst the many challenges Myanmar now faces, the threats to the environment are urgent – and they are growing more extreme. The situation is especially serious in the case of mega dams and hydropower where a host of projects are being promoted, without appropriate planning or public consultation, that are likely to cause irreversible harm to communities and natural ecosystems around the country. Not only are many of the projects located in nationality areas that are conflict zones, but the bulk of the energy produced will also be exported to neighbouring countries.

  • Another victim of illegal logging and forest crime?

    12/14/2016

    The killing in Myanmar of a journalist who covered issues related to illegal logging in the country must be investigated thoroughly and all findings made public.

    Soe Moe Tun was based in the Sagaing region, working with Eleven Media News in Myanmar. According to initial reports today (December 13), he was found with extensive head and facial injuries; local police have begun an investigation into his death.

  • Clean energy for Krabi

    12/05/2016

    In a bid to create the impression that the coal-fired power plant in Krabi has won backing from locals, Krabi governor Pinit Boonlert submitted a list of supporters’ signatures last week, totalling 15,000, to the government. That is worrisome.

    The move came immediately after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the government attached importance to public participation and would pay heed to locals’ needs when making a final decision over the contentious project in the province with a population of 456,800. He made the comments in response to the fresh round of protests by anti-coal supporters at Government House last month.

  • ASEAN insurance role in infrastructure financing

    11/23/2016

    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.

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