Vietnam and Australia Establish Twinning Partnership to Reduce Industrial Pollution in Ho Chi Minh City
Aug 18 2010
With assistance from the Australasian Environmental Law Enforcement and Regulations Network (AELERT), AECEN has established a twinning partnership between the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DONRE) of Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW) of New South Wales, Australia. Focusing on industry self-monitoring, self-reporting and recordkeeping of environmental performance, the partnership has an objective to improve institutional capacity at DONRE through dialogue and technical exchanges, leading to the adoption of improved...
Malaysia Trains Nepal Counterparts on Improved EIA Implementation
Jun 18 2010
As part of the twinning partnership between the Nepal Ministry of Environment (MOE) and the Malaysia Department of Environment (DOE), the Environmental Institute of Malaysia conducted a 10-day training from June 6-17, 2010 for Nepalese counterparts in Kuala Lumpur on improved EIA implementation. The training focused on institutional reforms, a new curriculum for training EIA consultants, EIA enforcement SOPs, monitoring and environmental auditing. Participants, which included representtaives from the Nepal MOE, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation, Nepal Electricity...
AECEN Launches New “EIA” Initiative in Asia
Jun 14 2010
With support from USAID, AECEN launched a new multi-year initiative to strengthen capabilities in implementing environmental impact assessments (EIA) across Asia and the Pacific. With participation from 20 countries across Asia, EIA practitioners identified capacity innovations and best practices in EIA in a regional workshop held on June 9-10, 2010 at the ADB Headquarters in Manila, Philippines. With assistance from USAID, AECEN member agencies will establish “twinning” partnerships and other capacity building activities to replicate best practices and ensure effective EIA implementation in...
Nepal and Malaysia Finalize Twinning Partnership Work Program
May 5 2010
As part of the AECEN twinning partnership between the Nepal Ministry of Environment and the Malaysia Department of Environment (DOE) on strengthening environmental impact assessment (EIA) capabilities for the hydropower sector, Nepal partners met with Malaysian counterparts in Kuala Lumpur on April 26-27, 2010 to finalize the work program and initiate activities. During the meetings, Malaysia DOE and other stakeholders shared details on EIA implementation and experience on their EIA consultant registration scheme. The work partnership program will include a comprehensive training...
Nepal and Malaysia Establish Twinning Partnership on Hydropower Planning
Jan 15 2010
The Nepal Ministry of Environment and Malaysia Department of Environment officially launched a twinning arrangement in Kathmandu on January 14, 2010 to strengthen Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) practices for the hydropower sector in Nepal. At a workshop on Sharing EIA Best Practices for the Hydropower Sector, co-organized with the World Bank, Malaysian officials shared innovative approaches on EIA in the hydropower sector. USAID will support the partnership with World Bank under AECEN.
AECEN Links Supreme Courts of Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines on Improved Environmental Adjudication
Dec 7 2009
From November 30 to December 4, 2009, justices from the Supreme Court of Indonesia, High Court of Sumatera, and Ministry of Environment visited Thailand and Philippines to meet with counterparts and identify strategies for replicating the “green benches” and developing a judicial certification program in Indonesia. The delegation met with the Supreme Court of Thailand, the Supreme Administrative Court of Thailand, and the Supreme Court of the Philippines, as well as national training institutes, to share ideas various model of environmental courts and court divisions, as...
Asian Environmental Agencies Commit to Stronger Enforcement of Environmental Laws
Oct 14 2009
Environmental agency leaders from 14 Asian nations and the United States gathered in Singapore from October 12-14, 2009, to commit to strengthening enforcement and compliance of environmental laws at a meeting organized by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and AECEN. Hosted by the Singapore National Environmental Agency, the countries issued a statement calling for Asian governments to promote improved environmental compliance with national legal requirements and international commitments. Participating agencies shared experience on improving environmental enforcement in...
Thailand Prepares Policy Framework on Addressing Soil Contamination with Assistance from Japan
Sep 17 2009
Thailand’s Pollution Control Department (PCD) in partnership with other line agencies has adopted a new policy for addressing soil contamination, a major national environmental challenge. With technical assistance from experts from the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) of Japan, PCD organized a series of consultation workshops and technical exchanges to support development of the new policy framework. In meetings from September 14-17, 2009, PCD presented its draft policy and obtained further feedback from practitioners from Japan and Malaysia. ...
