'No dodging' EIA on water plan

The development of two controversial water diversion projects would comply with an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study requirements, the government insists.

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Gen Chatchai Sarikulya said yesterday the government wants to study the prospects of diverting water from rivers forming a border line with neighbouring countries.

He said the projects required a precise plan to ensure they would bring benefits to the country with minimal impact on the environment and local communities.

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.

Dam scheme divides Thai officials

Somkiat Prajamwong, director of the Office of Project Management at the RID, said officials have agreed to appoint an independent organisation to appraise the value of the Mae Wong forest and study the water management proposal.

He was speaking Wednesday after an Office of Natural Resources and Environment Policy and Planning (Onep) panel, which was tasked with considering the dam's environmental and health impacts, failed to reach a conclusion based on two reports into the project.

Voices of the dammed: Locals living near the site of the planned Mae Wong dam project are being subjected to abuse and intimidation from some within their own communities

Thong feels lost in both senses of the word. After being told the plan to build a dam on the nearby Mae Wong stream had been revived, the cassava farmer, who preferred to use a pseudonym, feels defeated in his campaign to oppose the project. He is also unsure of which direction his life will take in the wake of the decision.

Thailand flood project hearings begin, fail to satisfy

The first public hearing on a state project under the government's water management scheme was too short and failed to satisfy the court's requirements, environmentalists say.

The first public hearing on a state project under the government's water management scheme was too short and failed to satisfy the court's requirements, environmentalists say.

The scheme includes plans to build the Huai Tang reservoir in Lamphun.

Locals opposed to the reservoir staged a protest yesterday outside Chakkham Khanathon School in Muang district, where the hearing was held.

Thai DPM takes aim at dam opponent

Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi Tuesday said the project's key opponent, former Irrigation Department chief Pramote Maiklad, actually proposed the dam in the first place.

Mr Pramote now questions the dam's legality and effectiveness, but Mr Plodprasop Tuesday issued a reminder that the dam was initially proposed by the Irrigation Department in 1982.

Mr Pramote joined the Irrigation Department in 1968 and worked mainly in dam design and building. He had responsibility for proposing projects.

Environmental academy to be established in Makassar

The South Sulawesi administration is to set up an environmental academy, which will begin enrolling students next year. The academy is the first of its kind in Indonesia, concerned as it is with environmental issues.

The establishment of the academy, which will be located in Tonasa subdistrict, Balocci district, Pangkajene Islands regengy, was marked with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between South Sulawesi Governor Syahrul Yasin Limpo and Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya in Makassar on Aug. 31.

Thai PM may face charges if govt doesn't follow court order: activists

Organising exhibitions would not suffice, they said.

"If the government does not follow good practice for public hearings for its water mega-scheme and the order by the Central Administrative Court, the government will also face another lawsuit to the Criminal Division for Holders of Political Office in the Supreme Court for failing to comply with the Constitution. It will also face impeachment," said Hannarong Yaowalers, who chairs the Foundation for Integrated Water Management.

Thai's Democrats to impeach cabinet for 350 billion baht water management projects

The Democrat Party plans to impeach the cabinet for alleged legal infringements in its handling of the 350-billion-baht water and flood management projects.

The move comes after the Central Administrative Court Thursday ordered the government to complete public hearings on the projects before signing contracts with companies that have won bids for the projects.