Vietnam and Korea Agree to Strengthen Contaminated Soil Monitoring in Vietnam
May 20 2011
During May 17-20, 2011, during an observational visit to Korea, officials from Korea’s Ministry of Environment of Korea and Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment signed a letter of intent on closer cooperation in sharing experience and expertise related to managing contaminated soil. During the observational program, Korean and Vietnamese experts exchange views to support the development of new guidelines in Vietnam related to contaminated soil monitoring. Vietnamese officials also visited the Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute, the Korea Environment...
State Department and USAID Honor Chair of AECEN
May 6 2011
At a reception on May 3 in Bangkok, Her Excellency Kristie A. Kenney, U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, honored Dr. Supat Wangwongwatana for his contributions in improving the environment in Asia through his leadership of the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN). Dr. Supat is the Director General of the Thailand Pollution Control Department and chairperson of the AECEN Executive Committee. During the past 5 years, Dr. Supat has led AECEN's efforts to promote and replicate best practices on environmental compliance and enforcement through concrete peer-to-peer...
Indonesia and Philippines Kick-Off Partnership on Certification of Environmental Judges
May 3 2011
On April 28-29, 2011, justices from the Indonesian and Philippine Supreme Courts, officials from respective judicial training institutes and other key partners launched a twinning partnership on strengthening environmental adjudication in Indonesia. Co-organized with the Ministry of Environment, counterparts shared ideas and information on building judicial capacity to better adjudicate environmental cases. U.S. EPA also joined the Philippine experts in sharing information and providing feedback on the guidelines and training curriculum in line with Indonesia's proposed certification...
Thailand and New Zealand Launch Twinning Partnership to Strengthen Community Participation in Watershed Management.
Apr 29 2011
During April 26-29, 2011 experts from Waikato Regional Council and Ministry for the Environment of New Zealand met with counterparts from Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) to initiate a program of cooperation on community participation to protect and restore water quality in the Tha Chin River Basin. During the scoping mission, New Zeland experts met with stakeholders from to exchange lessons learned related to community participation in awareness raising, citizen monitoring, policy formulation and eco-system restoration through community clean-up initiatives...
Korea and Vietnam Launch Twinning Partnership to Strengthen Contaminated Soil Monitoring in Vietnam
Mar 25 2011
During March 21-24, 2011, experts from Ministry of Environment of Korea, Korea Environmental Industry & Technology Institute and Korea Environment Cooperation met with counterparts from Vietnam to initiate a program of cooperation on contaminated soil management. At the scoping mission, Korean and Vietnamese experts exchange views on legal and policy frameworks to promote effective soil monitoring for suspected contaminated areas. As for the next step, a delegation from Vietnam led by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Vietnam will visit Korea to learn first-hand about...
Australia Trains Vietnamese on Environmental Regulation and Self-monitoring System
Mar 16 2011
Between 9-10 March 2011, experts from the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) of New South Wales visited Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) to conduct a training entitled “Principles and Tools for Effective Environmental Regulation: Sharing of Experience and Good Practices from Australia.” The training was conducted as part of a series of activities under the twinning partnership between the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE) of HCMC and DECCW, which was established in 2010 with the assistance of AECEN and the Australasian...
Vietnam and Korea Established Twinning Partnership
Jan 14 2011
During a scoping mission in Hanoi during May 2011, Vietnam Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) and Korea Ministry of Environment (KMOE) will cooperate with MoNRE to strengthen Vietnam’s policies and regulations on contaminated soil management and monitoring. Through technical exchanges and targeted training, the partnership will enable the transfer of knowledge and expertise leading to the improvement of Vietnam’s draft regulation on soil contamination monitoring as well as enhance technical capacity of MoNRE and other relevant agencies. Twinning partnership activities...
AECEN Member Agencies Develop Replication “Roadmap” for Best Practices on Environmental Compliance
Nov 12 2010
At the AECEN Regional Forum in Kyoto, Japan on 10-12 November 2010, environmental agencies from 16 countries across Asia as well as Australia, Jordan, and the United States shared ideas and experience to strengthen replication of best practices that build on AECEN’s successful twinning partnerships. The Ministry of Environment Japan (MOEJ) showcased innovative environmental compliance and enforcement programs in Japan. Network members also shared results and accomplishments related to twinning partnerships across a range of areas, including project planning, command-and-control regulation,...