Philippines Assesses Operations of Environmental Compliance Assistance Centers
Jul 29 2009
The Laguna Lake Development Authority conducted an AECEN-supported assessment of compliance assistance centers on July 29, 2009, in Pasig, Philippines. The workshop focused on the achievements and challenges in the establishment and operations of compliance assistance centers for the hog farm and slaughterhouse industries in the Laguna de Bay region. With participants from industry, government agencies and representatives of compliance assistance centers in Thailand and India, the workshop identified key areas that need to be addressed to sustain the centers and ensure their...
Indonesia Strengthens Environmental Inspection Capacities
Jul 21 2009
On July 21, 2009, key officials and inspectors from Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment held a consultation workshop in Jakarta to discuss strategies for building environmental inspection capacities. The recommendations were based on a review and analysis of gaps in Indonesia's inspection mechanisms and strategies, and on insights gained from exchanges with their twinning partner, the Singapore National Environment Agency. The twinning is facilitated by the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN).
Researchers find 39 unreported sources of major pollution: NASA
Jun 2 2016
(Reuters) - Researchers in the United States and Canada have located 39 unreported sources of major pollution using a new satellite-based method, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration said.
The unreported sources of toxic sulfur dioxide emissions are clusters of coal-burning power plants, smelters and oil and gas operations in the Middle East, Mexico and Russia that were found in an analysis of satellite data from 2005 to 2014, NASA said in a statement on Wednesday.
The analysis also found that the satellite-based estimates of the emissions were two or three times higher than those reported from known sources in those regions, NASA said.
The Air We Breathe
May 31 2016
Every year, nearly 4 million people die from outdoor air pollution – that’s more than are killed by AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Nearly 90 per cent of those deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, which typically lack the capacity to monitor the quality of their air.
But UNEP has developed a ground-breaking – and affordable – new device to measure air quality, and it’s making the blueprints for the technology available to the public. The agency hopes that the device, which costs up to 100 times less than mainstream solutions on the market, will revolutionize air quality measurement across the developing world.
“Air quality is now being seen by every...
Convert to natural gas, UP pollution control board tells industries
May 29 2016
In order to reduce air pollution levels, the Uttar Pradesh pollution control board (UPPCB) has issued directions to industries in Ghaziabad and Hapur districts to present within 120 days a workplan to convert from solid fuels to compressed natural gas (CNG) or piped natural gas (PNG).
According to officials from the regional pollution control department at Ghaziabad, the notices were issued to nearly 281 industrial units in Ghaziabad and another 36 units in Hapur on the directions of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
“The industries will now have to reply and present their workplan to convert to natural gas. They have to reply by August end. The conversion will be...
ECoR asked to pay Rs 50 lakh for violating pollution norm
May 28 2016
Bhubaneswar: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the East Coast Railway (ECoR) to pay Rs 50 lakh for operating Jakhapura Railway Siding in Jajpur district without taking consent from the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB).
Hearing a petition filed by Aswini Kumar Dhal of Jakhapura in may last year, the tribunal on its May 25 order asked ECoR to pay the amount within two months to Jajpur district collector for development of periphery area of the railway siding. The tribunal has invoked its 'Polluter Pays' principle (polluter to bear the cost of the pollution) to impose fine on the Railways.
NGT further directed that Rs 25 lakh of the penalty to be...
Legarda: Coal-fired power plants threat to lives, environment
May 28 2016
CLARK FREEPORT - Senator Loren Legarda has renewed her call on government to tap cleaner and less wasteful sources of energy, expressing alarm over the adverse environmental impacts of coal-fired power plants in the country.
Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, lauded the Aquino administration's order to agencies of government to review the country’s energy policy, which may see the Philippines moving away from carbon-intensive coal power generation.
“I am in full support of President Benigno Aquino's order to government to review the current energy policy and I hope he will seize the opportunity to push for pro-environmental projects to mitigate...
