News

Deadliest catch: Thailand's 'ghost' fishing nets help Covid fight

Underwater divers in plastic-choked waters off the coast of Thailand snip through discarded nets tangled around a reef — a new initiative helping protect marine life and aiding the fight against coronavirus. The “ghost nets” discarded from the country’s lucrative fishing industry are a deadly source ...

AFP

Thailand Rejects New Technical Report on Large-Scale Lao Mekong Mainstream Dam

Thailand has rejected a new technical report on Laos’ Sanakham dam project, one of nine large-scale Mekong River mainstream dams integral to Vientiane’s controversial economic strategy of becoming the “Battery of Southeast Asia.” The 684-megawatt Sanakham dam is one of seven future dams in various stages ...

Reported by RFA’s Lao Service. Translated by Max Avary. Written in English by Eugene Whong.

'Dust dome' to blame for city's haze

The drop in air quality across Bangkok over the past week is caused by an urban “dust dome” over the city, which formed as low atmospheric pressure and high-rise buildings trapped dust and other pollutants from the burning of agricultural waste, says Natural Resources and ...

APINYA WIPATAYOTIN

Parks Dept rejects Karen call to return

The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) has rejected a request by a group of evicted Karen villagers to be allowed to resettle in their ancestral home deep into a forest at the Kaeng Krachan National Park in Phetchaburi. “As long as there ...

APINYA WIPATAYOTIN

Award-winning Thai community continues the fight to save its wetland forest

Srongpol Chantharueang remembers his parents telling him as a boy always to protect the local wetland forest when he grew up. They told him that the ecosystem would be important for his life and that of his community. “I didn’t understand what they meant at ...

Carolyn Cowan

Why is Laos building Mekong dams it doesn't need?

Thailand’s economic slump during the coronavirus pandemic led to a drop in electricity demand, with Thai officials estimating power reserves currently at 50% over total capacity.  However, despite the Thai surplus, hydroelectric dams are still being developed next door in Laos, Thailand’s top provider of electricity. Critics say the dam projects are not driven ...

Emmy Sasipornkarn

Making palm oil more sustainable

Palm oil has long been a major economic backbone of Southeast Asian economies, notably Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. But the undeniable environmental impact of extensive deforestation, haze and forest fires caused by oil palm plantations has given the industry a bad reputation that has been ...

APIRADEE TREERUTKUARKUL

This Thai village created a tiny fish reserve years ago. Today, it's thriving.

IN 1998, PEOPLE in Na Doi, a quiet village in northwest Thailand, noticed that their fish catches in the nearby Ngao River were declining. The fish they did manage to net were also getting smaller. Together, Na Doi’s 75 households decided to try a radical solution: ...

RACHEL NUWER

Govt eyes more cash handouts

The government is considering giving financial assistance to people affected by the latest outbreak of Covid-19, government sources revealed on Monday. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday met for talks with Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow and Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith at Government House. Also present were ...

CHATRUDEE THEPARAT

Younger children struggle with distance learning

Like many Thai students, Tanwa Ngernpot, a six-year-old student in Nonthaburi province, can’t return to school after the New Year holiday. The Education Ministry last week ordered all public and private education providers in the “maximum control zones” of 28 provinces to be close until Jan ...

DUMRONGKIAT MALA

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