Mekong Eye

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Stories - Page 383

  • Mekong region could rely on 100% clean energy by 2050: WWF


    THAILAND AND countries in the Mekong region should be able to rely 100 per cent on renewable energy by 2050 and escape the severe impacts of climate change, a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) study revealed.

    The WWF held a press conference in Bangkok yesterday to disclose its latest study on sustainable energy in Thailand and four countries in the Mekong region. The study showed that these countries can produce and use electricity from solar power, wind power, biogas and small run-of-the-river hydroelectricity.

  • Plan continues for waterway transport system and hydropower on Red River


    Vietnam’s Ministry of Investment and Planning (MPI) received the requirement for approval the investment project of Xuan Thanh group (Xuan Thien Co Ltd) about the construction the waterway transport system and hydropower on Red River, the North of Vietnam. MPI has informed the Prime Minister and consulted with MONRE about this project as MPI thinks that this project will have potential impacts to environment by dredging the riverbed or process of hydropower construction. But in order to understanding how specific the impacts, its need to conducting the EIA report.

    The Prime Minister has not yet approved this project as its still lack many information and legal documents. Prime Minster assigned MONRE to establish the exploitation master plan of Red River to ensure the sustainable development.

  • New EIA rules for mining


    The Ministry of Mines and Energy signed joint prakas with the Ministry of Environment to simplifying the environmental impact assessment (EIA) requirements for artisanal and small-scale mining practices. The law has set up a transitional regime for EIA compliance, based on the scale and scope of existing mining operations in attempt to formalise the sector […]

  • Vietnam’s New Environmental Politics: A Fish out of Water?


    The cross-country demonstrations currently taking place in Vietnam to protest massive fish die-offs along the central Vietnamese coast are truly remarkable. Not only were demonstrations at this scale unheard of even five years ago, but they beg the question of why thousands of demonstrators as far off as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are subjecting themselves to the threat of beating and arrest over dead fish in Central Vietnam.

    Has a new environmental sensibility suddenly taken hold of the nation? Is it a rude awakening to the costs of decades of rapid industrialization and economic growth? Or is it simply a convenient expression of developmental malaise projected onto a foreign scapegoat, namely the Taiwanese Formosa Ha Tinh steel factory ,whose 1.8 km underground waste pipe is widely suspected as the principal cause of the die-off? Even as such sensibilities may be taking shape, they hardly explain the scale or intensity of the current confrontation.

  • New Lao Prime Minister Issues Ban on Timber Exports


    The new Lao government has issued a moratorium on the export of logs and timber in a bid to reduce rampant and widespread illegal wood shipments outside the small Southeast Asian nation’s borders, according to a copy of the document obtained by RFA’s Lao Service.

    Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, who assumed office on April 20, issued the moratorium on May 13. It requires all ministries, provincial governors and mayors to implement strict measures to control and inspect the felling of trees, log transportation, and logging businesses.

    The moratorium contains 17 points, including one that forbids the export of logs, timber, processed wood, roots, branches, and trees from natural forests as well as logs the previous government had recently approved for export.

  • Mekong River in danger, but MRC is ‘weak’


    Dams and water diversion projects along the Mekong River threaten to overwhelm an ecosystem that supports 60 million people and thousands of species, according to a consensus of scientists, NGOs and governments. But amidst this pending crisis, the main mechanism set up to protect the river is becoming all but irrelevant.

    The Mekong now needs more protection than ever, experts say, but the Mekong River Commission (MRC) – an international body that manages Mekong development and water resource use – has been steadily losing power for years, say current and former employees who spoke on condition of anonymity.

  • World Bank to re-engage after five-year absence


    The World Bank has approved $130 million in developmental aid aimed at reducing poverty in Cambodia, signalling its first direct re-engagement with the Kingdom since it left in protest in 2011 after one of the largest forceful evictions led by the government displaced more than 3,000 families.

    The decision came last week when the World Bank’s executive directors voted on a new Country Engagement Note (CEN) that approved financing of four projects including infrastructure development, clean-water projects, agriculture production and access to health care.

  • Mekong Investment Underscores Japan’s Economic Clout in Southeast Asia


    Earlier this month, Japan announced a three-year, $7 billion investment deal with the countries of the lower Mekong River to boost development and improve infrastructure. In an email interview, Phuong Nguyen, an associate fellow with the Southeast Asia program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, discussed Japan’s relations in Southeast Asia.


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