Govt to seek retrial of Klong Dan case
May 17 2016
THE Cabinet resolved yesterday to seek an Administrative Court retrial in the corruption-plagued Klong Dan wastewater treatment plant case, in which the government was ordered to pay Bt9.6-billion compensation to the contractors for cancelling its construction.
The Finance Ministry was assigned by the Cabinet to approach the court again, Government Spokesman Maj-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said yesterday.
The government would attempt to prove that the NVPSKG consortium of contractors had distorted facts and been instrumental in the irregularity involving state officials.
This was a new piece of information that would be cited in seeking a retrial, he said.
NGT notice to UP govt for illegal sand-mining in Sambhal
May 17 2016
Bareilly: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday directed chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh, director of state level environment impact assessment authority, district magistrate and senior superintendent ,of police, Sambhal to file a response on the issue of illegal sand-mining in Sambhal district.
The application, claiming that sand mafias are carrying on mining at the banks of river Ganga in Ishampur village of Sambhal district, was filed by a social activist on April 8.
Phirey Ram Prajapati, a social worker and a resident of Ghaziabad, petitioned in the tribunal that illegal mining was being carried out in the close vicinity of the Narora atomic power station and on...
Yangon rubbish piles up
May 16 2016
Yangon residents are producing more rubbish and there are fewer places to put it, officials warn. According to a two-year survey carried out by the municipality, lifestyle changes are responsible for some of the increase, which has been exacerbated by a rise in population.
Using data collected between November 2015 and February covering 4,666,721 people living in Yangon Region’s 33 townships, it says the city’s 5.21 million people produce 1981 tonnes of garbage a day. Each person disposes of about 0.41 kilograms (0.9 pounds) daily, ranging from 0.43kg in western Yangon to 0.38kg in the northern part of the city.
“In 2012, the average weight of rubbish per person was 0.34kg...
Joint Statement Between The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and The Ministry of The Environment of Japan on Continued Bilateral Environmental Cooperation
May 16 2016
TOYAMA, JAPAN - While gathered in Toyama, Japan for the G7 Environment Ministers’ Meeting, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Gina McCarthy, and the Minister of the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ), Tamayo Marukawa, met to discuss accomplishments and plans for U.S. – Japan environmental cooperation. This builds on an August 24, 2015 meeting between Administrator McCarthy and then MOEJ-Minister Yoshio Mochizuki on a common view to enhance bilateral and regional environmental collaboration. While in Japan for the G7 meetings, Administrator McCarthy will also travel to Minamata to underscore our joint commitment to reduce mercury pollution and...
Air pollution rising at an 'alarming rate' in world's cities
May 12 2016
Outdoor air pollution has grown 8% globally in the past five years, with billions of people around the world now exposed to dangerous air, according to new data from more than 3,000 cities compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
While all regions are affected, fast-growing cities in the Middle East, south-east Asia and the western Pacific are the most impacted with many showing pollution levels at five to 10 times above WHO recommended levels.
According to the new WHO database, levels of ultra-fine particles of less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5s) are highest in India, which has 16 of the world’s 30 most polluted cities.
China, which has been plagued by air...
Government to revive Versova-Bandra Sea Link project
May 19 2016
Opposition from environmentalists as well as residents and various problems during execution of Coastal Road between Bandra and Versova is making the state government revive its Versova-Bandra Sea Link project despite having scrapped the entire sea link project on Mumbai's Western Coast. Therefore, there is a possibility of a Coastal Road that snakes from South Mumbai to Kandivli — completely skipping the Bandra-Versova section. As the state government has given nod to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) Coastal Road plan instead of the chain of sea links, the most problematic section...
Action against THDC If Found Guilty: NGT
May 18 2016
The managing director of Tehri Hydro Development Corporation (THDC) would be liable and would be dealt with in accordance with the law in case of default in the 444 MW capacity Vishnugad-Peepalkoti hydro electric project. This was stated recently by the National Green Tribunal while hearing on a case of Vimal Bhai versus Tehri Hydro Development Corporation, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Government of Uttarakhand. According to the appellant Vimal Bhai, the case of Vishnugad-Peepalkoti power project on the Alaknanda river is in the National Green Tribunal regarding...
