Copy
View this email in your browser

NEWS DIGEST #274

July 20, 2020

The Lancang-Mekong river cooperation sees regional countries battle severe drought - The  Star/Vientiane Times/ANN
"The annual output of my tea plantation in 2018 is 150 kilograms, but in 2019, it was reduced by two-thirds to 56 kilograms. This year, I only harvested 36 kilograms, a loss of three-quarters. My father is over 80 years old. He said he's never experienced such a drought. It's the very first time," said farmer Lan Pi. (See also: Praying for rain by the Mekong as monsoon season begins - VoA; Gov’t statistics show mekong water levels are precariously low - VoA Khmer)
Lao capital residents fight land grab, reject compensation - RFA
“The offer is too low,” says one of 248 landowners now fighting the land grab, speaking on condition of anonymity. “The offer for my land is only 150,000 kip [US$16.59] per square meter, which is much too low. It should be at least double that amount, but the project developer has rejected that."
A day in a life of a woman opium poppy farmer in Myanmar - Transnational Institute
Nang Kham was one of more than forty women growers who we spoke with as part of our research work in Myanmar, where approximately 190,000 households are said to be involved in opium cultivation.

 
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward

MEKONG DEVELOPMENT

Chinese intentions towards the Mekong River and mainland South-East Asia - Future Directions International
China is now in a position to build goodwill with the countries of the lower Mekong basin through infrastructure development or use its dams to coerce its near neighbours into accepting Chinese strategic interests. 

River dams in China helped alleviate drought along Lancang-Mekong, research finds - Global Times
A latest report by Chinese researchers refuted this causal link and reckless accusation by US media, as scientists have found continued high temperatures and decreasing rainfall are the main causes of the drought. (See also: West overlooks contribution of China to regional water resource - Global Times)

CAMBODIA

Forest activist seeking PM’s intervention in ‘assault’ case - Phnom Penh Post
The beating, he said, occurred after he filed a complaint against some citizens and officials for allowing land-stealing at the Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary and the Tampuans’ designated land.

NGO formed to protect natural resources and raise awareness - Phnom Penh Post
The vision is to create a society that values the environment ... a society in which every citizen is involved in conserving wildlife, forests, natural resources and social justice,” said Chum Huot the association's president.

Koh Kong villagers trade logging for agriculture - Phnom Penh Post
Each family in the community had been granted land concessions measuring 25m by 600m to convert them into village lands and plantations. Over the last 10 years, the Chi Phat area has become a safe wildlife sanctuary and a beautiful forestry area that attracts tourists.

COVID-19 opens a can of worms for fisherwomen in Cambodia - UN Environment
Now, although Cambodia has reported only 125 COVID-19 cases in all, restricted mobility has reduced the demand for fish products. Where demand exists, supply chains have been severely disrupted.

Cambodia’s silent wildlife slaughter for bushmeat risks zoonotic crossovers (video) - AEC News
A recent World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for Nature Cambodia report has documented the alarming rate of wildlife slaughter for the illicit bushmeat trade, raising concerns of the risk of a home-grown zoonotic crossover event similar to one theory of how the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak began.

World Bank lends US$100 million for climate-resilient road project funded
The project will enhance rural communities’ access to critical services, such as health centers, referral hospitals, schools and markets, through the improvement of climate-resilient rural roads.

Prey Veng’s potential as a wetland zone mulled as protected natural area - Khmer Times
The Ministry of Environment is planning to include parts of a potential multi-purpose wetland area locally called “Boeungsne-Tuolporn Talei” in Prey Veng province as a protected natural area.

LAOS

Development dilemma: How did coal sneak into Laos' energy plans? - Eco-Business
In its thirst for foreign capital, has Laos fallen prey to rogue firms doing more harm than good?

Savannakhet forest national conservation area for Eld’s deer - Vientiane Times
An official from the Forestry Department said the Eld’s deer conservation forest was a provincial conserved forest before being upgraded to the 130,000 hectare national conservation area. This is also the first wildlife conservation area in the country.