Senior Justices from Nine Countries Attended the Judicial Workshop Held in Bangkok
Oct 8 2010
To strengthen environmental adjudication in Thailand, the Courts of Justice in cooperation with AECEN organized a judicial workshop in Bangkok during September 18-19 to discuss the court’s initiatives to develop new environmental mediation and expert witness rules, and other procedures. Senior justices from Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines and the United States provided technical inputs to the development of new rules shared information and ideas on environmental adjudication. Based on inputs and discussions, the Thai Courts...
Japan Partners with China to Build Capacity of Local Agencies on Implementing Energy Efficiency Law
Sep 9 2010
On August 25-27, 2010, local officials and experts from China met with counterparts from Japan to share experience on implementing energy efficiency law and policies. Discussions with the city government and site visits in Kawasaki provided participants the opportunity to understand how energy efficiency is being addressed at the local level in Japan. Based on this dialogue, the partners will develop a training program for local agencies in China. Feedback on the training manual will be gathered in a consultation workshop and pilot training in October. This activity is part of the “twinning”...
An Air Purifier for Beijing?
Aug 1 2016
While it is recognized that this tower cannot solve the choking smog of Beijing, it is still quite remarkable (pictured below).
Just 23-foot tall, the Smog Free Tower is the world's first outdoor air cleaner. It operates with a powerful vacuum to suck up pollution into a powerful ionization process and to filter out the dangerous particles and releases purified air. Based upon the Rotterdam tests, the Tower can eliminate 70-80 percent of the impurities in the air from an area the size of a football stadium. The carbon particles extracted from the air will be compressed and sealed in acrylic in the form of rings, cuff links and cubes and then sold with the proceeds intended to be...
196 tonnes of hazardous waste being sent back to Japan
Jul 28 2016
CHON BURI - More than 190 tonnes of hazardous electronic and electrical waste will be sent back to Japan on Friday after being illegally imported through Laem Chabang port of this eastern province last year.
Industry deputy permanent secretary Sakda Pankla inspected the 196.11 tonnes of toxic waste on Thursday. He was accompanied by senior officials from the Department of Industrial Works, the Department of Pollution Control, the Customs Department, and Laem Chabang port and cargo terminal operators.
This huge amount of hazardous garbage was seized following an inspection of containers at Laem Chabang port by customs and industrial works officials on Aug 28 last year, Mr...
Klity offers lessons for us all
Jul 18 2016
The scene is almost deja vu: A group of Karen villagers dressed in traditional costume and their representative lawyers clad in solemn suits hold their hands high in victory. The location is the Supreme Court. Journalists rush to interview them and file reports that read: "Klity villagers win court battle". Again.
These poor Karen villagers, who experienced devastating health problems or lost loved ones from lead poisoning after years of consuming water from a creek contaminated by untreated waste discharges by Kanchanaburi-based mining company Lead Concentrates (Thailand), have twice won a historic lawsuit.
In January 2013, they won a case against the Pollution Control...
Thailand and the Lao PDR have agreed on cross-border pollution management efforts
Jul 14 2016
BANGKOK, 14 July 2016 (NNT) - Thailand and the Lao PDR have agreed on pollution management efforts and ways to cope with cross-border pollution, particularly wildfire smoke.
Director-General of the Pollution Control Department (PCD) Wijarn Simachaya said from May 31 to July 14, the PCD had held a workshop to enhance the work capabilities of the staff of the newly established pollution control department of the Lao PDR. The workshop focused on field operations and shared Thailand’s expertise on dealing with airborne pollution such as smoke from wildfires, hazardous waste management and analyzing chemical samples from laboratories.
He said that Thailand has expressed its...
Formosa to pay US$500mil. compensation for environmental disaster in central Vietnam
Jun 30 2016
Formosa also made five commitments, including $500 million of compensation. It was the official information released at a government press conference in Hanoi this afternoon.
The press conference attracted public attention since it released the long-awaited official causes of mass fish deaths in the central coastal provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue.
At the press conference, a record of Hung Nghiep Formosa Ha Tinh Limited Company Chairman Chen Yuan Cheng’s apology to Vietnamese people was also released.
In his speech, Chen, on behalf of the company’s 6,300 officials and workers, accepted responsibility and offered an apology to the...
