Netherlands Burma Water Management Cooperation to Address Challenges, Boost Trade

Burma and the Netherlands resumed water management cooperation in 2013 after a hiatus of some 25 years. During a recent visit by the Dutch minister of infrastructure and transport, both sides expanded the cooperation and revealed plans for a joint US$20 million pilot project to improve use of the Irrawaddy River.

“We’re planning to develop 70 kilometers of riverbank in a bend of the river at Bagan city for multipurpose use,” Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen told The Irrawaddy in a recent interview in Rangoon.

Environmental Clearance in India – Fast Track or Change of Track?

This move, via national consultation forums, comes in response to controversy over many dams built on the river now affecting people in many states, especially those in downstream areas.

"We will listen to local people's opinions," Chaiporn Siripornpibul said as representative of the Thai National Mekong Committee and inspector for Thailand's Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.

Cambodians oppose Lao dam

Cambodians staged a protest Thursday to share the concerns of more than a quarter of a million people who are calling on Laos to suspend construction of the Don Sahong hydropower project on the Mekong River.

At the protest Chhith Sam Ath, country director of the World Wide Fund for Nature, said Don Sahong Dam, a 260-megawatt hydropower project, could bring about the demise of important fisheries and critically endangered Mekong dolphins.

Polluting factories to face legal action

Legal action will be taken against all the industrial units that are responsible for polluting the Karnaphuli river, the lifeline of Chittagong city and the country's premier port, Chairman of Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) Rear Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed said yesterday.

The responsible industrial units will be identified through spot visits, he declared while addressing the first meeting of a high-powered committee which the shipping ministry has formed with Ahmed as convener to check the river pollution.

Factories raided for illegally discharging waste

Raids were conducted yesterday on two Samut Sakhon factories, which were found to have illegally discharged untreated contaminated industrial waste in the Tha Chin River.

The first factory, which sorts and cleans industrial waste, is located in Muang district. It was found to have dumped liquid detergent into the river, according to Department of Special Investigation agents who conducted the raids jointly with Industry Ministry officials.

The Environment And Safety

In D.I. Khan, ten people lost their lives after falling into a chemical drain yesterday. This chemical drain carried waste from the Chashma Sugar Mills and ends in the Indus River. Two things must be considered when addressing this incident: safety and accountability, for human life and the environment.

Interview: The river of dreams

Sompong Wiengjun sits on a balcony of her house along a dirt road running parallel to the Mun River in Khong Chiam district, Ubon Ratchathani. She sighs while gazing at the foul-smelling river. Twenty years ago, she would have been catching fish and planting vegetables along the river bank.

Life would have been simple and sustainable, only if the Pak Mun Dam had never been built.

Largest Cleanup in EPA History Proposed

In an historic action that will protect people's health and the environment, and benefit riverfront communities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a plan to remove 4.3 million cubic yards of highly contaminated sediment from the lower eight miles of the Passaic River in New Jersey. The sediment in the Passaic River is severely contaminated with dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), heavy metals, pesticides and other contaminants from more than a century of industrial activity.