Indonesia and Singapore Launch Twinning Partnership on Environmental Inspection
Feb 13 2009
The Indonesia Ministry of Environment (MOE) and Singapore National Environment Agency (NEA) launched a twinning partnership on environmental inspection on February 13, 2009 in Jakarta. The partnership aims to strengthen the inspection capacities of environmental compliance and enforcement personnel in Indonesia using innovative approaches and practices in Singapore. Representatives from both countries defined a program of work that will begin with an observational program in Singapore.
USAID Joins with OECD to Strengthen Capacity of Environmental Agencies
Sep 23 2008
The Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have joined hands to help strengthen environmental agencies in Asia by evaluating human and institutional capacity limitations to effective enforcement. At a workshop on September 24-25 in Paris, France, senior Asia officials, with support from AECEN, shared experience on capacity challenges, and adopted a framework and benchmarks for assessing the capacity needs. AECEN, funded by the United States Agency for International Development, will use this outcome...
Stakeholders Support New Environmental Compliance Assistance Center in West Bengal, India
Sep 22 2008
At a consultation meeting organized by the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) in Kolkata, India on September 23, 2008, stakeholders from industrial associations and universities committed to supporting West Bengal’s newly established Environmental Compliance Assistance Center (ECAC). Meeting participants included representatives from the West Bengal Chamber of Commerce, Indian Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small and Medium Industries, and selected universities. WBPCB provided information on strategies and plans to establish and operate the ECAC through a range of...
AECEN Strengthens Philippine Judicial Training Curriculum
Aug 3 2008
The Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) organized an environmental law training on August 4-6, in Manila to pilot a new environmental training curriculum for Philippine judges. Twenty-five judges from selected branches of the 117 designated environmental courts in the Philippines participated in the training. Senior judges, environmental counsel, and lawyers from the Philippines and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) provided assistance during the training to strengthen capacities on adjudication of environmental cases, using an improved curriculum, which...
Philippines Business Council Cooperates with AECEN-Supported Environmental Compliance Center
Jul 21 2008
The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) in the Philippines has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Baras Business Council (BBC) to establish and operate a Compliance Assistance Center (CAC) for hog farms in the Laguna de Bay Region. Under the agreement, signed July 22, 2008, the LLDA and the BBC will jointly implement the work of the CAC as a public-private partnership to help the hog farms located in the Laguna de Bay Region comply with environmental laws and regulations. The project is supported by USAID through its ECO-Asia Program and the Asian Environmental Compliance and...
AECEN to Benchmark Institutional Capacity of Environmental Enforcement Agencies in Asia
Jul 10 2008
On July 11, 2008, the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) launched a new initiative to survey and evaluate the institutional capacity of environment agencies in selected Asian countries to establish “benchmarks” for effective, appropriately resourced environmental compliance and enforcement programs. The survey results will support decision-makers in addressing agency capacity challenges, and help influence funding policies and priorities to strengthen rule of law and the environment. USAID provides principal funding support for AECEN.
West Bengal to Establish India’s First Environmental Compliance Assistance Center
Apr 28 2008
The State of West Bengal organized a stakeholder consultation meeting in Kolkata, India on April 29 to establish a new center that will promote improved compliance with environmental regulations. Hosted by the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) and the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC), the meeting produced an action plan establishing an environmental compliance assistance center that will provide industry with information on policies, legal requirements, clean technologies and finance. The workshop was organized with support from the USAID-funded Asian...
Environmental Compliance Assistance Centers Officially Launched in the Philippines
Apr 28 2008
On April 29, 2008, the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) formally launched environmental compliance assistance centers in the Laguna de Bay region. The establishment of the centers is a milestone for ensuring compliance with environmental regulations geared to reducing pollution loading into the Laguna de Bay, the largest freshwater lakes in the country. The virtual centers will provide information on applicable pollution control policies and regulations, technology options, potential funding sources, and best practices for the swine and meat processing industries. LLDA will use...
