Thailand Supreme Court Builds Capacity on Assessing Natural Resource Damages
Jun 22 2009
Through a partnership with the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales, Australia and the U.S. Department of Justice, the Supreme Court of Thailand shared experience on improved policies and practices for assessing natural resources damages from June 22-26, 2009. By understanding models for valuing natural resources in other countries, the Supreme Court of Thailand can establish new precedents that provide increased incentives for environmental compliance. The court partnership is facilitated by the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN).
Australia and U.S. Share Experience on Establishing Environmental Court in Thailand
Jun 22 2009
To initiate establishment of a specialized environmental court in Thailand, the Supreme Court, Courts of Appeals, Administrative Court and other stakeholders shared experience with counterparts from the U.S. and Australia on environmental courts through consultations and training of over 500 judges and practitioners from June 22-26, 2009. Judges and experts from the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales and the University of Denver shared specific examples of effective court policies and procedures for consideration by Thai courts. The court partnership is facilitated by...
AECEN-funded Environmental Compliance Center to Start-up in West Bengal
Jun 15 2009
Experts from the Philippines and the United States shared best practice and technical experience with officials of West Bengal’s Environmental Compliance Assistance Center (ECAC) in Kolkata from June 15-17, 2009. The ECAC is being set up to assist key industry operators in the metal works sector to comply with pollution regulations. ECAC staff and stakeholders benefitted from the successful models of compliance assistance centers in the Philippines and the United States to finalize plans for the West Bengal compliance center to begin operations. The ECAC is supported...
AECEN Supports Thailand-Japan Partnership to Combat Soil Contamination
Jun 8 2009
On June 8 -13, 2009, five senior officials from the Pollution Control Department (PCD) of Thailand visited Japan to further a partnership combating soil contamination. The objective of the visit was to exchange information and best practices with Japanese experts on soil contamination countermeasures that can assist Thailand in developing a national policy framework and institutional arrangements for preventing and rehabilitating soil contamination. As a next step, PCD will host a consultation workshop in Bangkok in August to discuss the draft national policy framework with...
Thailand to Develop National Policy and Institutional Framework for Addressing Soil Contamination
Mar 31 2009
As part of twinning activities between the Pollution Control Department of Thailand (PCD) and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) of Japan, representatives from regulatory agencies, universities, environmental groups, and lawyers met on March 31, 2009, in Bangkok to identify challenges and provide recommendations for agencies to effectively manage and rehabilitate contaminated soil, and assess remediation costs and environmental damages. PCD and IGES are preparing a synthesis report for developing a national policy and institutional framework for preventing soil...
Indian State of West Bengal Develops Environmental Compliance Center
Mar 26 2009
On March 26, 2009, in Durgapur, India, the West Bengal Pollution Control Board, in collaboration with the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) organized a consultation workshop to help establish an environmental compliance assistance center addressing the heavily polluting metal processing sector. Stakeholder representatives reviewed the organizational structure and objectives of the center, identified critical environmental issues to be addressed by the center, and helped develop website and online database.
Singapore Builds Capacity of Indonesian Environment Inspectors
Mar 23 2009
The Singapore National Environmental Agency (NEA), through its training affiliate the Singapore Environment Institute (SEI), trained Indonesian environmental compliance inspectors and officials on March 23-26, 2009, in Singapore. The hands-on training program furthers a twinning partnership between the Indonesia Ministry of Environment (MOE) and Singapore’s NEA aimed at strengthening Indonesia’s inspection capacity. The program included sharing of best practices and innovative mechanisms by NEA as well as site visits to selected facilities. Lessons from the...
AECEN Facilitates Thai and Australian Judicial Partnership on the Environment
Mar 16 2009
On March 16-19, 2009, eight justices of the Supreme Court of Thailand visited the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales to launch a twinning partnership between the courts share regional experience on policies and procedures for adjudicating environmental cases, strengthen the ability of Thai senior justices to award appropriate remedies related to natural resource damages, and identify strategies for establishing a specialized environmental court in Thailand. The Chief Judge of Land and Environment Court will visit the Supreme Court of Thailand in June 2009 to animate a...
