Farmers from Shan State held a press conference at Taunggyi Catholic Church memorial hall in southern Shan State on January 3, 2016, to protest against unfair treatment when trying to reclaim their confiscated lands. – See more at: http://www.mizzima.com/news-domestic/land-confiscation-problems-worsen#sthash.CZVBDGRj.dpuf
In this issue, we examine the economic value of Lower Mekong fisheries, the growing importance of aquaculture in world fisheries production and Southeast Asia’s largest ornamental fish market. We also look at a recent catfish deal between Viet Nam and the US, a slowdown in the decline of the Mekong’s dolphin population and genetic considerations in culture-based fisheries.
About 300 local people and their supporters took back their land from Myanmar Sithu Gold Mining Company at Yayhtwet village, Chaunggyi village-tracts, Thapeikyin Township, Pyinoolwin district, Mandalay Region on 3 January.
They were supported by people from Patheingyi, Madaya and Singu townships.
On November 10, BRIDGE financed a training workshop entitled Reporting on Mekong Dams – Science, Policies and Voices from the Ground in An Giang Province in the Mekong Delta. It was organized by Pan Nature, a Vietnamese NGO, to brief journalists on the concerns and perspectives of local stakeholders on planned dams on the Mekong River.
THE Administrative Court Friday dismissed complaints over the Xayaburi Dam against five state agencies. However, the 37 plaintiffs, from eight Mekong provinces, say they will appeal further.
The judge, who read the verdict, said the defendants had fully complied with their obligation according to the law, so the case was dismissed.
On 30th December, the government of Myanmar announced that the CITIC Consortium, which comprises of 6 Chinese companies, wins the bid to develop Kyauk Phyu SEZ. Mr. Win Shein, the MP from Kyauk Phyu said, the last minute agreement before the current government hand over the power to the new NLD-led government, could involve fraud and corruption between the government and Chinese investors. The bid for the SEZ takes 24 months, 16 companies have compete for the bid, but the government approve CITIC in rush. CITIC Consortium states it will invest about 9 bn US$ for the Kyauk Phyu SEZ project, which covers 4200 acre of lands.
We pick out the most popular and important stories published on The Third Pole in 2015.
The Club of Cambodian Journalists announced over the weekend that there has been a dramatic rise in threats against journalists this year, with a parallel increase in arrests and legal challenges, The Phnom Penh Post reported.
According to a CCJ statement issued on Saturday, there have so far been 12 cases against journalists this year, compared to four in 2014.
Some journalists were beaten up and arrested and detained, and in some cases equipment including cameras and voice recorders was confiscated, it said. Five journalists were sued this year, compared to just two in 2014, it added.
The 25 members represent governments and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from across the region. They have tasked themselves with drafting public participation guidelines to ensure communities and citizens have input into development projects such as dams, mines, transportation links or economic zones. Through drafting a regional standard on participation in EIA, the group hopes countries across the region will improve public involvement in the decision-making process.
Getting 10 civil society organisations, five governments and an array of ministries to agree on one set of guidelines will be hard. But the members are up for the challenge. They have a lot to teach each other. And are eager to learn from experiences in other countries and sectors.
We talked to a few members of the RTWG during their first official meeting in Bangkok in September to see how they felt about this challenging but exciting opportunity. Their video interviews are below.
My country, Thailand, hosted this kick-off meeting, and two of Thailand’s five members are Mr. Suphakij Nuntavorakarn, Healthy Public Policy Foundation and Ms. Chanakod Chasidpon, Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) of the Thai government.
More than 30 representatives from Bamnetnarong District in Chaiyapoom province submitted a letter to ASEAN diplomatic representative, protesting the coal-fired power plant for Potash mining project. The content of the letter stated that ASEAN Potash Mining Company Limited (Public) is pushing the construction plan of coal power plants for use in the mining operation, informing the villagers that Thailand shortage of energy. And the villagers against the use of coal for electricity generation.