Environment


China is showing interest in reviving long-standing proposals for a deep-water canal through the narrowest part of Thailand’s long peninsula to link the Indian Ocean with the South China Sea. (more…)

When the government in Naypyidaw looks at the Salween River and other rivers in Burma, they don’t see their beauty: they see Thai baht, Chinese yuan, US dollars and Indian rupees. (more…)

A new report reveals that the Myanmar government has allocated at least 5.2 million acres and plans to allocate another 11 million acres of Southeast Asia’s last remaining biodiversity-rich high-value forests to make way for large-scale, private agribusiness projects that often never materialize.
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Six people have been found alive the day after being buried by a collapsed mound of earth at a jade mine in northern Kachin State on Friday, though an unknown number of people are still missing. (more…)

Scientists say a tiny, brown bird long thought to be extinct has been rediscovered in Myanmar’s grasslands, but its fragmented habitat is threatened by human encroachment.
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The Myanmar government plans to focus efforts on building 20 hydropower plants within the Ayeyarwady River basin, according to HydroPower news on February 27.
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Hundreds of residents of the ruby mining town of Mogok, in Mandalay Division, have taken to the streets in recent days to protest against a plan by the local gems traders association to construct a head office and several buildings on a scenic lake in the town’s center.
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Fifty farmers who have not yet received compensation for their farmland that was destroyed by mud from a gas pipeline construction demonstrated in front of the Kyauk Phyu Township Administration office on 19 February.
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Shell Myanmar Energy is poised to spend US$1.2 billion on offshore oil and gas exploration and provide $61 million as a signature bonus to state-run Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) , the Energy Ministry has announced.
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Myanmar needs to take care in how it develops its tourism to avoid the potential for negative impacts on the environment, society and human rights, according to a report just out.
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Authorities in Myanmar are trying to promote the resurgence of cooperative fishing with freshwater dolphins, a practice which has been lost as the species becomes endangered.
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After years of delay, the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry expects to approve a set of environmental quality guidelines by the end of March, officials said on Wednesday.
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Shell and its Japanese partner Mitsui Oil Exploration Company or MOECO have just signed exploration and production sharing contracts with Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise of Myanmar for three deep-water blocks. (more…)

Myanmar is at risk from climate change, according to a worldwide survey just released. Myanmar is on the list of the 25 countries worldwide that could be most affected by climate change, according to the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Index 2015 just released.
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Over 40 farmers are facing difficulties in paying back government loans after seawater destroyed over 400 acres of paddy fields in Sar-Pyin Village in Pauk Taw Township, Arakan State. (more…)

Before giving permission to build coal-fuelled power plants, the government should conduct health assessments of those living near existing projects, mining expert Saw Moe Myint told a forum on power supplies. (more…)

An extensive survey of birds in Myanmar has revealed nearly two dozen not known to have existed in the country, including a large black seabird with a ballooning red neck sack and a tiny black and white falconet with a surprised, panda-like expression. (more…)

An atmosphere of optimism over the sustainable development of hydropower dams in Burma was tempered by serious concern at the country’s first ever public workshop on dams in Naypyidaw early this week.
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The World Bank Group and the International Hydropower Association are helping Myanmar develop a more sustainable hydropower sector by promoting best practices in technical, environmental, and social standards, according to a joint press release from the two organisations issued January 19. (more…)

In open letters to Myanmar’s Ministry of Electric Power and the Thai and Chinese embassies in Yangon, the Burma Rivers Network appealed January 19 for an end to controversial plans to construct dams on the Salween or Thanlwin river. (more…)

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