Laos, China to cooperate on CO2 emissions reduction project - Vientiane Times
The SDZ demonstration area will implement a low CO2 emissions plan as a model for transportation by using electric vehicles, and assist other sectors, as well as communicating the project publically to strengthen Laos’ climate change mitigation efforts and support sustainable development plans.

MYANMAR

Chinese-backed copper exploration plans in Myanmar rekindle fears - RFA
Alarmed residents who fear losing their farms in a repeat of earlier bitter clashes over land rights, pollution, and compensation that gripped the region.

B1.4bn loan for Myanmar power grids - Bangkok Post
The money will target the construction and improvement of electrical substations and transmission systems in Yangon for which 50 percent of the goods and services must come from Thailand.

Myanmar conservationists slam moves for endangered Irrawaddy dolphin’s captive breeding - Irrawaddy
Myanmar’s approval of the gravely endangered Irrawaddy dolphin for captive commercial breeding has prompted condemnation from wildlife conservationists. The new policy also allows species like the sambhur and barking deer, crocodiles and silver pheasant to be bred for meat and traditional medicine. Conservation campaigners say the wildlife trade will increase as a result.

Myanmar military chief affirms support for China’s BRI projects - Irrawaddy
Ambassador Hai said China is willing to push ahead with implementation of the three pillars of the project, the Kyaukphyu deep seaport, cross-border economic cooperation zones, and the New Yangon City project.

THAILAND

Ginger, lemongrass, galangal may soon be listed as hazardous substances - The Nation
Uthai Sornlaksab, president of the Rubber Alliance Association of Thailand, said getting farmers to register was just the government’s way of taking advantage of farmers, adding that this move will destroy agricultural traditions.

Euro 5 upgrade delayed - Bangkok Post
The upgrade is now postponed from 2024 as it requires technical help from overseas experts who are unable to visit Thailand because of travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic, said department chief Nanthika Thangsupanich.

Thailand accepts World Bank’s climate change grant - Thailand Business
Thailand has approved an acceptance draft for a US$ 5 million grant from the World Bank, to fund projects reducing the emission of environmentally harmful HFC gas.

COVID-19, electric vehicles to reshape Thailand’s auto industry - Investing
But there's a catch: Thailand's shift toward electric vehicles (EVs) could pummel the local auto industry because it is dominated by hundreds of parts makers, while EVs require just 10-20 percent as many of parts as internal-combustion vehicles.

Why some Buddhist monks ordain trees - JSTOR Daily
Buddhist monks in Thailand began tying trees with their traditional colored robes in the 1980s, as threats to ecology increased.

Thailand to allow use of 'economically valuable trees' as collateral for financial loans - Straits Times
Owners of 58 types of 'economically valuable trees' will be able to use them as collateral when applying for loans at financial institutions under a new policy.

VIETNAM

Siemens Gamesa scores two new orders for 165 MW wind turbines for wind energy - Reve
The Tan Thuan wind power project is Siemens Gamesa’s fourth in a nearshore environment in Vietnam and the largest wind farm of its kind to date in the country.

Vietnam population might peak 10 years earlier than UN forecast: Lancet study - Vietnam Express
Vietnam would reach its peak population the fifth quickest among 13 countries and territories in Southeast Asia, after Thailand (71.97 million) in 2028. The study, published on medical journal The Lancet, forecasts population scenarios from 2018 to 2100 for 195 countries and territories  (See also: World population likely to shrink after mid-century, forecasting major shifts in global population and economic power - Science Daily)

The Mekong Eye's weekly News Digest curates news, commentary and resources on development, its environmental and social impacts, and the context affecting the Mekong region. We reach more than 5,000 key development professionals, government officials, business leaders and journalists. Submit stories, press releases, resources or feedback to: editor@mekongeye.com
 
Twitter
Facebook
Website
Copyright © 2020, Internews, All rights reserved. Please share this email.