We pick out the most popular and important stories published on The Third Pole in 2015.
Hydroelectric dams grace bank notes in developing countries, from Mozambique to Laos, Kyrgyzstan to Sri Lanka, a place of honor reflecting their reputation as harbingers of prosperity.
Thousands of households along the coast of Tien Giang Province in the Mekong Delta have been seriously endangered by soil erosion caused by the loss of protective forests.
Since the strip of protective forest, 21 kilometers long, covering the coast of Go Cong District has been ruined, around 300,000 locals and 55,000 hectares of farming land there have been “put under a knife blade” for years.
Houses in the coastal area from the Soai Rap River mouth in Vam Lang Town to Den Do in Tan Thanh Commune are under permanent threat and may be swept away or sunk by erosion any time.
A sea dike of steel concrete was built along the coast to protect local residential areas but it is just a temporary measure since sea waves have continued to encroach on land day by day.
“Wrong way!” Stephen, our driver, shouted at Pablo through the rolled-up window of his 4×4. We had jumped out of the car to take a ferry across the Mekong to the toothbrush-shaped island of Phu Thanh, and apparently Stephen was unimpressed with our door-closing technique. Heedless of the swarms of motorcycles flowing around the vehicle, he engaged the handbrake and got out himself to demonstrate the proper method.
Opening the door and quickly slamming it with exaggerated force, he pointed accusingly at Pablo. “Wrong way.”
Once more he pulled the door open, smiling as he gently closed it with a barely audible click. “Right way.”
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.
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.
Lush greenery in the lower Mekong region sprawls as far as the eye can see, an illustration of just how fertile the delta is. The endless green fields scored by the river’s nine tributaries, which the Vietnamese call “Nine Dragons”, explain why this area is one of the world’s major food baskets.
It houses the richest inland fishery and accounts for more than a fifth of the world’s rice exports, although looks can be deceptive. Encroaching sea water from the south, a proliferation of hydro dams in the north and large-scale sand mining are endangering the delta, officials warn.
Hundreds of kilometers of riverbank and shoreline in the Mekong River Delta are being eroded dramatically with hundreds and even thousands of hectars of land swept away annually. The place widely known as the field of Southeast Asia, annually produces 24-25 millions tonnes of rice (6-8 million tonnes of rice export) and 1.2 million tonnes of catfish, and 500,000 tonnes of shrimp, mostly for export. That field is being lost.
Over-exploitation of rivers has caused a great deal of damage. Dr. Dao Trong Tu, director of the Centre for Sustainable Water Resources and Climate Change, tells Ha Noi Moi (New Ha Noi) newspaper, in a Q&A.
In its push for coal-fired mega-projects, the Thai government risks turning its back on sufficiency-economy thinking and the need for ‘clean’ energy.