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...
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...
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,...
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...
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...