Environment


Purchasing gold has long been a way for Myanmar people to accrue secure savings, particularly in the absence of an efficient banking system. Today the gold market remains steady in a country with still-limited access to financial services. U Kyaw Win is the secretary of the Myanmar Gold Entrepreneurs Association, senior vice president of the Myanmar Gold Development Public Company and the owner of the U Htone gold shop. In this interview, he offers his assessment of the local gold market.
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The Burmese armed forces have deployed airstrikes against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in efforts to quell illegal logging in the northern region, according to military-owned Myawaddy TV.
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Villagers who say they have suffered from environmental and economic chaos as a result of a newly built hydropower dam in Pegu Division’s Taungtaunggyi held a protest on Sunday, calling on the government to act.
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U Win Myint had little to celebrate during the Thingyan Water Festival. To accommodate the festivities in nearby Mandalay, the authorities had released an extra or unusual amount of water from the Sal Taw Gyi dam, and in the process flooded U Win Myint’s paddy fields in the Mya Nandar Advanced Farmland district, Pa Thein Gyi Township. U Win Myint spent the Water Festival draining his paddy fields.
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Burma’s Department of Fisheries has instituted legal proceedings against twelve factories in Amarapura, claiming that industrial waste from their sites has run off and killed a massive amount of fish and wildlife in Taungthaman Lake, an Amarapura police station officer has confirmed to DVB.
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Over ten thousand Shan farmers gathered in Mong Nai Township, Southern Shan State, requesting the protection of the environment and natural resources in Shan State.
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The future of the Dawei project becomes more shaky as the signing agreement that would kick start construction of the Dawei deep-sea port in Myanmar has been delayed for the third time.
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Authorities in Myanmar’s second-largest city are planning legal action against 17 factories for polluting a local lake, government officials said Thursday.
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YE, Mon State — An estimated 5000 people from villages across Ye Township gathered in Inn Din village on Tuesday morning to protest the Union government’s plan to build a coal-fired power plant in Mon State.
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Thousands of dead fish have washed up on the banks of the Taungthaman lake on two separate occasions over the past month, signalling a deeply unhealthy natural environment.
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Our recent Guns, Cronies and Crops exposé revealed the human toll of the rubber industry in Myanmar, where companies colluded with the former military junta to seize vast tracts of land from farming communities. Two years previously we showed how citizens in Cambodia and Laos had also lost land to the rubber plantations, with devastating impacts on lives and livelihoods. Stories like these abound across the Mekong region, where large-scale rubber plantations are now one of the main drivers of land grabs and deforestation.
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More of the country’s vast natural gas reserve is being made available for domestic use, officials have announced. The Shwe project, which pumps gas to China by pipeline, began releasing more gas for domestic users before the Thingyan festival, according to a statement from the Southeast Asia Gas Pipeline (SEAGP) company.
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As long as the incentives to control natural resources remain, there is little hope for long-term peace in Myanmar.
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Villagers from Ka Htaung Li village in Dawei Township who protested against a gold mining operation that polluted their water sources alleged that they were harassed, punished and warned not to do it again by a Myanmar Army officer, reports Karen News on April 28.
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Australian mining firm Eumeralla Resources and its local partner Myanmar Energy Resources Group (MERG) received approval last year from state authorities to explore a 400km square area in Karenni State. The application, made through Eumeralla’s local Burmese subsidiary Mawsaki Mining Co. which is 70 percent owned by the parent company, still has to be approved by relevant central government authorities but has already raised concerns from local groups worried about the impact that the firm’s activities could have on the environment and the local community. (more…)

Mitsubishi Corporation says it is to conduct soil tests as the Japanese company proceeds with plans for a coal-fired power plant in Ngayokekaung township, Ayeyarwady Region.
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Upper Myanmar’s Chindwin River, a tributary to the great Ayeyarwady, is choking to death – on gold. As it flows through Sagaing Region’s Hkamti township, rich in natural treasures, it is fouled with red sludge and spoil, the ruins of former and active mines and diggings.
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DVB speaks to Sayadaw [head monk] Nanujjota-Bhivamsa, a coordinator and teacher at the international Buddhist Meditation Centre (IBMC), a Burmese vipassana centre and monastery in Nepal’s Kathmandu.
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The Ministry of Cooperatives will begin distributing microloans using US$300 million borrowed from China ahead of the monsoon cultivation season, a senior official says.
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A Burmese environmentalist has been honoured with a prestigious prize for his activism against a billion-dollar dam project.
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