Cabinet considers measures addressing public concerns such as farmer's debt and water management
May 16 2016
The Cabinet has considered had a meeting in which many measures to relieve public hardships, including the solution to farmer’s debt issue and water management were on the agenda. The Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha has chaired a Cabinet meeting today which include the consideration of projects to relieve public hardships and agricultural development projects. In the meeting, the Cabinet considered the proposed loans and plans for water management projects, including an water allocation study plan to increase the water at Bhumibol Dam, an environmental impact assessment for a water...
Gold miners face business shutdown
May 11 2016
Thailand's gold mining industry is set to go out of business as the cabinet has decided to stop renewing and issuing licences for gold ore exploration and gold mining following a public outcry over health and environmental issues. Speaking after a cabinet meeting Tuesday, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha insisted gold mining will cease by the end of this year. Steps will also be taken to rehabilitate mining areas and help workers set to lose their jobs. Industry Minister Atchaka Sibunruang said the cabinet had acknowledged a joint decision by four ministries - the Industry, Public Health,...
Dawei locals launch campaign against Chinese oil refinery plans
May 11 2016
This quiet stretch of coast just south of Dawei is today used mostly for swimming and fishing by local villagers or the occasional tourist (see related story). But the northern area of the bay is set to become part of a Chinese plan to build Myanmar’s largest oil refinery – which controversially received approval in the final days of former president U Thein Sein’s administration. The estimated figure of US$3 billion would rank it among the biggest foreign investments for the country but an investigation by The Myanmar Times has found the development remains cloaked in uncertainty and...
527 projects waiting for environmental clearances: Centre
May 10 2016
Over 500 projects in various sectors are pending for environmental clearances, the Lok Saha was informed today. "The number of projects under consideration in the Ministry for Environmental clearances are 527. The proposals are processed for approval as per the provisions under the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006. These projects are accorded approval within the stipulated time frame and after receiving requisite document from the Project Proponent and state government," Union Environment minister Prakash Javadekar told the Lok Saha in a written reply. He said ministry has...
Time to stop poisoning our precious land, resources
May 5 2016
All that glitters is not gold. This old saying can aptly apply to Thailand's gold mining industry or, for that matter, the mining industry in general. The history of mining in Thailand is full of riches for a few, suffering for many and devastation for the natural environment. In the late 1980s, more than 1,000 people in Ron Phibun district of Nakhon Si Thammarat were found to have suffered from arsenic contamination. Years of tin mining had contaminated the surface and underground water in the area for decades. In Mae Moh district, Lampang province, lignite mining and the lignite-fuelled...
Villagers resigned to enduring sickness caused by a lead contaminated creek
May 3 2016
Claiming lack of help from the authorities, the residents of Lower Klity Village in Kanchanaburi's Thong Pha Phum District say they have no choice but to endure chronic sickness. The cause is lead poisoning and they blame a nearby contaminated creek to be the source of their troubles. Here, the village people say, is where the problems start: It was another hot afternoon in Lower Klity Village. Wichai Nasuankanok - a 15-year-old boy who identified himself as nine years old - rushed down to the Klity Creek and jumped into the clear cool water. "Come down and play in the water," Wichai shouted...
A complete waste
May 1 2016
When the Samart Corporation partnered in a lucrative deal to dispose of waste at Suvarnabhumi Airport in 2006, questions were raised as to why a telecommunications company was awarded the contract. The 600 million baht agreement with the Airports of Thailand (AoT) called for the construction of two incinerators to handle all waste generated at the country's biggest airport. Alongkorn Ponlaboot, a former deputy leader of the Democrat Party, also pointed out irregularities in the contract, which contained overly generous terms such as promising a minimum payment to the Samart-led consortium if...
Potash mine opponents make a stand at hearing
Apr 24 2016
Udon Thani residents Blow whistles during threehour forum, vow to fight in court if project gets go ahead HUNDREDS of local people blew whistles to show their opposition to a potash-mining project throughout a public hearing yesterday. The hearing took place at a school in Udon Thani's Muang district to gather opinions from people who will be affected by the planned potash mine. Given that this project has drawn stiff opposition from locals for more than one decade, 1,200 police and 400 soldiers were mobilised to ensure the forum was able to go ahead. Led by Manee Boonrawd, hundreds of...