China’s transport infrastructure initiative, including the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and other related proposals, will pose a threat to Vietnam’s infrastructure development plan in the near future, an expert from the Vietnam Institute for Economic Research and Policy (VEPR) said at a seminar on the Chinese economy in Ho Chi Minh City last week.
China has made a big bet on renewable energy installation to wean the country off dirty fossil fuels and to meet its emission targets, but the latest government statistics show that a big portion of power generation from Chinese solar farms, wind projects and hydroelectric dams has failed to reach energy users.
The Mekong River Commission (MRC), the only intergovernmental body mandated to sustainably manage and protect the Lower Mekong River, is on the brink of demise. While transboundary water governance has faced significant challenges in the region since the MRC was established in 1995, the Commission’s first real test came more recently with the start of the regional debate over plans to build a cascade of eleven mainstream dams on the Lower Mekong River.
Minority groups, which make up 40 percent of Myanmar’s population and are represented by their own political parties, have not been under effective state control since Myanmar’s independence 67 years ago. Despite the ceasefire agreement, fighting between ethnic armed groups and the Myanmar Armed Forces has continued in several states. One of their grievances is the damming of the Salween river in their controlled territories. Proper accommodation of the interests of minority groups in this matter is crucial for ensuring that a peaceful post-election period and transition towards true democracy.
Blog: The Lower Sesan 2 Dam will soon flood several Cambodian Communities; can it at least provide fair compensation?
Over 300 million people inhabit the Greater Mekong Subregion. For the majority of this population, the river’s vast ecological system is their main market place, since they rely on it for food security, trade, transport, and their livelihoods. As the region’s water resources continue to be developed by the hydropower sector, encouraging sustainable growth is vital. In river basins where multiple projects are planned, companies should consider working together to address the cumulative impacts that are likely to result.
A group of villagers are demanding the government cancel its policy of giving out Special Prospecting Licences throughout Thailand to boost gold mining. People who have been affected by the gold mining business agreed and set up a civil society group which aims to reform gold mining business and policy. The primary goal of the group is to reform the national policy on gold mining, including changing business ownership to Thai national only, business transparency, which will provide maximum benefit to the country and Thai people.
Government and industry say China is meeting environmental goals. Skeptics say yeah, right.
Military officers in Isan, Thailand’s Northeast, intimidated academics and students on environmental research in areas with potash mining planned.
Japanese agricultural equipment firm Kubota is set to construct a machinery assembly plant in the Thilawa, according to Japanese financial journal Nikkei Asian Review. The move continues the company’s expansion in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at Thilawa port, located some 25 kilometres southeast of Rangoon.