Mekong nations set up group for environmental impact assessments
May 15 2015
BANGKOK (The Nation/ANN) -- Officials and civil society representatives from across the Mekong region have agreed to establish a working group to develop a regional public participation guideline for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) this week in Hanoi, Vietnam. In a statement released Thursday, the Mekong Regional Technical Working Group for EIA brings together governments, civil society organisations (CSOs), and will expand to cover private sector and EIA experts to improve regional cooperation for effective EIA policy and practices. The group aims to reduce the social and...
Mekong Governments, Civil Society Reach Agreement on Environmental Impact Assessment Agenda
May 14 2015
HANOI, May 14, 2015 – In a ground-breaking agreement, government officials and civil society representatives from across the Mekong region established a working group to develop a regional public participation guideline for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) this week in Hanoi, Vietnam. The Mekong Regional Technical Working Group for EIA brings together governments, civil society organizations (CSOs), and will expand to cover private sector and EIA experts to improve regional cooperation for effective EIA policy and practices. The group aims to reduce the social and environmental impacts...
Mekong nations to set up EIA working group
May 14 2015
In the statement released today, the Mekong Regional Technical Working Group for EIA brings together governments, civil society organisations (CSOs), and will expand to cover private sector and EIA experts to improve regional cooperation for effective EIA policy and practices. The group aims to reduce the social and environmental impacts of regional infrastructure projects, particularly as the upcoming Association of Southeast Nations (Asean) Economic Community further hastens trans-boundary investments. "This could set an excellent platform and process helping to increase cooperation and...
Mapping the global battle to protect our planet
Mar 5 2015
In 2012 protests erupted in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina over the demolition of a much beloved local park to build a business complex. A movement under the slogan “This Park is Ours” aimed originally at protecting the green space soon broadened into a collective movement aimed against corruption, lack of transparency, economic inequality and dwindling social services. Hundreds of protesters from all social classes and religions gathered daily in the endangered park, becoming part of a Bosnian spring that came to represent a struggle for human dignity and accountability under most...
Government and civil society support strong Environmental Impact Assessments
Dec 4 2014
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. Organized by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) -supported Mekong Partnership for the Environment (MPE) project and the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN), the December 1-3 event, “Environmental Impact Assessment Policy and Practice in the Mekong Region: Safeguarding Sustainable Development,” brought together more than 50...
AECEN urges ADB to adopt south-south cooperation as preferred capacity building mode
Oct 14 2014
Manila, Philippines – Adopt south-south cooperation as the preferred mode for capacity building and support organizations like the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) to act as intermediaries, said Dr. Peter King, Head of the AECEN Secretariat, to the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Speaking to public and private sector officials and representatives from international financial institutions and civil society at an ADB workshop held last week, he highlighted how AECEN has strengthened government capacities on compliance and enforcement, using South-South cooperation (...
Stronger leadership and more stringent legal enforcement cited as ways to improve Thailand’s environmental governance
Oct 14 2014
Bangkok, Thailand – Stronger leadership in Thailand’s environmental administration and more stringent enforcement of green regulations are among recommendations to improving the country’s environmental governance. Addressing officials from Thailand’s Ministry of National Resources and Environment’s (MoNRE) Department of Environmental Quality Promotion (DEQP), Dr. Peter King, Head of the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) Secretariat shared ways to improve Thailand’s environmental governance in his keynote address “Good Governance for Better Environment.” In his...
AECEN Strengthens EIA Compliance in Asia: INECE
Apr 25 2014
Minimizing adverse environmental impacts of economic development accompanied by rapid urbanization and industrial growth remains a significant compliance and enforcement challenge for Asia. While many governments have developed legal and institutional frameworks for environmental and social safeguards, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws and regulations remains weak due in large part to technical, financial, and human capacity limitations. In the region, effective compliance with Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requirements has been consistently identified as a priority...
Greening Governance in Asia-Pacific
Aug 6 2012
Once every two years, IGES releases a white paper focusing on key policy agendas in the Asia-Pacific region. The Fourth IGES White Paper, entitled "Greening Governance in Asia-Pacific" examines innovative approaches to governance and institutions that have emerged from the region and recommends governance arrangements and policy solutions to accelerate the transition to a green economy, and argues that, without significant governance reform in Asia-Pacific, global sustainable development will remain an under-implemented ideal rather than a new reality. For the paper and more information: http...
