Vietnamese authorities should quash the politically motivated convictions of two bloggers and release them from prison, Human Rights Watch said. On September 22, 2016, the Higher People’s Court of Hanoi will hear the appeal of prominent blogger Nguyen Huu Vinh and his colleague Nguyen Thi Minh Thuy who ran a website critical of the Vietnamese government.
THAILAND faces many environmental issues as major development plans are being pushed ahead across the country, organic laws about the environment and community rights remain to be drafted and the forest reclamation campaign continues to cause conflicts, experts said on Wednesday.
The Thai Environmental Journalists Society held a forum and exhibition on current environmental issues and future challenges yesterday at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre. At the forum, many speakers flagged up the environmental issues the country faces.
Two commune chiefs and tourist boat operators in Kratie province have expressed their dissatisfaction over the construction of Don Sahong Dam, saying people’s living conditions will be getting worse while biodiversity – including rare fish species and dolphins in the lower Mekong River – are facing a threat of becoming extinct in the future if the Lao dam proceeds with its construction.
“Market mechanisms will not solve pollution issues, only a State mechanism will,” Mr. Le Dang Doanh, senior economic expert, told Vietnam Economic Times’ Investment Attraction and Sustainable Development workshop held on September 20 in Hanoi.
Agreeing, Mr. Tran Du Lich, National Assembly Delegate for Ho Chi Minh City, said that the environment cannot be exchanged for profit. “Health, education and environmental issues cannot be regulated by a market mechanism; they are the responsibility of the State,” he said.
Water conflict on the Mekong is getting increasingly tense and the fate of Mekong Delta is really being threatened by drought and salinity intrusion. The Kong-Chi-Mun-Loei project aims to get irrigation water supply for 4 river basin covering 1.8 million hectares for rainy season and about 900,000 hectares for dry season in 17 provinces of northeastern Thailand. The project will take the water amount equivalent of 1,200m3/s from Mekong River. In the dry season, the flow on the Mekong River in recent years is only about 2,500m3/sec. Thus, the amount of water Kong-Chi-Mun-Loei project would take almost accounts for half the amount of water on the Mekong.
Citizens in the Mekong region are increasingly hearing about “sustainable banking,” mostly associated with infrastructure and energy projects. It means regional banks, slow to commit to sustainability, are increasingly considering more responsible ways of doing business.
Cambodia recently joined Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China and 20 other emerging market economies in committing to better environmental and social risk management practices under the International Finance Corporation’s (World Bank Group) Sustainable Banking Network. And just this week, the Association of Banks in Cambodia (ABC) announced an initiative promising to work toward sustainable banking principles for Cambodia, “as ways to mitigate the damage associated with infrastructure, energy and large scale agribusiness projects.”
A banking sector initiative launched yesterday aims to advise Cambodia’s financial sector on best practices for sustainable lending while capitalising on the growing pool of international funds that could flow into green and socially responsible projects.
The Sustainable Finance Initiative will conduct two years of research to identify best practices that can be applied by financial institutions when formulating their lending policies, such as ways to mitigate the damage associated with infrastructure, energy and large-scale agribusiness projects.
Banks in Cambodia will strive to improve sustainability, and integrate environmental and social safeguards into future business decisions, the Association of Banks of Cambodia (ABC) announced yesterday.
At a ceremony at the Himawari Hotel in Phnom Penh, ABC acting chairman Charles Vann said the association was committed to improving the banking sector.
The Association of Banks in Cambodia (ABC) took a first major step towards sustainable lending practices this week by committing to develop sustainable finance principles and ultimately work towards integrating environmental and social safeguards and lending standards into their business decisions.
U Htay Aung, deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Electric Power and Energy, told The Myanmar Times last week that the projects – the Shweli (3), Upper Yeywa and Upper Kyaing Taung dams – are seen by the ministry as a means of meeting energy-deprived Myanmar’s electricity needs, while noting that the earliest expected completion dates were 2020.
Along with a fourth dam under construction in Rakhine State and a fifth in Nay Pyi Taw’s Pyinmana township, the projects’ electricity generation will total more than 1500 megawatts, he said, nearly half of Myanmar’s current installed capacity nationwide.