Mekong Eye

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  • China’s Three Parallel Rivers national park threatened by illegal mining


    China’s best preserved forests in south-west China’s Yunnan province are under threat from illegal mining, according to a new report.

    The study by Greenpeace shows mining and industry activity in the Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan protected area is destroying pristine forests in one of the world’s most biodiverse regions. The researchers combined remote sensing data and field visits to show mining is leading to deforestation, water pollution and habitat loss in the mountains of north-west Yunnan on the eastern foothills of the Himalayas.

  • Aung Sun Suu Kyi moves to clean up Myanmar’s murky jade trade


    Myanmar’s new government has announced ground-breaking reforms to its $31bn (£23.7bn) jade industry in a move campaigners claim could signal “a new era of fundamental change” in a business long dominated by abuse, corruption and cronyism.

    The decision to freeze any renewals of existing jade permits, and to suspend the licensing of new ones, follows a series of deadly landslides in resource-rich Kachin state, widespread protests against lack of regulations, and extensive NGO and media reports exposing social and environmental abuses in Myanmar’s jade trade.

  • Grain drain, Laos’ sand mining damaging the Mekong


    Grain by grain, truckload by truckload, Laos’ section of the Mekong River is being dredged of sand to make cement — a commodity being devoured by a Chinese-led building boom in the capital.

    But the hollowing out of the riverbed is also damaging a vital waterway that feeds hundreds of thousands of fishermen and farmers in the poverty-stricken nation.

    “Today, it’s more complicated for us to go fetch water for crops,” DeamSaengarn told AFP from the muddy river’s shores, describing how its gentle slopes have given way to steep embankments.

  • New book: Licensed Larceny: Infrastructure, Financial Extraction and the global South


    This new 144-page book, just published by Manchester University Press, argues that the current push worldwide for Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) is not about building infrastructure — roads, bridges, hospitals, ports and railways – for the benefit of society but about constructing new subsidies to benefit the already wealthy. It is less about financing
    development than developing finance.

  • VN urged to reduce raw mineral exports as natural resources decline


    A report from the General Statistics Office (GSO) showed 6.82 percent growth in industry, lower than 9.66 percent in the same period of last year.

    The decrease in industrial production growth rate was attributed to a decline in coal, oil and gas mining. The decline was not blamed on weak production activities, but on other reasons, including shortage of natural resources.

  • China Economy Ripples Into Laos


    A decade long mining boom, combined with a rapid development of hydropower, has seen Laos’ growth rate reach over 7 percent a year, allowing national output to more than double, generating some half a million jobs.

    A key player in the economic progress has been China. A recent World Bank report on the Lao economy noted China’s influence was continuing to grow.

  • Compensation for mining company’s ‘poisoning’ not enough: plaintiffs


    PEOPLE in Tak province say nothing has been done about removing cadmium contamination from their water source, while the Appeals Court yesterday upheld the Civil Court’s earlier ruling against zinc-mining companies on the leakage of toxins into the Mae Tao River Basin.

    The Southern Bangkok Civil Court upheld the previous court decision to sentence 84 people in three tambon of Tak’s Mae Sot district in a complaint filed against Padaeng Industry and Tak Mining Co. It also ruled that the 20 plaintiffs be given Bt62,000 each in compensation for cadmium poisoning. No court decision has been made on environmental damage.

  • Mining Companies Told to Comply


    Only a few days after the Koh Kong Provincial Court found three environmental activists guilty for protesting against a sand dredging company, the Ministry of Energy and Mines has called for greater civilian participation in protecting The Kingdom’s natural resources.

    Suy Sem, the Minister of Mining and Energy, issued a strong warning to mining and sand-dredging companies, saying those who do not act within ministerial guidelines will have their licenses revoked, be blacklisted and sent to court.

  • Mining Activists from Three Provinces Discuss Advocacy


    About 30 Community Mining Focal People (CMFP) from Mondolkiri, Ratanakiri and Preah Vihear province gathered on June 14 2016 in Banlung town of Ratanakiri province to present and share their implementation of advocacy plans and updates about impacts of mining on local people.

    Ms. Vong Socheat, a CMFP from Mondolkiri province said that one mining company has a license to mine and the company forced villagers to give farmlands to them because the farmlands are in the exploration or exploitation area of the company. She also said that local authorities have not paid attention to those issues, but they have forced local people to leave their farmlands as it belongs to the company.

  • Dangerous Myanmar Jade Mines Bring Income, Death


    Within days of the start of the monsoon rains, the dangerous conditions and lack of safety measures at Myanmar’s jade mines were highlighted when a dozen miners were killed while scavenging in a mining pit.

    The area in Hpakant Township, in northern Myanmar’s Kachin State, is a vast wasteland of deep pits and huge rubble heaps produced by mining companies using heavy machinery and dynamite.


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