Pollution Control Dept to restore Khli Ti Stream in Kanchanaburi Province after lead contamination
Jun 28 2016
KANCHANABURI, 28 June 2016 (NNT) - The Pollution Control Department is preparing to restore Khli Ti Stream in Kanchanaburi province after lead contamination. The project is expected to take 1,000 days and has a budget of 584 million baht.
Director-General of the Pollution Control Department Wijarn Simachaya said that with a finalized budget of 584 million baht, the department has commenced with the e-bidding process, which will conclude on August 11. After the auction, the winning bidder will be able to begin project operations in the same month.
The project includes the construction of landfills, restoring areas near the mineral processing plant, construct two additional...
Obama signs bipartisan chemical safety bill
Jun 22 2016
WASHINGTON — The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act is the first major update to environmental legislation in two decades, overhauling the process for regulating toxic chemicals, allowing the Environmental Protection Agency to ban substances like asbestos, and limiting the secrecy around those chemicals after 10 years,
But that's not the only reason why President Obama chose to sign the bill Wednesday in a public ceremony at the White House: It's also a rare example of bipartisanship from a Congress widely seen as unable to agree on much of anything.
The bill passed the House 403 to 12 and the Senate by voice vote.
"I want the American...
Heavy-handed actions crushing villagers
Jun 20 2016
The intensified crackdown on encroachment and logging by the military regime has dealt a heavy blow to villagers who live in harmony with nature in protected forest areas, while leaving most influential big timber businesses unscratched.
The suppression followed two orders issued in 2014 by the National Council for Peace and Order designed to protect and reclaim the forests and which impose harsh punishment for encroachment on protected areas and for illegal logging.
In 2014, the authorities conducted a raid in Ban Thung Pa Kha, in Mae Hong Son's Mae La Noi district, and rounded up 39 ethnic Pakayaw -- or Karen -- villagers who acquired small amounts of wood, 4-5 logs each...
PCD steers up five-year and 20-year pollution control plans
Jun 11 2016
BANGKOK, 11 June 2016 (NNT) – The Pollution Control Department (PCD) is preparing to execute five-year and 20-year pollution management plans alongside a new National Economic and Social Development Plan to ensure proper pollution control.
PCD Director General Wijarn Simachaya said the department has issued the five-year and 20-year pollution management plans for periods during 2017-2021 and during 2017-2036 in order to push forward pollution control operations in Thailand.
The 20-year plan is composed of six key measures, namely the promotion of environmental friendly products manufacturing; the promotion of environmental friendly products consumption; the enhancement in...
America's water testing problems must and can be fixed, experts say
Jun 4 2016
A tragedy of widespread testing failures in US drinking water is that experts believe the remedies are fairly straightforward – if there is political will.
As the Guardian has revealed, at least 33 cities across 17 states have used water testing methods that regulators and experts have said may inaccurately reduce lead levels found in tests.
Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech scientist who helped uncover the Flint disaster, said some of this “cheating” could even be criminal in nature. Officials in Michigan face criminal charges in part because they used some of these techniques to allegedly lower lead levels in the city.
The Guardian’s analysis of thousands of water...
Salt mine protests intensify
Jun 13 2016
Nakhon Ratchasima: More than 500 villagers rallied Sunday against a company's underground salt mining project in Kham Thale So district amid concerns over the environmental impacts. Protesters from tambon Phandung, tambon Nong Suang and tambon Khang Phlu in the district paraded through 15 villages to persuade other residents to join a campaign against Saltworks Co's underground rock-salt mining project covering about 600 rai. Some are concerned underground rock salt mining can create large underground caverns, which could lead to land subsidence. The company is excavating to explore...
Environment impact assessment not mandatory for crushers in Nepal
Jun 12 2016
KATHMANDU, Nepal (The Kathmandu Post/ANN) - Government has decided to allow the mining of stone, gravel, sand and boulders from riverbeds despite objection from environmentalists. Despite objection from environmentalists, the government has decided to allow the mining of stone, gravel, sand and boulders from riverbeds, conservation areas and national parks without carrying out the environment impact assessment (EIA). The Ministry of Population and Environment has amended the Environment Protection Regulations-1997 to allow crusher and mining industries to extract stones, boulders, sand,...
