Mekong Eye

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Policy

  • On Energy Policy, Experts and Officials Differ

    02/05/2016

    Experts last week urged Cambodia to move away from large-scale hydropower and coal projects and toward more environmentally friendly sources of power or risk long-term energy insecurity, following the launch of a report by investment and advisory firm Mekong Strategic Partners in Phnom Penh. The report highlights how the increasing affordability of renewable technology combined with an international interest in efficiency and sustainability are leading most countries away from fossil fuels—with Cambodia seemingly heading in the opposite direction.

  • ‘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.

  • Land confiscation problems worsen

    01/19/2016

    Farmers from Shan State held a press conference at Taunggyi Catholic Church memorial hall in southern Shan State on January 3, 2016, to protest against unfair treatment when trying to reclaim their confiscated lands. – See more at: http://www.mizzima.com/news-domestic/land-confiscation-problems-worsen#sthash.CZVBDGRj.dpuf

  • Ghost town ‘forgotten’ in Chiang Khong border trade

    01/07/2016

    The freshly painted welcome signs at Chiang Khong market are conspicuous, greeting visitors as they cross the border from Laos. Few arrive however, and behind the signs they see only shuttered shops and scattered clothing sellers.

    The “new town”, as some business operators called it after the opening of the fourth Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge across the Mekong River in 2013, is now known as a ghost town by locals.
    Once a bustling trade development area, the market located just a kilometre from the bridge, has been a flop and doesn’t seem to be able to attract tourists.

    But there is a chance the market could be resurrected, after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s government announced Chiang Rai would be the location for the second phase of the Special Economic Zones, set to be launched this year.

  • Villagers fight waiver of EIA for power plants

    12/15/2015

    REPRESENTATIVES of people from seven provinces yesterday filed a complaint with the Central Administrative Court in Bangkok calling on the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to revoke its announcement waiving environment impact assessments (EIA) for waste-fired power plants.

  • Environmentalists Hope for Stronger Safeguards under NLD

    12/15/2015

    In the wake of recent disasters that have shone a light on the human toll wrought by a lack of environmental and development-related safeguards, local activists are hoping to reverse Burma’s abysmal environmental protection record when a new government assumes office in March next year.

    In July and August, swaths of the country were inundated by severe flooding, which in some areas triggered deadly mudslides, exacerbated in part by deforestation. Less than a week ago, a landslide near a jade mine in Kachin State’s Hpakant Township claimed more than 100 lives when a man-made mountain of earthen waste collapsed on workers’ makeshift huts.

  • How could we do better EIA/SIA?

    12/04/2015

    “The investors have just submitted to MIC, but most of the projects are already started (on the ground). Rules and regulations are just follow-up activities and EIA/SIA is just for ticking the box”

  • China poised to speed up nuclear power investment

    11/27/2015

    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.

  • Isan activists accuse Thai junta of siding with gas corporation

    11/26/2015

    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.

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

    11/26/2015

    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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