Mekong Eye

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Stories - Page 403

  • Gold mining, conflict threaten Myanmar’s Indawgyi Lake

    02/01/2016

    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.

  • Water management requires a more holistic view

    02/01/2016

    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.

  • Solar Power in the Spotlight

    02/01/2016

    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.

  • Chinese mine firm promises to respect residents

    01/29/2016

    Official Chinese representatives from the Shwe Htun Pauk company have said that they will stop their operations if they face continued opposition from residents.

    The company, officially licensed to mine gold and other minerals at the Tanintharyi River near Maw Hta village, held a meeting about water pollution with around 40 residents, Dawei-Myeik representatives of the Karen National Union and regional civil groups.

  • Is SEZ on Boon Reung forest; destroying Chiang Khong and Mae Kong River?

    01/29/2016

    There is high possibility that the Special Economic Zone will take away more than 1,190 acres of Boon Rueng forest from the community. There is also equally possibility that the Mekong River ecosystem will be destroyed if Boon Rueng forest transform into Special Economic Zone according to Thailand’s Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha’s vision. The abundant Boon Rueng forest in this wetlands is currently being nominated for SEZ consideration by Joint Public Private Committee, Office of the Permanent Secretary of Interior. If approve, half of the forest will be replaced with factories. According to the survey, there are more than 60 species of plants and 211 species of animal, especially endangered species such as Fishing Cat in Boon Rueng forest. Obviously, Boon Rueng forest is not ‘degraded forest’ as it was claimed.

  • CSOs Ask to Be Heard in Timber Trade Talks With China

    01/29/2016

    A network of some 150 civil society organizations (CSOs) have called for their voices to be heard in bilateral timber trade talks between Burma and China supported by Western aid agencies.

    The groups expressed concern about a lack of attention being paid to those who would be most affected by the projects, expected to benefit the Myanmar Timber Enterprise, a subsidiary of the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry that is in control of harvesting rights.

  • ‘We do not accept the government’s clean coal technology’

    01/29/2016

    Interview: Devi Thant Cin is a well-known environmentalist and coordinator of the Myanmar Green Network. The non-government organisation has been using the increasing space for civil society in Myanmar in recent years to lobby against environmentally damaging mega projects, such as the Myitsone hydropower dam on the Ayeyarwaddy River.

  • Trapped Between Two Dams

    01/26/2016

    From the hammock beneath his home in Sre Ko village along the southern banks of the Se San River in Stung Treng province, Fort Kheun remains adamant that he will not relocate to make way for the 336-kilomter reservoir that will stretch behind the Lower Se San River Dam after it is built. He wants […]

  • Government Says No Dams until 2020

    01/25/2016

    The Cambodian government will not allow the construction of any new hydropower dams in the country until 2020, officials say. Speaking yesterday to hundreds of electricity operators at a conference reviewing last year’s electricity services, Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said, “Until 2020, there will be no construction of hydropower dams.” Cambodia currently […]

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