Finance firms plan to close coal plants in Asia

Some of the world’s biggest financial institutions are working on a plan to speed the closure of coal-fired power plants in Asia, the BBC has been told. The initiative was developed by UK insurer Prudential, is being driven by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and includes ...

Global demand for rare earth elements fuels environmental destruction in Kachin State

Along a remote and mountainous stretch of border with China, something is disfiguring the pristine forests of Kachin State. Satellite images and photos seen by Frontier show that trees have been cleared and replaced by adjoining pools that contain a milky liquid. In some places, mountainsides near the pools ...

RONJA PILGAARD, JAUMAN NAW and EMILY FISHBEIN

Deadly Myanmar mine disaster caused by poor planning, say data sleuths

A detailed analysis of satellite and remote-sensing data has uncovered poor conditions at the Wai Khar jade mine in northern Myanmar, where a landslide last July killed more than 170 people. The international team of authors behind the study1 — the first to rigorously document a mining accident ...

Andrew Silver

People live in fear as Mekong riverbanks collapse

One recent mid-morning, Lev Pheng Ang, a 52-year-old mother who runs a grocery store on the bank of the Mekong River in Rakar Korng Muoy commune, Kandal province’s Muk Kampoul district, was running her business as usual when she heard a loud splash in the ...

Moeun Chhean Nariddh

Sand mining contracts cause serious concerns

Sand mining is conducted mainly at open pits, beaches, inland dunes or from the dredging of ocean and river beds. Sand is mined primarily to produce concrete for use in construction but this little-noticed and largely unregulated activity has serious costs  because it damages rivers and ...

Jason Boken

Myanmar’s Jade Center Suspends Most Mining Amid Coronavirus Spike

The Myanmar government has suspended large-scale jade-mining activities in Kachin state, home to the world’s largest jade mine and a magnet for poor scavengers, until early next year in the face of surging coronavirus infections, the state’s natural resources minister said. Large-scale mining in Hpakant township, ...

Elizabeth Jangma for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Ye Kaung Myint Maung. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.

Ministry to probe suspected illegal mining in Mon forest

Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Ministry will investigate reports of illegal gold mining in a forest near Watwun mountain in Kyaikto township, Mon State, a senior official said. U Ye Myint Swe, the ministry’s deputy minister, said an area in the forest has been leased for ...

Yee Ywal Myint

The covert industry that is destroying the world’s rivers

Good sand is surprisingly hard to find, and some of the best — the kind used to make glass, concrete and even iPhones — is usually found only in riverbeds and along coasts. Now researchers are discovering that a global boom in sand mining is ...

The Mekong Delta: an unsettling portrait of coastal collapse

Some environmental disasters present themselves over years; others come with a bang — or a splash. The latter happened one day in August, when residents of Binh My, a commune in Vietnam’s lush Mekong Delta, heard a loud cracking sound. They went outside to watch ...

John Reed

Asia’s new gold: Sand mining threatens life on the Mekong

It’s an essential component of glass, asphalt and concrete. Sand is the stuff of which Asia’s growing megacities are made. In Cambodia, sand is being dredged from the Mekong River at an alarming rate, with disastrous results for local residents. Keep watching ...

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