AECEN Teams up with ADB to Promote Environmental Dispute Resolution in Asia
Mar 9 2009
At a workshop held at the Asian Development Bank on March 6, 2009, the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) joined with the ADB and the Environmental Dispute Coordinator Commission of Japan to promote mechanisms for environmental dispute resolution in Asia. Dr. Monthip Sriratana Tabucanon, the Inspector General of Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and former head of Thailand’s Environmental Dispute Prevention and Resolution Center, shared Thailand’s successful experience with environmental dispute resolution as a potential...
Nepal Launches Country Environmental Analysis
Feb 27 2009
Nepal's Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MoSTE) launched its Country Environmental Analysis (CEA) on February 27, 2009 at a stakeholder meeting in Kathamandu. Developed with support from the World Bank, the CEA provides a foundational analysis of the state of environmental governance and identifies opportunities for reform. Nepal's Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MoSTE) launched its Country Environmental Analysis (CEA) on February 27, 2009 at a stakeholder meeting in Kathamandu. Developed with support from the World Bank, the CEA provides a...
Calls for action mount as six Indian cities hit top 10 of air pollution
May 12 2016
Environmental campaigners in India have called for the government to implement a “stringent, time-bound” plan to curb air pollution in cities, as a new World Health Organisation report suggests that six of the 10 most polluted cities in the world are in India.
The report, which contains data from 795 cities in 67 countries between 2008 and 2013, shows Indian cities have some of the highest concentrations of particulate pollution, which can cause fatal damage to the heart and lungs.
According to the WHO, air pollution is currently the greatest environmental risk to public health and causes about 3 million premature deaths globally every year.
Six Indian cities –...
China gets tougher on environmental violations
May 11 2016
China imposed stiffer punishments on companies that violated environmental laws last year, according to new research that illustrates Beijing’s growing resolve to push through aspects of a greener social agenda.
The research, conducted by financial index provider MSCI, recorded a near doubling in the cost of environmental penalties on selected companies in 2015 compared with the previous year and a near tripling in the likelihood that punitive action would be taken against offenders.
The study covered 155 Chinese companies that are constituents of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
The findings correspond with Beijing’s policy — evident in the Five-Year Plan covering...
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, Natural Resources and Environment and Science and Technology ministries - to stop...
Pesticides blamed for sickening 31 in Battambang
May 9 2016
Water contaminated by pesticides has been blamed for poisoning 31 people in Battambang’s Samlot district.
The victims, aged from 6 months to 40 years, were taken to Ka Sang health centre suffering vomiting, fever and headaches after using water from a stream and pond in Prey Thhom village on Thursday. All were expected to recover.
Provincial health service deputy director Ouk Vithiear said pesticides probably seeped into the water from the surrounding farmland.
“Pesticides used by local farmers got into the local pond and spread to a stream, where people get drinking water, on May 3,” said Vithiear.
However, Prey Thhom village chief Chmunh Deab said many of...
China tries a different tack to curb air pollution
May 4 2016
SHANGHAI/BEIJING -- The dark haze of pollution enveloping Beijing is not only a serious health hazard, it also disrupts daily life. "When pollution is really severe, schools close down and I have to ask for leave from work to take care of my 8-year-old daughter," said Zhang Caixia, a 34-year-old mother of two who lives in the Chinese capital. "It's affecting my life a lot."
In Beijing, concentrations of PM2.5 -- fine particles of dust, dirt, soot, smoke and liquid droplets that are suspended in the air and are considered especially hazardous -- briefly exceeded 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter at the end of last year, 40 times the World Health Organization's recommended guidelines...
Capital residents want city to inspect cement factory
May 3 2016
Representatives of 51 families living in the capital’s Chbar Ampov district yesterday delivered a petition to Phnom Penh Municipal Hall calling on authorities to inspect a cement factory they fear may be dangerous and damaging to their health.