Ombudsman investigates Bangyai-Kanchanaburi motorway project
Jun 2 2016
NAKHON PATHOM, 2 June 2016 (NNT) - The Office of the Ombudsman has sent a fact-finding team to Nakhon Pathom province in response to complaints about the questionable management of the Bang Yai-Kanchanaburi motorway project. Deputy-Secretary of the Office of the Ombudsman Tavin Inchamnong disclosed that the team visited the subdistricts of Don Fag and Lan Tag Fah in the district of Nakhon Chaisi. Mr. Tavin also met with locals from the districts of Nakhon Chaisi and Mueang Nakhon Pathom, who spoke of the project's dubious practices. According to the Ombudsman official, a number of residents...
Anjuna locals oppose Rs1000-crore Chapora riverfront project, demand EIA
May 30 2016
Anjuna villagers on Sunday opposed a new multipurpose project in river Chapora and demanded that an environmental impact assessment (EIA) study be conducted. During the gram sabha, the issue of the proposed Chapora riverfront project comprising marinas, ferry terminal, a tourist village, museum and aquarium, costing Rs 1000 crore, was raised when a villager said that “the project will not benefit the village instead will affect the activity of traditional fishermen.” When the panchayat was questioned whether it was taken into confidence over the project, deputy sarpanch Savio Almedia said...
The rising cost of Metro Train
May 29 2016
As the Orange Metro Train Project again made headlines this week with the death of seven labourers due to a wall collapse, questions are raised regarding the safety of workers as well as citizens who would travel along the 27.1-km route. Fourteen project-related deaths have already been documented in newspapers while the number doing the grapevine is double that. Given that the life of a poor man is cheap in Pakistan because of an extremely weak labour rights movement, the discourse primarily concentrates on compensation rather than fixing responsibility. But, as with most aspects of state...
Over 300 take Akara to court, demand compensation
May 28 2016
MORE than 300 people have filed a class-action lawsuit against against Akara Resources Public Co Ltd, each demanding about Bt1.5 million in compensation for adverse impacts allegedly caused by the firm’s gold mine. The compensation claims covered health impacts, including medical treatment, and lost opportunities for locals to access natural resources in the mine's neighbourhood. Those who filed the petition live in Phichit and Phetchabun provinces. Their lawyer, Somchai Ameen, said lab tests showed these people had an unusually high amount of metals in their blood. The petition was filed...
Port City project will cause a severe disaster – Prof. Katupotha
May 28 2016
If rocks are mined during the next two years at the rate mentioned in the Supplementary Environmental Impact Assessment Report on the Colombo Port City project, supplies for local and national requirement will be severely affected, academics highlighted. Emeritus Professor at the Department of Geography of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Sri Jayewardenepure, Jinadasa Katupotha said that the report had not mentioned the quantities of explosive materials which would be used at sites in the Districts of Colombo, Gampaha and Kalutara, from where rocks and rock...
Akara sued for B500m over gold-mine impacts
May 27 2016
About 300 Phetchabun and Phichit residents on Friday filed a 500-million-baht lawsuit against Akara Resources Plc over health, environmental and resource impacts stemming from its gold-mining operation. The Lawyers Council of Thailand brought some 30 residents representing the plaintiffs' group to the Civil Court on Ratchadaphisek Road in Bangkok. The 300 denizens of tambons Thai Dong in Phetchabun's Wang Pong district and Khao Jed Luk in Phichit's Thab Khlo district demanded compensation of 1.58 million baht each and a 50-million-baht contribution by the company to an environmental clean-up...
MoEF panel gives ToR for project with Nepal
May 26 2016
In a significant step, an expert panel of the Union environment ministry has recommended the terms of references for long-impending joint India-Nepal Pancheshwar multipurpose project to avoid any delay in its environmental impact study. A joint mechanism to consider the environmental impact assessment of the full project was also called for. The development comes about two years after both the countries signed the charter for the Pancheshwar Development Authority (PDA), renewing hopes for the implementation of the 17-year-long bilateral project and strengthen power cooperation between the two...
Thilawa SEZ phase two nears completion
May 25 2016
The first phase of the 400-hectare Zone A was finished last September and the second phase is almost complete, said U Thein Han, chair of Myanmar Japan Thilawa Development (MJTD). More than 85 percent of the land in Zone A has been reserved by 69 light-industry manufacturers from across the globe, he said. Of these, nine are already exporting their products, ranging from car parts to garments and electronic gadgets. Twenty-seven companies are preparing to begin operations and 33 more are starting to build factories, U Thein Han added. The zone became commercially operational and was formally...