AECEN Executive Committee Welcomes New Asian Members
Apr 24 2008
The Executive Committee of the USAID-funded Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) met on April 25, 2008 in Bangkok and welcomed new members from Indonesia, India, Japan, and Singapore. At the meeting, the Committee developed plans for the AECEN Award for Excellence for Women, a program for sharing best practices by “twinning” member agencies, and the AECEN Regional Forum which will be held in Bali, Indonesia on November 24-26, 2008.
West Bengal Joins Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network
Mar 20 2008
The West Bengal Pollution Control Board of India has joined the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN). With support from USAID and World Bank, West Bengal will establish an environmental compliance assistance center to address pollution generated by small- and medium-sized enterprises. Established in 2005, AECEN works to promote improved compliance with environmental legal requirements in Asia through regional exchange of innovative policies and practices. AECEN Members are national and sub-national agencies from Asian countries, and include agencies from India,...
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 now the minister was not able to say if the licence would be renewed or not....
Neighbouring countries to get devices to check air-quality
Apr 21 2016
THAILAND HAS installed devices for air-quality checks in Laos, and will make similar installations in Myanmar and Cambodia in a bid to fight the threat of smog.
Pollution Control Department (PCD) director-general Wijarn Simachaya disclosed yesterday that the installation in Vientiane had already been completed.
"Next year, we will install similar devices in the two other neighbouring countries," he said.
Because wind can blow unhealthy smoke from one country to another, smog has been a shared threat in the region. Hotpots in nearby countries can affect Thailand. "We have already written to the Asean secretary-general, asking for help in getting Myanmar, Laos and...
Vietnam investigates mass fish deaths
Apr 21 2016
Vietnam said on Thursday it was investigating whether pollution is to blame for a spate of mysterious mass fish deaths along the country’s central coast after huge amounts of marine life washed ashore in recent days.
Tonnes of fish, including rare species which live far offshore and in the deep, have been discovered on beaches along the country’s central coastal provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Tri, Quang Binh and Hue.
“We have never seen anything like it,” aquaculture official Nhu Van Can told AFP on Thursday.
The strange situation first came to light when farmed fish in the area began dying in great numbers, he said, with locals later discovering huge numbers of dead...
Microbots Could Play Key Role in Cleaning Up Our Water Systems
Apr 18 2016
What if we could not only clean up the heavy metals in our water systems, but also recycle those metals and reuse them?
A new study from the Institute for Intelligent Systems in Germany and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia in Spain suggests that, soon, we might be doing just that.
Scientists have developed microbots with the ability to clean up 95 percent of heavy metal waste from water systems within an hour.
Microbots, essentially tiny robots, are designed for specific purposes. Most — like the ones in this study — are smaller in diameter than a strand of human hair.
Made of three layers, the microbots propel themselves around polluted waterways...
Lao e-waste plant raises pollution concerns
Apr 8 2016
An industrial plant that mines cast-off electronics for their valuable metals appears to be pumping polluted waste water into the neighborhood surrounding Vientiane’s Special Economic Zone causing contamination levels to jump dramatically, local residents told RFA’s Lao Service.
The Hokeng Metal Processing Co. plant located in Nonthong village in Vientiane’s Saythany district reclaims copper, lead and other valuable minerals from computers, televisions, batteries and other castoff electronics, and then resells the metals to customers worldwide.
“I see the plant drain the waste water into the surrounding fields, and during the rainy season it will spread to other areas,”...
With New Tools, A Focus On Urban Methane Leaks
Apr 4 2016
Battered by storms and weakened with age, the natural gas distribution pipes of urban New Jersey have long been in need of repair. And for a long time, the state’s largest utility, Public Service and Enterprise Group (PSE&G), has wanted to replace them. The problem is that pipelines cost upwards of $1.3 million per mile, and the utility owns 4,330 miles of them. Replacing it all would cost at least $6 billion, not to mention decades of work.
