Mekong River basin residents demand stop to upriver dams

Many people in Viet Nam, Thailand and Cambodia are demanding a stop to the construction of hydropower dams in the Mekong River basin, which they claim have destroyed their livelihoods.

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Immediate Release from Mekong People’s Forum

An Giang, Vietnam – More than 100 people gathered yesterday in An Giang, Vietnam for the historic Mekong People’s Forum: “Local Mekong People’s Voices: the message to Mekong governments on Mekong dams.” Participants included community members from the Tonle Sap lake, communities along the Mekong and 3S Rivers in Cambodia, from Northern and Northeastern Thailand’s communities along the Mekong and from An Giang, Dak Lak and Ca Mau, Vietnam. Most people have already experienced direct impacts from dams on the Mekong and its tributaries. The meeting marks the first time that communities from different Mekong countries have organized themselves to create a common platform from which to raise their concern regarding the impacts of existing and planned hydropower projects on the Mekong River.

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Mineral exploitation damaging VN environment, report

Minerals have been exploited in such large quantities that it has caused serious devastation to people’s living environment.

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Law enforcement officers and journalists honored for their contribution to wildlife protection

HANOI, October 14, 2015 — Today, the United States Agency for International (USAID), Freeland and Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV) hosted the second annual “Outstanding Achievement Awards for Wildlife Protection” ceremony to honor five law enforcement officers and two journalists for their contributions to the protection of wildlife in Vietnam.

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Effectiveness, transparency of environment protection fee questioned

Participants questioned the transparency as well as effectiveness of collecting environmental protection fee from miners at a conference* recently held in Hanoi.

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Workshop: Environmental and Social Index for Developing and Monitoring the Provincial REDD+ Action Plan!

In 2013 and 2014, RESI tool had been tested in Lam Dong and piloted in 04 provinces: Son La, Dien Bien, Kon Tum and Kien Giang. In order to introduce RESI tool and share outcomes of piloted assessment, PanNature in collaboration with the project partners will organize the consultation workshop on Environmental and Social Index for Developing and Monitoring the Provincial REDD+ Action Plan

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Vietnamese plea to Thailand: Don’t divert the Mekong

PEOPLE in Vietnam hope Thailand will reconsider its plan to divert water from the Mekong – because it would seriously affect their ability to produce food.

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Coal mine threat to Quang Ninh

Experts at a seminar here yesterday issued warnings about the uncontrolled exploitation of coal in Quang Ninh Province.

The seminar was held by the People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) shortly after the heaviest rains in 40 years hit the province, causing flooding, landslides and toxic sludge spills from open-cut mines.

The torrential caused sludge to flow into local communities and into Ha Long Bay, creating immediate and ongoing health and environmental hazards.

Workers clean the environment after the recent flood in Quang Ninh Province. Experts issued warnings about the uncontrolled exploitation of coal in the province. (Photo:

Workers clean the environment after the recent flood in Quang Ninh Province. Experts issued warnings about the uncontrolled exploitation of coal in the province. (Photo:

Do Thanh Bai, a member of the Chemical Society of Viet Nam, said the over exploitation of coal had created big changes in the province’s geomorphology. He said this caused severe damage to the economy and to the environment.

“Water pollution has become alarming,” Bai said. “Coal contains a lot of sulphur, which quickly pollutes water. In some areas, it also contains acid and heavy metals such as lead, zinc and mercury.

“This dissolves in the water, polluting the waters of Ha Long Bay. Water pollution also degrades soil in the province.”

Dr. Dao Trong Tu, director of the Centre for Sustainable Development of Water Resources and Adaptation to Climate Change (CEWAREC), said the coal-run Mao Khe Thermal Power Plant had heavily polluted the Gao River and caused huge impacts in the communes of Trang An and Xuan Son in Dong Trieu district.

Dr Tu said authorities had not found a sustainable solution to deal with the pollution in the stream.

Most mines run by the Viet Nam Coal Corporation are open cuts, meaning they are open to the air.

Cam Pha city stores the biggest quantity of sludge from the mines, about 60 million to 70 million cubic metres per year.

Bai said that to protect the environment, residue should be klept in a separate area from homes.Trees should be planted in between to limit pollution instead of simply covering the residue with canvas, which showed negligence by the investor and local authorities.

Bai said when the area was hit by floods, sludge from the mines washed into the local communities. He said it was important that the province restructure deposits of coal residue. — VNS

Dao Trong Hung from the Viet Nam Academy of Science and Technology, said that coal residue at Hoa Khanh district was 300m high, adding that this posed a threat to Ha Long Bay.

He said it was that Ha Long Bay was surrounded by thousands of hectares of open-face coal mines and multiple coal-fired power plants.

“I am afraid for the biodiversity of the bay. The toxins in the water will destroy various kind of aquatic life”, said Hung.

“Until now, the management board of the bay has not found an efficient solution to eradicate pollution.”

Hung said open-cut mining should be reduced around the major cities of Ha Long, Dong Trieu, Uong Bi. — VNS

Source: Vietnamnews

Training on sustainable uses and management of forest for women in Son La province

From 7th to 10th July 2015, a short training on sustainable uses and management of forest was specifically designed and organized for members of Women Union in Chieng Xuan and Xuan Nha commune, Van Ho district, Son La province, aiming at enhancing the capacity and participation of local women in utilization and management of forest and associated resources.

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Field study: Ethnic women’s role in management and utilization of forest resources

In order to promote gender equality in management and utilization of forest resources PanNature conducts Project Improve role of ethnic women in forest management and their fair access to forest resources in Xuan Nha Nature Reserve, Son La province. The project is supported by GREEN Mekong Chalange Fund and implemented from February to August 2015.

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People and Nature Reconciliation | Office: 24 H2, Khu do thi moi Yen Hoa
Yen Hoa quarter, Cau Giay district, Hanoi, Vietnam
Phone: ++844 3556-4001 | Fax: ++844 3556-8941 | Email: