Military officers in Isan, Thailand’s Northeast, intimidated academics and students on environmental research in areas with potash mining planned.
THE COAL-FIRED power plant and coal transport pier planned for Krabi province will have only a small environmental impact on the area, according to some researchers. A study of possible effects from the power plant and Klong Rua coal transport pier was funded by the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat). The findings were disclosed at a press conference hosted by the Institute for Population and Social Research and Egat at Mahidol University on Monday.
“The forest is our main source of food year round. Our lives are tied to it,” said Mr Pan, 57, also the head of a two-century-old village located in the forest of Ob Khan National Park’s Mae Khan River basin. But this lifestyle based on nature is under threat. The villagers have lived with anxiety for 20 years under the shadow of a dam construction project that has been dusted off by successive prime ministers despite the villagers’ protests.
Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha voiced plans to use water from the Mekong and Salween rivers to fill dams that have run low because of drought and poor water management. But the PM’s remarks have caused shockwaves in the Mekong Delta, which would be directly affected if such a project was to go ahead.
As a result of the recent endorsement of Thailand’s Power Development Plan B.C. 2015-2036 (PDP 2015) which is leading to the construction of power plants with capacity of 57,459 megawatts in the next 20 years signifying the security necessary of the country’s electricity, there were several irregularities found after the examination of the content of the plan. The key concern is that the PDP in 2015 will also lead to the unnecessary construction of the power plant investment. Not only this investment will not be beneficial but will instead incur long-term financial burdens to consumers with more than 6.7 billion baht.
The Thai government hopes to ease its public debt burden by luring the private sector to invest more in multibillion-baht infrastructure projects, especially in telecommunications and transport, through public-private partnerships (PPPs).
The Bangkok Post looks at the northeastern province of Mukdahan, which borders Laos, in the third of a six-part series on special economic zones.
A gold mine company is threatening to sue a high school student who reported the environmental effects of mining activities in Isan, Thailand’s northeast.
Government and civil society representatives highlighted the need for strong and inclusive environmental impact assessment (EIA) policies and practices in the Mekong region at a meeting this week in Bangkok, Thailand.
Water and river grabbing refers to situations where powerful actors such as developers and governments are able to take control of, or reallocate to their own benefits – including decision-making power – the use of rivers and water resources.
Though hydropower is considered a form of clean energy, the construction and operation of hydropower dams can drastically destroy rivers, and alter people’s way of life forever. Therefore, assessment of the environmental impacts of specific hydropower projects is crucial to avoid what can be called ‘river grabbing’.
Villagers and CSOs from Shan State and Karen State on 10 March protested against the Mong Ton hydropower project during the first public consultation meeting held by the Australian consulting firm, the Snowy Mountain Engineering Corporation (SMEC) in Taunggyi, Shan State.