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...
Raj govt moves SC against HC order on mining leases
May 27 2015
JAIPUR: The Rajasthan government has moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday against the Rajasthan High Court order restraining the state government from granting any more mining leases, quarry licenses and short-term permits, including the renewal of existing ones without obtaining environmental clearances.
The division bench of the Chief Justice Sunil Ambwani gave these orders on April 8 while disposing of a PIL by Dinesh Bothra who had objected to the mining permission by the state government for the leases for quarries less than the size of five hectares under the garb of the amendments.
"The appeal was mentioned in the apex court on Tuesday and posted the matter for...
China's Officials Feel Pollution Pressure
May 27 2015
After years of promoting economic growth, China is putting pollution on the list of concerns for officials seeking to advance their careers.
On May 5, China's top government and party authorities issued a new set of "environmental guidelines" that may compel local officials to curb pollution in their districts or suffer the consequences.
For decades, officials have climbed the career ladder by launching industrial development and construction projects with little regard for the environment, while their performance has been judged largely by their ability to deliver growth of gross domestic product (GDP).
The "GDP obsession" has proved ruinous for the environment, an...
PNP bags award for protecting environment
May 26 2015
The Philippine National Police Maritime Group was recently honored with the first Asia Environmental Enforcement Award along with seven other organizations in Asia.
The Maritime Group was recognized for conducting more than 1,500 operations on the violation of fisheries and wildlife laws leading to the seizure of endangered aquatic species, 3,000 arrests and collection of more than $300,000 in fines.
The award, a joint initiative of the UN Environmental Programme and Freeland, was given last May 20 in Bangkok, Thailand.
In a statement, PNP officer in charge Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina congratulated the Maritime Group for taking home the award.
CSE flags green concerns on Modi govt anniversary; Pitches for concrete plan to reduce air pollution
May 26 2015
NEW DELHI: The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a Delhi-based think-tank on green issues, on Tuesday said the NDA government's record was not as bad as feared but there had been no major reforms so far to improve the green clearance processes for safeguarding the environment. It also noted that the government has, so far, not taken concrete steps to check air pollution in the cities.
"Contrary to the widespread perception, the NDA government's record of giving environmental and forest clearances has not been very different from that of its predecessor - the UPA government", said the CSE in its analysis report on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government's record on...
Post-consumer liability – Superior Court of Justice's unprecedented decision
May 25 2015
Unbridled global consumption of manufactured products has generated significant waste and created major problems related to environmentally appropriate disposal and post-consumer waste management.
In light of this, on August 18 2014 the Superior Court of Justice recognised the post-consumer liability of potentially polluting product manufacturers for the first time.(1) The decision dealt with a class action for environmental damages caused by the environmentally inappropriate disposal of polyethylene terephthalate bottles used for packaging soft drinks.
According to the court, manufacturers must collect packaging that has been abandoned by...
PH police among Asia's best in enforcing environmental laws
May 24 2015
MANILA, Philippines – The Maritime Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP-MG) received recognition, along with 7 other organizations, during the first Asian Environmental Enforcement Award (AEEA) in Bangkok, Thailand, recently.
The award-giving body on May 20 recognized the PNP-MG for the more than 1,500 operations it conducted against violators of fisheries and wildlife laws. These operations led to the seizure of endangered species, 3,000 arrests, and the collection of fines amounting to more than $300,000.
In addition, two Filipino officers were among the 5 police officers individually recognized for their efforts in ensuring the welfare of the environment....
NGO calls for transparency in meeting environmental goals
May 23 2015
PETALING JAYA: Dirty rivers, black smoke and rubbish strewn everywhere. It is always the “same old, same old” every year.
While many plans have been drawn up for the environment and conservation, lack of enforcement has always been the problem.
Malaysian Nature Society national council member Vincent Chow said the only way forward was for the authorities to be transparent.
“Release quarterly reports and tell us truthfully where we stand. Statistics show that we have brought down the emission of greenhouse gases but do we actually see this?” he asked.
Chow said what was seen were lorries and factories spewing black smoke, rivers polluted with waste and rubbish...
Foreign firms in China pouring millions into meeting tougher pollution regulations
May 22 2015
Apple Inc is planting trees, Mars may move to ‘zero carbon’ and Foxconn Technology Co Ltd is spending millions of dollars to give its factories a ‘green’ makeover, as companies operating in China face tighter rules on pollution.
Beijing introduced tougher regulations this year to combat pollution, keen to overhaul China’s unwanted image of smog-choked cities, fouled waterways and heavy-metal tainted soil.
This won’t come cheap; the country’s central bank estimates the nation will need to spend 2 trillion yuan (HK$2.5 trillion) a year over the next five years on reducing pollution and government coffers will only cover about a tenth of that, leaving local and international...
Pinoy environmental crime fighters get UN award
May 21 2015
BANGKOK - The United Nations Environment Program on Wednesday awarded 13 individuals and organizations for their remarkable contributions to tackling illegal trade in wildlife, chemicals and waste in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Asia Environmental Enforcement Award recipients -- from the Philippines, China, Thailand, Cambodia, India, Vietnam and Tonga -- were recognized at a ceremony for their efforts in confiscating tens of millions of dollars worth of contraband and seizing hundreds of thousands of tons of hazardous waste, wildlife products and timber.
"Environmental crime undermines sustainable development. It is not only a threat to species, to habitats and to...
Malaysia ranked near bottom of the class by environmental democracy watchdog
May 21 2015
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia has been ranked poorly in terms of environmental democratic rights, coming in 69th of 70 countries surveyed worldwide.
Scoring an overall 0.58 out of three points on the US-based World Resources Institute's Environmental Democracy Index, narrowly beating Haiti.
