Cambodia’s Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Ministry of Environment have co-signed an agreement to improve Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requirements in artisanal and small scale mining projects. Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) partner Development and Partnership in Action (DPA) and a network of CSOs they facilitate played a key role in advising the government prior to the final agreement. The agreement aims to bring better transparency leading to stronger public participation in EIA processes.
THE MEKONG RIVER Commission (MRC) does not have the authority to stop projects even if they have transboundary effects, delegates to the fourth Green Mekong Forum said on Monday, while the Thai Irrigation Department presented a water diversion project to fight poverty.
Around 100 delegates from Mekong River countries and international observers attended the forum in Bangkok to follow the latest developments in infrastructure and water resource management in the Mekong River Region.
Klang Village is located next to Loei river of Loei province, Thailand. In this area, there will be a project name Kong – Loei- Chi-Mun. This project aims to storage water for Thailand by dredging the Loei River further 5m deeply and spreading 250m wide of Loei estuaries. In addition, around 24 tunnels will be constructed at the bottom of the Loei river so there will more water volume from Mekong river flowing into Loei river, then to Chi and Mun river that help keep water for dry season in Thailand.
The head of Klang Village, Ms Sorarat Kaeswsa worried that if the river bottom is dredged, then there will be no fish anymore for their livelihoods. For many years their life has been based on this Loei river. The project director with the Thailand irrigation department, Ms Chawee Wongprasittiporn, said that the project will construct 1 to 2 tunnels first to see how water flows from the Mekong River to Loei River. Then they will decide about continuing construction or revising the plan.
Between 2009 and 2012, the Ministry of Environment went on nationwide leasing spree, signing over vast swaths of the country’s nominally protected areas to private companies for rubber plantations and other agribusiness ventures.
In the name of jobs and development, the companies have cleared tens of thousands of hectares of forest in and around their economic land concessions (ELCs), giving Cambodia one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. As a show of his efforts to rein in the more wayward ELCs, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced in February that the government had taken back nearly 1 million hectares, a little less than half of the area leased out nationwide.
The mass fish deaths in the central provinces in April were believed to be caused by untreated waste water from Taiwanese Formosa’s plant have once again raised public anger.
Eight years ago, the public was stunned by the discovery that Vedan, also a foreign invested enterprise, discharged untreated waste water, turning the Thi Vai River in Dong Nai province into a dead river. The polluter then had to pay VND119 billion in compensation for the damages it caused to aquaculture.
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.
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.
Vietnam Scientists are concerned that coal power plants would still provide 50 percent of the nation’s total electricity output in the future.
A weekly update of news, commentary and resources on Mekong development projects, investment, EIAs and other development issues. We include a balanced and representative range of news and views from local, regional and global sources. The Digest reaches around 3500 key development professionals, government officials, business leaders and journalists.
In what he characterized as a shakeup aimed at curtailing the autocratic whims of the forestry and fisheries administrations, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced on Thursday that he was placing both bodies under the authority of provincial governments.
The premier delivered a speech canvassing a wide range of environmental issues in which he also said those holding remaining forest concessions—which date back to the 1990s and were placed under moratorium in 2001—must hand them back or have them forcibly reclaimed by the state.
China’s growing economic influence through the One Belt, One Road initiative and the newly operational Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank were key topics of discussion at the Asian Development Bank’s annual conference in Frankfurt this week.
The Chinese-led AIIB has 57 founding members with others expected to join. The One Belt, One Road (OBOR) project aims to strengthen infrastructure on the land and sea routes from China through Central Asia and Southeast Asia respectively – incorporating some 60 separate states.
Both initiatives affect Myanmar, as a member country of the AIIB and as a host to Chinese OBOR infrastructure projects – including a recently approved US$3 billion refinery near the southern city of Dawei.
On May 26, 2016 Pact and the International Center for Environmental Management (ICEM) invite you to a panel discussion on strategic environmental assessment as it relates to energy investments in the lower Mekong region. The discussion will be followed by a networking reception recognizing 25 government officials from the lower Mekong region who are participating in a workshop on the same topic.