Last week, the group of Thai Society of Environmental Journalist and Thai Journalist Association together with 15 news outlets went to Chiang Kong district in Chiangrai province to follow up on the progress of the establishment of the second phase of Special Economic Zone, and the impact on the surrounded communities. They also attended the opening of Mekong School, which is situated on Mekong River bank in Chiang Kong River. Mekong School is set up under the philosophy “Respect for nature and Faith in humanity justice” by villagers and different stakeholders to provide learning space Mekong ecology, culture and environment of Mekong River. Under “Field of Learning” concept, Mekong School provides knowledge on Mekong River history, local cultures and academic researches on Mekong. The school also plans to set up Mekong Library for database and research purposes.
Though it’s extremely early days, experts this week welcomed Cambodia’s membership to the nascent China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), saying it would provide much-needed diversity of funding for the nation’s infrastructure and connectivity needs.
Launched in Beijing last weekend, the multilateral development bank aims to support infrastructure growth in the Asia-Pacific region through the provision of loans, and supports China’s ambitious “One Belt, One Road” initiative to boost trade and connectivity across the Eurasian landmass.
Open Development Cambodia, has launched its new Generation 2 website. On the new website you will find about 100 pages of briefings covering 17 development sectors, an expanded law compendium, a comprehensive listing of ELCs, new maps, and an improved map explorer, as well as the daily news summaries. This makes ODC the first country website to interface with the new regional Open Development Mekong (https://opendevelopmentmekong.net , as part of a platform expansion that will eventually include websites for all five Lower Mekong countries.
A new year is often a time for joyful celebration. But Pianporn Deetes bid farewell to 2015 with a heavy heart.
“The Administrative Court gave me the most cruel Christmas ever. My spirit was dampened throughout the New Year period,” she said.
Pianporn is remembering her experience listening to the ruling on the Xayaburi Dam on Dec 25. The lawsuit — in which 37 villagers from eight provinces in Thailand affected by the project sued the Energy Ministry and Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand for allegedly signing a power purchase agreement illegally — is a landmark case since it was the first time people have gone to court for environmental and community rights protection from a transborder project championed by the Asean Economic Community (AEC). The dam is now being constructed, with investment from Thailand, on the Mekong River in Laos. When finished, over 90% of electricity from the dam will be sold to Thailand.
Myanmar may face an energy crisis after 2020 as oil and gas production has declined and the newly discovered sites are not ready to fill the gap, according to Than Tun, an adviser to Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprises under the Ministry of Energy.
“We cannot expect what will happen beyond 2020. The newly discovered Shwe Yee Tun block has good prospects. There may be a gap beyond 2020,” said Than Tun, who is also a retired director from the energy ministry. He was speaking at a conference called Changes for Myanmar Oil and Gas Sector, 2016-21 at the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Yangon.
The Cambodian National Council for Sustainable Development (NCSD), in collaboration with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and its partners, launched a report today that highlights Cambodia’s need to set a formal target for renewable energy generation for sustainable and secure economic growth.
The independent report entitled “Switching On: Cambodia’s Path to Sustainable Energy Security,” supported by the USAID-funded Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) project, recommends that the Cambodian government clarify laws on renewables – such as rooftop solar power – to supply electricity.
Khaung Tong Creek was a 1.5-meter deep, pristine creek some 10 years ago, but these days this important tributary of Kachin State’s famed Indawgyi Lake is just a little stream some 10 cm deep, filled with red-brownish mud.
Local villagers said years of unregulated gold mining several kilometres away has caused the environmental degradation as dumped waste and chemicals has flowed into the stream.
As of Tuesday, the combined amount of usable water retained in seven major dams, including Bhumibol and Sirikit, that feed the Central plains stood at around 3,300 million cubic metres, or 18 per cent of their combined capacity of around 24,700 million cu.
The National Water Resources Committee (NWRC) came up with this figure at the end of November as it does every year, and after seeing these numbers, I must say it is of serious concern and I wonder how we will be able to survive yet another drought.
The government should invest more in sustainable energy, with a focus on solar power, experts told a conference on energy security yesterday, adding that this could reduce Cambodia’s dependence on large-scale hydropower projects and coal-fired plants.
John McGinley, managing director of the Mekong Strategic Partners, told the conference at the Himawari that although solar power would not entirely replace existing energy sources, greater use of solar energy would reduce emissions of carbon dioxide. Mr. McGinley added that the installation cost of solar power is affordable compared to large hydropower and coal-fired generators.
Cambodia’s electricity is mainly derived from hydropower, coal plants, and imported energy from Thailand and Vietnam. According to the Ministry of Mines and Energy, the country’s six hydropower dams generate about 60 percent of total electricity.