Mekong Eye

Myanmar’s environment hit by rare earth mining boom

Kachin State’s Chipwi Township in northernmost Myanmar is known for its pristine forests and crystal-clear water. But 10 years ago, local residents started noticing the patches of land that had been cleared on the lush mountains surrounding their town, which borders China’s Yunnan province. It started ...

Maran

Environment ignored as Myanmar struggles with coup

When Myanmar’s military staged a coup more than one year ago and seized power from a democratically-elected civilian government, not only did it undo a decade of opening up the country that brought a degree of freedom and prosperity to ordinary citizens, it also condemned ...

Thin Lei Win

Unraveling the Mystery of Laos U-Turn from Renewables to Coal to Power the Battery of Southeast Asia

After years of hydropower supercharging Laos’ successful ambition to become the key power exporter in the region, Laos’ energy export market has taken a surprising turn towards coal. According to most international analysis from Carbon Tracker to Bloomberg, carbon is dying. Yet in Laos, energy carbon production went ...

Kannikar Petchkaew

Thailand’s pangolin pipeline

In the early hours of a Sunday morning this past March, officers manning a roadside checkpoint in Thailand’s Prachuap Khiri Khan province were hardly fooled when an approaching pick-up attempted to bypass their blockade by hastily detouring down a side road 300m away. The officers gave ...

Chuleeporn Butrkote

Vietnam’s social media shaping new environmentalism

“I am frequently on several environmental online forums and campaigns led by Vietnamese, who have addressed Hanoi’s logging of 6,700 trees, the Thai Binh deforestation for economic development, and the construction in Cat Ba,” says Tran Thi Thuy Binh, a member of the Vietnam Forum ...

A look inside Xayaburi dam

The Xayaburi dam, with installed capacity of 1,260 MW, is the first one among 12 mainstream dams on the Mekong river. Located approximately 30 kilometers east of Xayaburi district, in northern Laos, this $3.2 billion dam is a controversial case: while Laos and dam-developers are ...

The Bird’s eye view: what endangered birds tell us about the risks of Mekong development

The Thai government started 2017 announcing another major commitment to transportation expansion: US$25 billion to finance futuristic high-speed trains, super highways and expanded sea and airports. Far less glitzy but immediately controversial, however, was one of its final transportation acts of 2016: preparing to restart, after ...

Uncertain path for Vietnam’s wind power sector

The country needs transparent and credible pricing mechanisms if generating targets are going to be met Although Vietnam has great potential for renewable energy, and the government has put forward many plans advocating it, actual policies to secure investment and develop the sector have been ...

Will Vietnam launch a “resolution 10” on renewable energy?

Vietnam has strongly committed to develop renewable energy. Experts expect implementation of these commitments will create a “Resolution 10” for the energy sector. Resolution 10 is the name of a critically important Vietnamese reform in 1988. This policy helped to liberalize the freedom and the ...

The risks of diverting water

Thuong Kon Tum dam, which is built in the Dak Snghe River watershed, is one of the biggest hydropower projects in the basin of the Se San river. The effect of the dam is still questionable but it raises concerns about environmental impacts as the ...

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