AECEN support Indonesia efforts to prepare new guidelines on public participation and the environment
Jul 20 2012
On July 10-11, 2012, the Indonesia Ministry of Environment (MOE) conducted a workshop on Strengthening Public Participation on Environmental Management in Indonesia. Co-organized with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), about 100 participants from government agencies, NGOs, academia and the private sector shared ideas on the Public Participation Guide developed by USEPA and the application of public participation principles in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process. In addition to technical input from USEPA, resource persons from Malaysia, Thailand and the...
Hungarian toxic chemical sludge spill firm fined
Sep 14 2011
Ten people died and serious damage to the environment was caused by the leak at a MAL Zrt plant in early October.
A government statement said the fine reflected the unprecedented volume of hazardous material released when reservoir walls were breached.
Read full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14922301
Sri Lanka Recognizes Green Enterprises with the National Green Awards
Aug 24 2011
The National Green Awards to recognize industrial Enterprises and other sectors such as Hotels, Schools, Local Authorities which are operating in an environmentally friendly manner, was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka under the distinguished patronage of His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The event was organized by the Central Environmental Authority which is the main regulatory agency for environmental protection and Management in Sri Lanka.
For more information: http://www.cea.lk/
China to set stricter emission standards for thermal power plants
Aug 23 2011
China's environmental authorities are mulling over stiff new emissions standards for thermal power plants amid concerns that they may increase costs and lead to more losses.
The new standards, consistent with an earlier version issued in January, will be released for public consultation in late August, according to the Ministry of Environment Protection.
Hanoi spends VND3 billion for environment project
Aug 13 2011
VietNamNet Bridge – Hanoi authorities have decided to invest VND3.3 billion ($160,000) to design the plan on environment protection to 2020, with the vision to 2030. The project aims to prevent and reduce regression of natural resources, environmental pollution and gradually improve the environmental quality, effectiveness of using natural resources and the city’s environmental management capability. The city assigns the Department of Natural Resources and Environment as the investor of this project.
Read full article:...
Pollution problems worsen in capital
Aug 9 2011
Environmentalists reported that pollution has recently worsened in Ha Noi, caused by solid and water waste as well as exhaust fumes. Contamination has seriously affected local residents' health and daily lives, they said. Fourteen hospitals in the western part of the city had their waste treatment systems downgraded, and eight central hospitals temporarily treated waste with Cloramin B when their systems failed.
Read full article: http://www.monre.gov.vn/v35/default....
Aug 8 2011
It has been two years since the government embarked on a grand scheme to clean Citarum River and its tributaries, which 25 million people depend on water and electricity.
The first year was spent planning the gargantuan task of cleaning the heavily polluted river, while last year saw the start of several programs out of a total of 80 that are planned.
The program, Integrated Citarum: Water Resources Management Investment Program — or the Citarum Roadmap for short — is a 15-year plan to reduce pollution in the Citarum River. The roadmap encompasses 80 activities, from waterway management and environmental preservation, to disaster mitigation and community empowerment....
Java has worst water, air quality: minister
Aug 7 2011
Environment Minister Gusti Muhammad Hatta says the quality of water and air in Java is the worst among islands nationwide. As a province, Jakarta has the worst water and air quality.
Citing the 2011 report on the country's environment, Gusti said Jakarta and several other cities in Java designated only 10 percent of their areas as "green areas", in contrast to the required 30 percent.
Farmers accuse polluting company of destroying livelihoods
Aug 7 2011
Fishermen living near the waste treatment plant of state-owned Sonadezi Corporation in southern Vietnam have accused the company of hurting their livelihoods by dumping untreated sewage into the river.
Last Thursday, after observing the plant in Dong Nai Province for a month, Vietnamese environmental police caught the plant red-handed discharging untreated waste into the Dong Nai River after a one-month watch.
After finding smelly sewage flowing from the sluice gates of the company’s waste treatment facility into the river, they raided the plant and discovered that the waste treatment system did not work, and untreated waste was being dumped directly through three...
Administrative courts launch new environmental case divisions
Aug 3 2011
The new divisions are intended to speed up the legal proceedings involving environment-related cases to better ensure justice and solve problems more quickly, said Supreme Administrative Court president Hassawut Withitwiriyakul.The divisions were inaugurated at the Supreme Administrative Court, the Central Administrative Court and nine regional administrative courts across the country.
Read full story: http://www.bangkokpost.com/lite/news/250008/...
Activist's killing linked to protest
Jul 31 2011
The wife of slain protester Thongnak Sawekchinda said her husband's murder was likely a result of a drop in profits caused by the movement to stop coal being transported through Samut Sakhon.