In December 2014, however, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) approached the utility with a solution. Using new technology that can trace methane emissions back to their sources with great precision,researchers could home in on the...
Lao PDR prepares ‘polluter pays’ legislation
Mar 28 2016
The government of Lao PDR is preparing legislation for a scheme that will see industrial enterprises pay for the pollution they cause.
A Presidential Provision on Environmental Tax is expected to be submitted to the President’s Office this year and if approved will give a legal mandate for a ‘polluter pays’ scheme that aims to incentivize industries to adopt cleaner technologies and practices. Proponents also hope it will generate enough revenue to help develop a national pollution monitoring system as well as mitigate or offset some of the environmental damage from pollution.
The Presidential Provision will outline the structure of the scheme, including target pollutants...
Air Force, officials tackle smog
Mar 25 2016
‘Water flights’ planned to counter pollution in Chiang Rai as residents risk health problems; agricultural fires blamed
SEVEN provinces in the North are now suffering bad air pollution, with Chiang Rai the hardest-hit and residents at risk of developing health problems. As of yesterday, the amount of small dust particles (PM10) in Chiang Rai jumped to 304 micrograms per cubic metre of air - far over the safe level of 120 micrograms.
In a bid to help ease the air-quality problem, the Royal Thai Air Force (RTAF) will dispatch planes to spray water to mitigate the problem.
The level of air pollution could affect the health of people in the area, the Pollution Control...
Haze forces 64,000 into hospitals in the North
Mar 22 2016
Dr Suraphan Sangsawang, acting director of the Regional Health Promotion Centre 10 Chiang Mai, said reports from 90 hospitals in the area showed that the number of patients with coronary artery and respiratory diseases had increased dramatically as the region's haze worsened last week.
Suraphan said Chiang Mai had the highest number of patients at 17,359, followed by Chiang Rai at 11,779 and Lampang at 10,228.
The volume of particulate matter with a maximum diameter of 10 microns (PM10) rose yesterday above the safe level of 120 micrograms per cubic metre in many Northern provinces. According to the Pollution Control Department, the three districts with the highest PM10...
Polluted village demands compensation from factories
Mar 21 2016
TRANG -- Residents of a village polluted by two factories producing raw rubber sheets say they have been offered too little compensation for the daily health hazards they face.
The people of Moo 1 village in tambon Na Muang Phet, Sikao district, complain the two nearby factories have discharged polluted water and emitted foul smells, causing hundreds of adults and children to suffer from chronic coughing, lung ailments and asthma for more than two years.
Many of them had been admitted to Trang Hospital for treatment, and some of them would be needing medical care for the rest of their lives. They said seven children were in a serious condition.
The villagers had...
Revoke Article 44, say NGOs
Mar 18 2016
A MASSIVE coalition of 60 civil society groups have urged the government to refrain from exercising special powers under Article 44 of the interim charter, which recently allowed major development projects to bypass proper Environme-ntal Impact Assessments (EIAs). At yesterday's panel discussion on the issue, non-government organisations (NGOs) also warned that conflicts with affected communities could result in violence. Organised by the Thai Society of Environmental Journalists and 60 civil society organisations, the panel said the National Council for Peace and Order's (NCPO) order No 9/...
Museum expansion slammed
Mar 18 2016
A pre-environmental impact assessment (EIA) inspection of a National Palace Museum expansion project yesterday met with protests from local residents, who said the project poses safety risks and could increase traffic congestion near their neighborhoods because of the flawed design of a parking lot dedicated to tour buses. Taipei Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Liou Ming-lone (劉銘龍) told a meeting in Shilin District (士林) that due to amendments to the Environmental Impact Assessment Act (環境影響評估法) putting local governments in charge of overseeing establishments of cultural...
