Posted inResource / PR /

Report: Myanmar’s Protected Areas Are Facing Critical Funding Shortages

Myanmar’s protected areas are facing critical funding shortages, with several unable to cover the costs of essential equipment, maintenance, and operational activities, in addition to needing more dedicated staff with increased technical capacities. A new report offers an assessment of the financial status, constraints, and opportunities for financing of these areas.

The report, Sustainable Financing of Protected Areas in Myanmar (http://goo.gl/cGip0X), was published by WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) under a research project funded by the European Union.

Posted inTranslated Local News /

Despite Community Protest Marble Production Continues

“We just want to stop the project” said U Zaya Kyaw, a member of Taungote community network. A Vietname based company named Myanmar SIMCO Song Da Limited Joint Stock Company (MYSICO) get the license for 25 years of Marble Tile production in Nay Pu Taung (Nay Py Mountain), which is situated in Taungote Townshiop, Rakhine, Myanmar. “According to the contract, they will employ 240 local workers, but they only hire 10 local people so far (with contract). The whole project operation is not transparent and accountable. It will spoil our environment and we don’t have much benefit from it.” U Zaya Kyaw continued. “The investment is 18.17 mn, but they didn’t say anything about EIA or SIA to us.” U Soe Win, another member of the community network said.

Posted inTranslated Local News /

7 Carbon investment projects have been cancelled and the duration of economic land concession has been reduced

The government of Cambodia has decided to cancel 7 carbon investment projects and reduced the investment duration of economic land concession (6 projects) down to 50 years after reviewing environmental assessment reports of Ministry of Environment. According to an announcement of Ministry of Environment on October 16, 2015, after reviewing the environmental assessment reports of Ministry of Environment on 14 investment projects, Royal Government of Cambodia has decided that 6 economic land concession projects covering 45468 h.a in Koh Kong, Kompot and Pursat provinces could continue their operation within only 50 years.

Posted inStory /

China poised to speed up nuclear power investment

The development of nuclear power in China is set to gain momentum in the next five years as the country prepares to inject hundreds of billions of yuan into building nuclear plants. More than 100 nuclear power plants will be put into operation by 2020, with a nationwide capacity tripling that of 2014 to reach 58 million kilowatts, the China Times reported, citing a draft for the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20).

According to the document, the government is expected to invest about 500 billion yuan (S$109 billion) to build six to eight new plants annually during the period.

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Isan activists accuse Thai junta of siding with gas corporation

An environmental conservation group in Isan, Thailand’s Northeast, says that the Thai junta are siding with an oil and gas corporation to plunder resources and urges the US government to take action against the multinational petroleum company.

Na Mun-Dun Sat Conservation Group, an Isan environmental group, on Tuesday morning, 12 October 2015, rallied in front of the US Embassy in Bangkok and submitted a letter to embassy staff, urging the US government to hold Apico (Khorat) Limited, a US-based oil and gas exploration company, accountable.

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New tests for residents near big gold mine

A FRESH round of blood/urine tests is now being processed through the initiative of five organisations, including the Industry Ministry, to assess a gold mine’s impacts on the health of people living in Phichit, Phetchabun and Phitsanulok provinces.

The tests, which started with a blood-sample collection on Saturday, are the sixth round since locals became concerned about the operation of the Chatree Mining Complex. Many residents have complained about deteriorating health.

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Myitsone Dam, Kachin Conflict under Spotlight in New Film

A new documentary film premiering in Rangoon this weekend offers a view into the social upheaval and dislocation caused by the Myitsone Dam project in Kachin State.

Produced over four years, including months embedded in the now largely abandoned Tang Hpre village in the dam’s catchment area, Dams, Drugs and Democracy charts community opposition to the dam before and after President Thein Sein announced the controversial megaproject’s suspension in 2011.

Posted inInterview /

Minister says Dawei SEZ ‘like renovating some parts of an old house in order to prevent it from collapsing’

The Dawei Special Economic Zone has been championed by both the Myanmar and Thai governments as a promising industrial development for Myanmar, yet there have been difficulties getting the project off the ground.

According to the agreement, the initial phase of the project must be carried out on the 7-square-kilometre land allotted for the special zone, and 65 percent of construction must be completed within three years from the signing date. In the meantime, Italian-Thai Development has been building infrastructure such as roads, bridges, water supplies and buildings.

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As Dawei “initial phase” 65% complete, locals left in the dark

The Dawei Special Economic Zone (DSEZ) is a major industrial project and deep sea port now at an initial phase of construction located in Taninthayri Region, Myanmar. The original plan, led by the Thai construction company Ital-Thai since 2008, was for a US$ 50 billion project that entailed a 250 kilometer square industrial zone. However, by 2012 the project was in deep trouble as it failed to attract investment and was challenged by civil society groups concerned about impact on local livelihoods and the environment, as well as the overall decision-making process around the project.