Mekong Eye

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Stories - Page 26

  • Target Thailand and radiate southeast, China PV enterprises arrange global market


    Due to high cost and American and European anti-dumping tariff, the business of China solar panel manufacturers was gloomy in past 2 years. During this depression, the renewable energy markets in newly emerging Asian countries became the substitute of China manufacturers. Thai Rayong Industrial Park, 140 kilometers from Bangkok, Thailand, has become the Thai Optical […]

  • Government Will Start Chipping Away at Protected Areas


    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.

  • Plan continues for waterway transport system and hydropower on Red River


    Vietnam’s Ministry of Investment and Planning (MPI) received the requirement for approval the investment project of Xuan Thanh group (Xuan Thien Co Ltd) about the construction the waterway transport system and hydropower on Red River, the North of Vietnam. MPI has informed the Prime Minister and consulted with MONRE about this project as MPI thinks that this project will have potential impacts to environment by dredging the riverbed or process of hydropower construction. But in order to understanding how specific the impacts, its need to conducting the EIA report.

    The Prime Minister has not yet approved this project as its still lack many information and legal documents. Prime Minster assigned MONRE to establish the exploitation master plan of Red River to ensure the sustainable development.

  • China May Shelve Plans to Build Dams on Its Last Wild River


    On a roadside next to the Nu River, Xiong Xiangnan is trying to sell fish to tourists. He doesn’t look like a traditional fisherman. Xiong sports a pompadour and wears a brown jacket, jeans, and white Crocs, with a money purse slung across one shoulder. As several of his friends stand around smoking, Xiong makes his pitch.

    The fish were very hard to catch, he says. The nets must be set at night and checked early in the morning. That’s why he’s charging 240 yuan—about $37—for the biggest trophy in his buckets.

    Behind Xiong, the Nu River flows freely, bumbling with rapids, swirling with eddies. Some of this water has spilled down from glaciers on the Tibetan plateau, filling a channel that snakes 1,700 miles (2,736 kilometers) through China, then Myanmar and Thailand, before spilling into the Andaman Sea.

  • China-led AIIB Looks Toward Co-Financing Projects, At Least Initially


    Early last year, when the United States’ Western European allies began eagerly signing up for China’s nascent Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) as founding members, it seemed as if Washington was confident that the AIIB would emerge as a poorly governed tool of Chinese geoeconomic statecraft, beholden to lower standards than the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the highly experienced international development banks. At the core of these concerns was a perception that the AIIB would be supplementary instead of complementary to existing development banks–both in terms of its governance and the projects it selected.

    A year and a few weeks ago, the AIIB’s 57 founding members finalized its charter; in the final days of 2015, the members ratified the bank’s Articles of Agreement. Finally, early in the new year, the AIIB opened its doors for business. Now, just over three months into its operations, the AIIB has decided on its first projects. As I’d briefly discussed in April, the AIIB’s first projects have demonstrated that concerns a year ago in Washington and Tokyo may have been overstated. For now, the bank appears to be pursuing a modest and complementary approach in selecting its projects.

  • Southeast Asia’s Rivers Run Dry


    The dry months before the monsoon rains arrive are often tough for Cambodian fishermen and farmers. But with rivers drying up and drinking water running out, conditions have rarely been as bad as they are now.

    The current drought is linked to El Niño, which has been disrupting weather patterns around the world. But the harsh conditions today might only be foreshadowing far worse to come, climate scientists say. Climate change is expected to continue to affect the Mekong Basin region, while future droughts are expected to be exacerbated by a string of major hydropower dam projects.

    Experts fear that the present crisis could become the new normal for Cambodia and its neighbors, which have also been hit hard by record temperatures and a long period of extremely dry weather.

  • The four challenges threatening the Mekong Delta


    Located at the end of the Mekong River, the Mekong Delta of Vietnam was formed about 6,000 years from sediments of the river flowing into the sea plus the process of sea regression.

    After the country’s unification in 1975, Vietnam embarked on the planning and exploitation of the delta. The country has successfully solved the alkaline, acidic and salty problems to develop agriculture, particularly rice cultivation in this region. In 1986, the total rice output of the Mekong Delta was around 7 million tones and currently i25 million tonnes, accounting for 90% of Vietnam’s total rice expert turnover.

  • Residents in Myitsone urge President to end Myitsone Dam project


    Residents in the Myitsone Dam project area have urged President Htin Kyaw and the new government to end the Myitsone project so that relocated villagers can return to their villages

    “If the new government does not end this project, how must we, the residents, live? Our hearts are pounding. I want to cry. We have suffered repeatedly from troubles. If the project is not cancelled, I am sure that I will die there,” Ja Hkaung, whose farmland in Tan Hpe village was confiscated due to the project, said in a press conference.

  • China’s rise takes centre stage at ADB annual meeting


    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.


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