Jomkwan Sawekchinda, 46, said coal-related companies, and in particular the transport sector, will have been angered by Thongnak's disruption of their business.
She said her husband was a key leader in the fight against the coal business in tambon Tha Sai in Muang district.
The protest started in 2006 and also involved the local fisheries network which blames the transportation of coal for polluting air and water in the area.
Read full story:...
Koh Samet’s controversial pier
Sep 23 2012
The construction of a pier on Koh Samet, a tourist island off the Rayong provincial coast in eastern Thailand, has triggered a conflict between concerned agencies. Each party has its own justifications for and against the pier. While on an inspection of forest encroachment by private resorts on Koh Samet, Damrong Phidet, director general of the National Parks Department, discovered a gigantic pier, covered with a blue plastic roof, stretching out into the sea. Informed by the authorities that permission has yet to be granted for its construction, Mr Damrong immediately ordered a halt to...
Environmental Impact Assessment should be a part of the curricula, experts says
Sep 14 2012
Educationists and environmental experts on Thursday, called for including the subject of Environmental Impact Assessment into curricula, to educate students and raise awareness regarding this important issue. Experts from all over the country gathered at the capital to evolve a strategy for working towards improving the EIA Curriculum for universities in the countries. Inaugurating the workshop, Muhammad Javed Malik, Secretary, Planning and Development, stressed the need for educating every single person in the country, as every individual had a role to play and contribute towards the...
Malaysia: Environment court opens
Sep 10 2012
The start of the first and specialised Environmental Court in Jalan Duta today is a beacon of hope for those who are working closely on or championing environmental issues. Department of Environment (DoE) director-general Halimah Hassan described the formation as "very positive" and hoped more environmental cases would be heard and cleared at a faster rate. "I hope the court will be able to create a greater deterrent for environmental criminals. This is because environmental crime is a serious matter. To assist the court, we will continue with our enforcement and operation," she said. Halimah...
Another Pakistani mega project starts sans EIA report
Sep 7 2012
The Punjab government is all set to launch work on the Rs1.017 billion 6th Road flyover from September 15 without getting the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report, which is mandatory for such projects. The construction work will be started next week while the formal groundbreaking ceremony will be held on September 15. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif will lay the foundation of the flyover and the Institute of Urology and Kidney Transplant at Shamsabad besides inaugurating the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology. It may be noted that the Punjab government has become habitual to ignoring the...
Activist to sue in bid to block Suvarnabhumi expansion
Sep 2 2012
An environmental advocate plans to file a lawsuit against Suvarnabhumi airport in the hopes of stopping its planned expansion, saying work has begun on the project despite required impact studies not being carried out. Srisuwan Janya, president of the Stop Global Warming Association, said the airport has begun its 62.5 billion baht expansion despite not having carried out environmental and health impact assessments. He has been authorised by about 390 people living around the airport to file a lawsuit with the Administrative Court calling for a halt to the expansion. The Transport Ministry...
Work on high-speed rail project faces two-year delay over EIA
Jul 23 2012
"Undertaking an environment impact assessment together with a public hearing might take as long as two years after the feasibility study for a project is completed," Chula Sukmanop, inspector-general of the Transport Ministry and acting director of the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning (OTP), said last week. For the Bangkok-Chiang Mai high-speed train route, the OTP has received the result of the project's feasibility study from Japan, he said. However, for the Bangkok-Chiang Mai and Bangkok-Nong Khai lines, the OTP is still waiting for the feasibility study supported by...
EIA Regulations 2011 drafted in the Maldives
Oct 19 2011
A new regulations for EIA has been drafted with some minor changes, in this new regulation Environmental Management Plans are introduced as means by which small scale developments that do not require EIA could be undertaken by approving an EMP. The Regulation awaits approval from other government agencies and Attorney Generals office For more information: http://epa.gov.mv/
Nepal Strengthens EIA Practices to Speed Sustainable Hydropower
Nepal faces an ongoing challenge in bringing hydropower projects on line. Power outages in Kathmandu can be as much as 18 hours a day. Challenge With only about 15 percent of rural households having access to electricity, expanding hydropower is a top priority in Nepal. To develop new or expanded hydropower systems, the Nepal Ministry of Environment (MOE) is working to strengthen its systems and capabilities for conducting environmental impact assessments (EIA). Priority challenges of the Ministry include: (1) improving the quality of EIA reports; (2) processing EIA reports...