Myanmar races ahead as we back-pedal
Mar 17 2016
All eyes have been on Myanmar this week as it finally voted a new president, Htin Kyaw, into office, in so doing becoming the latest debutante into the democratic club. A close aide (for many he is a proxy) of democracy icon Aug San Suu Kyi, who is blocked from taking up the role due to constitutional hurdles, Htin Kyaw is the first civilian leader of the country since 1962. The new Myanmar government faces high expectations. We know the multi-ethnic country of 60 million, with chronic problems of ethnic tensions, will not turn into a fully fledged democratic society overnight. Yet, I would...
Residents want MPAJ to release EIA of Bukit Antarabangsa project
Mar 17 2016
NO DECISION has been made on a proposed mixed development project in Bukit Antarabangsa, Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) president Abdul Hamid Abdul Hussain said. He said the project was discussed at the Selangor Economic Action Council (MTES) on Feb 18. “They have not made any decision because there are several issues pending. “The state government has asked MPAJ to check on the conditions set by the technical departments of the project. “The developers will be required to explain their measures to comply with the conditions,” he disclosed. He said this included slope and soil...
Stop Sasa port dev't project, SC urged
Mar 16 2016
AS THEY stood firm in their stance against the P18.99-billion Davao Sasa Port Modernization Project (DSPM), a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) project in Mindanao led by the PPP Center and the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), concerned citizens and resort owners in Davao City asked the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the multi-billion project. The group asked the SC to issue a “Writ of Kalikasan” to stop the DOTC from implementing the project. The writ is a legal remedy for persons whose right to “a balanced and healthful ecology” is violated. This right is enshrined in...
Kaeng Krachan and the state's charade
Mar 16 2016
In his column "From the Prime Minister's Heart" in the government's newsletter, Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha reaffirms his administration's commitment to sustainable development and the sufficiency economy. The gap between words and actions is as wide as an ocean. In the government's proposal to Unesco to classify Kaeng Krachan forest as a World Heritage Site, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment pledged commitment to the rights of indigenous forest dwellers, saying they would be allowed to live on their ancestral land and participate in managing the national park. The gap between words...
World's biggest waste incineration plant planned in China
Mar 16 2016
China’s southern city of Shenzhen is planning to build three waste incineration power plants, including the one which will be the world’s largest in the next three years, the People’s Daily reported on Tuesday. According to Wang Guobin, director of Shenzhen City Urban Administrative and Law Enforcement Bureau, the biggest plant alone can handle one third of Shenzhen’s garbage and will be put into use in 2018. “The projects have got their Environmental Impact Assessment approval and finished the levelling construction. The main body construction will start by the end of this year,” said Wang....
Opinion: Travelling at light speed
Mar 16 2016
PHUKET: Phuket’s light rail system will be the first of its kind outside of the Greater Bangkok area. During construction, there will certainly be some bottlenecks as far as traffic is concerned. However, we have already prepared plans to lessen or avoid potential traffic congestion as much as we can. Some people are concerned about rumors that we will be using existing lanes to build the light rail, causing more traffic than necessary. However, there are no lane closures proposed at all. The light rail system is set to be situated on medians. Nonetheless, in some areas it will be necessary...
Talk of the town - environmental conversations in Singapore
Mar 16 2016
There has been one thing dominating the environmental conversation in Singapore recently, and that is the Phase 1 Environmental Impact Assessment, or EIA, for the Cross-Island Line that was gazetted by the Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA) on 5 February 2016. The assessment of environmental impacts relates to the site investigation works needed for a proposed alignment of a new Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line that would run beneath part of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR) and the MacRitchie Reservoir. The dialogue around the impact of these works, the suitability of...
Order flawed but regime doesn't care
Mar 15 2016
The military regime's order No.9/2559 allowing certain infrastructure and development projects to be opened for bidding before an environmental impact assessment (EIA) study is carried out is illogical. What is worse is the ruling military probably knows how hollow its rationale is, and they don't care. Government figures and top state officials have rushed out to defend the National Council for Peace and Order's (NCPO) command allowing state agencies or enterprises to start engaging the private sector to undertake large-scale projects before the result of the EIA is known. The order covers...