The Sambath Meancheng Concrete Company operates a sand-dredging and cement-mixing business in Veal Sbov commune’s Kdei Ta Koy village. Residents say the factory fills their home with sand and cement dust, and that its machinery keeps them awake at night, vibrating with such intensity that it causes nearby buildings to crack.
“Cement flies into the house and onto our clothes,” said Bu Phalla, one of the representatives who delivered...
Gold-mining in Peru: forests razed, millions lost, virgins auctioned
May 1 2016
Three people in a motorised canoe on the mighty River Santiago in Peru’s northern Amazon some weeks ago saw something deeply alarming. It was one dredge and between 15 and 20 men mining for gold up one left-bank tributary.
Two of the people in the canoe were consultants for Lima-based NGO DAR, which has dubbed the River Santiago Peru’s “last frontier” for illegal mining. “In the Amazon gold extraction is only known about in the Madre de Dios and Puno regions in the south of the country,” Esteban Valle Riestra, one of DAR’s consultants, told the Guardian. “The shift to the north, where in the Santiago basin it started within the last three years, is something new.”
Long-term exposure to particulate air pollutants associated with numerous cancers
Apr 29 2016
The study between the University of Birmingham and University of Hong Kong, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, adds to growing concern around the health risks of prolonged exposure to ambient fine particulate matter.
Particulate matter is the term for particles found in the air, including hydrocarbons and heavy metals produced by transportation and power generation, among other sources. This study focused on ambient fine particulate matter, or matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5).
For every 10 microgram per cubic meter (µg/m³) of increased exposure to...
Klity villagers fight never-ending battle
Apr 27 2016
Justice delayed is justice denied. This legal maxim hit the victims of the Klity creek lead poisoning tragedy hard on Tuesday.
Ethnic Karen forest dweller Kamthorn Srisuwanmala, 47, and other victims of the lead poisoning at Klity Lang, Kanchanaburi, arrived at the provincial court with high hopes. They left with heavy hearts.
The Supreme Court was scheduled to issue the final verdict in their court case against Lead Concentrates (Thailand), the mining company which released toxic waste water into their creek for decades, resulting in numerous deaths, illnesses and disabilities.
Since the First and Appeal courts already ruled in the Klity forest dwellers' favour,...
Final ruling on Klity Creek compensation case delayed
Apr 26 2016
A final ruling in a 119-million-baht lawsuit against a lead-separation company for poisoning a natural water source in Kanchanaburi 13 years ago was postponed on Tuesday after the provincial court found a defendant had yet to pay a court fee.
The suit, filed by eight Karen villagers, named Lead Concentrate (Thailand) Co as first defendant and its owner, Kongsak Kleebbua, as second defendant.
The court postponed the reading to June 21 on the grounds that it could not announce a Supreme Court ruling in the case unless Mr Kongsak would settles a 200,000-baht court fee, said Somchai Armeen, a member of the Lawyers Council of Thailand.
In 2012, the Appeal Court said it...
Licence extension linked to gold mine ‘to be based on scientific data
Apr 24 2016
A team from four ministries yesterday visited Chatree gold mine in Phichit to inspect the mine and get information from both opponents and supporters of the gold mine. The officials were led by Industry Minister Atchaka Sibunruang, Public Health Minister Piyasakol Sakolsat-ayadorn, Science Minister Pichet Durongkaveroj, and Pollution Control Department chief Wijarn Simachaya, who represented the Natural Resource and Environment Minister. Atchaka said the assessment on renewing the metallurgy licence would be finalised prior to the deadline on May 13, when the mine's licence expires, but for...
Community rights clause not fooling anyone
Apr 6 2016
The right of citizens and communities to protect the environment against harmful development projects is now back in the draft constitution, thanks to fierce pressure by civil society nationwide. So people can relax now, right? Not a chance. Face it. The military regime is in it for the long haul. Their diktats are the ultimate rules of the land. The community rights clause in the draft will be of no help because it has also been heavily diluted, turning active citizens and communities into state vassals. Since the beginning of this year, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has...