Lithuania scored highest worldwide, with an overall score of 2.42, followed by Latvia at 2.31 and Russia at 2.25. The global average score is 1.42.
In Southeast Asia, Indonesia came out tops with a score of 1.8, followed by Thailand at 1.38 and the Philippines at 1.35.
There was no score given for Singapore and Brunei.
The index tracks a country's progress in coming up...
Protests force Orange Line rail rethink
May 28 2015
The Commission for the Management of Land Transport (OCMLT) will decide on June 10 whether the Orange Line rail route will pass the Thailand Cultural Centre or Rama IX Road. The 35km route originates at Taling Chan and ends in Min Buri. Under the current design, the route will pass the Thailand Cultural Centre (TCC). But due to protests from some communities against the route stopping at the TCC, the commission is considering whether the stop should be at Rama IX Road instead. Speaking after a meeting on the Orange Line yesterday, Transport Minister Prajin Juntong said the OCMLT will consider...
NGT issues notice to CRDA on Capital city project
May 28 2015
The National Green Tribunal has issued notices to the Ministry of Forests and Environment, Andhra Pradesh government and the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA) for undertaking development works for the new capital city on the Krishna River bank without conducting appropriate environmental impact assessment. The lawyers for the appellant have requested the Tribunal to direct the Union Environment and Forests Ministry to constitute an expert committee to analyse the environmental and social impact for developing the new capital city. The lawyers for the appellant have...
Residents take MB to task over EKVE project
May 28 2015
UALA LUMPUR, May 28 — Residents in Ukay Perdana and its vicinity want Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali to hear them out before giving the green light to the East Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE) to end its route in the area. Singling out the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) project that was cancelled recently, Bukit Antarabangsa resident task force-EKVE facilitator Datuk Mohd Arshad Raji said the state should take into account the concerns of the 200,000 residents who would be affected by the project. He claimed the residents were not consulted on the design and assignment of the highway...
Thai Transport Ministry will propose a modified route in MRT orange line
May 27 2015
BANGKOK, 27 May 2015 (NNT) – Transport Minister ACM Prajin Janthong says his ministry will propose a modification to the MRT Orange Line subway to the meeting of the Commission for the Management of Land Traffic on June 10. The minister suggested the section that starts from the Cultural Center to Minburi be changed to Rama 9 Road to Minburi instead, to minimize the construction cost. He said if the commission prefers the original route, the project can be constructed right after the Cabinet approves it. However, if the commission opts for a new route, the project needs a new Environmental...
92MW solar plant for Japan
May 27 2015
Kyocera, Gaia Power, Kyudenko and Century Tokyo Leasing are to build a 92MW solar power plant in Japan. The companies will invest 35 billion yen in Kanoya Osaki Solar Hills, a solar power operating company, to construct and operate the project. Construction on a site stretching across Kanoya City and Osaki Town in Kagoshima Prefecture is to start in the second half of financial year 2015/16 and begin operations in financial year 2017/18. Planning for the project began in January 2014 when locals expressed interest in using the project site, earmarked for a golf course over three decades ago...
Australian Company Bribes Villagers to Approve Dam Project
May 27 2015
SMEC the Australian company carrying out the social and environmental impact assessment report for the Mongton Dam project is bribing local residents to sign statements saying they approve of the dam, according to local villagers. The Burmese government and the dam construction company hired SMEC to carry out the social impact assessment (SIA) and the environmental impact assessment (EIA) field surveys for Mongton Dam (also known as the Tar San Dam). Forty five people from SMEC carried out the survey in the villages of Nar-Kaung-Mu, Mine-Han, Kong-Sar and Hway-Aot in Mine-Han village-tract in...
Go to Baram, hear its people’s real voice, NGO tells Sarawak chief
May 26 2015
The Sarawak Native Customary Rights Land Network, or better known by their acronym Tahabas, said the chief minister's claim of support from Orang Ulu community leaders made at a questionable closed-door meeting, was “misleading” and “malicious”. Tahabas is a network of native communities who are advocating for their native customary rights (NCR) and lands to be recognised and protected by the state government. Its president Romuald Siew in Miri today, said the chief minister was “clearly being misinformed by so-called professionals and Orang Ulu community leaders” whom Adenan met in a Miri...
Locals shun panel on Pak Bara port project
May 25 2015
SATUN: Activists from Satun are refusing to join a government panel which they say is intent on spinning a positive image of the Pak Bara deep-sea port megaproject. The Transport Ministry's Marine Department set up the panel in January to promote a positive image of the port within six months, after locals raised complaints. The ministry called the first meeting for last Friday at the Satun provincial office, but residents refused to join, saying they fear a whitewash. They are urging the government to disband the panel, and share more details about the plans or risk further conflict. Chaired...
Public urged to give feedback on MRT2 project
May 25 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Feedback on the Mass Rapid Transit Line 2 connecting Sg Buloh-Serdang and Putrajaya (SSP Line) is now open to public. The public is encouraged to give views on the effects and benefits of the rail network in terms of social, economic and raise any potential concerns of traffic and noise. The public display on the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment which started on April 20 will end on May 19 and is available at 27 locations such as at the Public Land Transport Commission, MRT office, Department of Environment HQ, National Library or it can be downloaded from DOE and MRT...
Sepa approval of KPT’s coal handling operation fails to address public concerns
May 25 2015
KARACHI: The Sindh Environmental Protection Agency’s (Sepa) recent approval of two separate Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) reports on the coal terminal being operated by the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) fails to take into account serious concerns over the damage it has already caused to public health and environment, it emerged on Sunday. Though environmental laws call for an EIA to be carried out at the planning stage of a project, the EIAs in this case have been conducted after 12 years of coal handling operation at the port and that too on court orders. One of the EIA was submitted by the...