Bangaldesh: Experts okay open pit mining

A committee of experts, formed by the government, yesterday submitted its report on suitable coal mining method in Bangladesh to the energy and mineral resources ministry, suggesting open pit mining in Phulbari coal deposit as a practical approach.

The 17-member committee, headed by former Petrobangla chairman Mosharraf Hossain, also suggested undertaking a small open pit mine project in the untapped northern part of Bangladesh's lone coal mine in Barapukuria.

Fiji: Leave the trees alone

CALLS have been made to the Suva City Council (SCC) special administrator Chandu Umaria to hold open public consultations on his move to cut down historical trees in the city.

An environment activist Patricia Mallam voiced her disappointment saying that Mr Umaria needed to seek the ideas of forestry experts, other stakeholders including historians, cultural heritage and youth groups to make their submissions on whether this was the best possible option for the city of Suva.

Australian coal port expansions to have minimal environmental impact: study

The planned expansion of Australia's Abbot Point and Hay Point coal ports over the next few years will have little impact on the environment including the Great Barrier Reef, a study sponsored by the industry showed Wednesday.

The study was commissioned by BHP Billiton, GVK Hancock and Adani, which are seeking to expand the two export ports to accommodate the growing thermal coal production in eastern Australia.

Malaysia: RM50,000 fine if starting without EIA approval

The maximum compound for those flouting the Environment Protection Environment Enactment 2002 has been increased.

The State Assembly passed the Environment Protection (Amendment) Enactment 2012 on Wednesday that, among others, upped compounds by up to 50 per cent from the present maximum compounds for offences stated in the enactment.

Tabling the Bill, State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the compound for example those found starting works without the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report had been raised to RM50,000 from RM20,000 presently.

Philippines: ‘Green’ groups gathering evidence against Philex

ENVIRONMENTAL groups are gathering evidence in preparation for filing charges against Philex Mining Corp. for the accidental discharge of wastewater from its Padcal mine in Tuba, Benguet, that contaminated nearby water bodies in Benguet and Pangasinan last August.

The evidence being gathered will back complaints against the company to be filed before the environmental court specifically tasked by the Supreme Court to try environmental cases, said Clemente Bautista of the Kalikasan - People’s Network for Environment (Kalikasan – PNE).

India: Vizhinjam project more important than a few resorts, says Minister

The State Government would not allow anyone to wreck the Vizhinjam port and transshipment container terminal project, says K. Babu, Minister for Ports.

A section of tourist resorts is trying to derail the project at a crucial time when the environmental impact assessment (EIA) study is over and public hearing is due, he said.

ALL-PARTY MEET

The Minister said this while speaking to newspersons after an all-party meeting here on Thursday to drum up support for the long-delayed project.

More Lao dam deals inked

Laos has contracted firms to build and operate another significant hydropower plant on the Mekong River system, adding to the existing furore over potential effects on downstream countries such as Cambodia from the controversial Xayaburi dam.

The contracts, reportedly worth $1 billion, are for a series of three dams making up the Xe-Namnoy plant on two tributaries of the Se Kong River, which flows into the Mekong from the Bolaven Plateau in southern Laos – just some 100 kilometres from Cambodia.

Hong Kong: Growing tide of anger at beach plan for Tai Po

Conservationists said they will stage a mass protest and seek a judicial review to prevent the government from constructing an artificial beach at Lung Mei.

More than 10 green groups have joined forces to oppose the plan and will submit a petition to the government today, urging the chief executive or the director of the Environmental Protection Department to withdraw the permit authorizing the beach project in Tai Po.

The alliance will apply for a judicial review if the government fails to act on its petition.

Pakistan: Kurrum Tangi Dam project likely to displace 12,000 people

The report has urged the federal government to review the environmental impact and resettlement plan for the Kurram Tangi Dam, which will also dislodge a number of schools and health facilities.

Furthermore, the cost of the dam, planned to be constructed across the Kurram River, about 19 miles north of Bannu city, has increased by almost Rs42 billion due to inactivity on the project in the last seven years as the budgeted amount was not released by the government.