Survey Finds Mixed Picture on Disclosure of Environmental Impact Assessments
Apr 4 2016
Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business has published a survey which examines how many Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and Initial Environmental Examinations (IEE) have been published. The survey focusses on oil and gas companies in Myanmar who were awarded blocks after 2013. It finds that 11 out of 19 offshore blocks (58%) and 4 out of 15 onshore blocks (26%) have published their IEEs or EIAs on the internet. Although this is less than 50%, the overall level of disclosure in the oil and gas sector is higher than in other sectors in Myanmar such as mining and construction where very...
Govt to allow accredited consultants to prepare EIA/EMP report
Mar 20 2016
The Centre has notified that only accredited consultants will be allowed to prepare environment impact assessment reports and environment management plan for the projects seeking green clearances. The directive has come after the Environment Ministry barred UP-based Mantec Consultants for one year for preparing impact assessment and management plan reports for 10 projects of state-owned Kandla Port Trust without any permission. The impact assessment (EIA) and management plan (EMP) for any project seeking environment clearance are prepared only after the Environment Ministry issues terms of...
Port project gears up for early re-launch
Mar 20 2016
Decks are being cleared for the early re-launch of the controversial $1.4-billion Colombo Port City Project, with the Sri Lankan and Chinese governments inching closer to a resolution of outstanding issues. The proposed visit of Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to China during April 6-8 is expected to throw greater clarity on the project. Conceived during the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, the project was launched when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Colombo in September 2014. The visit became a major election issue during the campaign for the presidential polls in...
Port City Project To Proceed In Phases
Mar 19 2016
The Port City Project, which was suspended by the new government of President Maithripala Sirisena in March last year, six months after it began construction, has now been given the green light to proceed and will be done in phases, instead of in one go as a mega project. According to the Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, Patali Champika Ranawaka, there were legal issues that hampered the progress of the Port City Project, but these issues have now been addressed to a large extent. “The agreement for this project was earlier with the Ports Authority, but under the new agreement...
NCPO orders ‘will cause more conflict’
Mar 19 2016
EXPERTS have warned that the government will be responsible for more serious rights violations, plus economic disparity - and the next political time-bomb - if it continues its use of "special power". Key panellists at an academic conference yesterday on communal rights, the environment and city planning, urged the government to stop using power under Article 44 of the interim charter, as they voiced concern that it would cause a new round of political conflict. The event was arranged by 11 public organisations, plus Rangsit and Thammasat universities. The warning follows the National Council...
Hub coal project will reduce poverty in Pakistan
Mar 19 2016
Federal Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Asif has said that the Hub coal power project will not only bring prosperity to the country but will also accelerate the pace of development in Balochistan. He was talking with a delegation of the Hub Power Company (Hubco) comprising Chief Executive Khalid Mansoor, New Ventures Senior Vice President Tahir Jawaid, Chairman of the coal project company – China Power Hub Generation Company, Huang Yuntao and CPHGC CEO Zhao Yonggang who met with Federal Minister for Water and Power Khwaja Asif and Secretary Water and Power Younus Dagha on Friday....
NCPO dead wrong in ignoring the EIA process
Mar 18 2016
LAST WEEK Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, in his capacity as the head of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), issued an order that will result in cutting lengthy development procedures for some state projects so preparations for construction can be controversially carried out parallel to environmental impact assessments (EIA’s). That practice contradicts what is stated in the Environmental Promotion and Protection Act. The preparation for a project before it has received an EIA could proceed with Cabinet endorsement. It appeared Prayut realised the negative implications of the...
SRT proposes seven rail projects
Mar 18 2016
The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) will propose seven dual-track railway routes to the cabinet for its approval this month. SRT Governor Wutthichart Kalayanamitr yesterday said the seven double-track rail lines will be submitted to the Transport Ministry before being forwarded to the cabinet. If the submissions are approved, bidding for the seven rail routes will be held. The SRT planned to propose the seven railway projects after Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha exercised Section 44 of the interim charter to fast-track them. Under the order, the bidding and the environmental impact...