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Activists Fear Toxic Pollution from Malaysia Rare Earths Plant – February 25, 2013

Facility near South China Sea slated to be largest rare earths processing operation outside China

HANOI —  Citizen groups in Malaysia are opposing a new rare earths processing plant on the country's eastern coast.

Anti-Lynas protest Photo by Flickr user avlxyzLocal environmentalists echo scientists' claims that the plant will contaminate watersheds and
groundwater, and that the Australian mining company, Lynas, has not yet produced a safe
plan for disposing of the plant's radioactive wastes.

The Australian company behind the project, which received a temporary operating license in September, says the plant complies with Malaysian and international laws. But local activists echo scientists' claims that the plant will contaminate watersheds and groundwater, and that the company has not… more

by: Mike Ives

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Burmese Environmentalists Slam Proposed Economic Zone – November 20, 2012

Some Burmese worry that natural resource plunder will only increase in wake of Obama visit

YANGON — Myanmar (also known as Burma) is basking in the glory of Barack Obama's visit this week — the first by a sitting American president to a nation that had until recently had been considered a repressive pariah state.

photonameDawei Development Company LimitedAn artist’s impression of the finished Dawei project.

Burma, a resource-rich nation in Southeast Asia, has captured the world's attention in recent months as its military-backed government rolls out unprecedented political and economic reforms.

But environmental and human rights activists are wary: They wonder how serious the government really is about upending a status quo that for decades has allowed corrupt… more

by: Mike Ives

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Mekong River Commission Postpones Decision on Controversial Dam in Southeast Asia – December 13, 2011

But it Might be too Early to Celebrate a "Reprieve" for the Mekong River

This autumn I wrote an article for Earth Island Journal about a brewing controversy over 11 proposed hydropower dams on Southeast Asia’s Mekong River. 

Photo by Prince RoyLaos says the $3.5 billion Xayaburi dam and other dams would help to lift its people out of poverty.

Debate swirling around the first proposed dam, which would be situated in a remote province of northern Laos, has made international headlines this year as environmentalists across the region warn of the likely adverse effects on the Mekong and the 60 million people living in its watershed. Impoverished Laos says the $3.5 billion Xayaburi dam and other dams would help to lift its… more

by: Mike Ives

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Vietnam’s Mekong Delta Will Soon Have its First Wind Farm – November 22, 2011

But Independent Expert calls Communist Country’s Wind-Energy Plans Unrealistic

HANOI— A Vietnamese company is building what would be the first wind farm in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, with technical assistance from the energy giant General Electric.

Photo by David CongerGeneral Electric has started work on a 16 megawatt, 10-turbine wind farm in the Mekong Delta.

GE announced plans for the ten-turbine farm in July, and GE spokeswoman Adeline Teo said last Friday (Nov. 18) that construction is underway. Teo told Earth Island Journal that she didn’t have details immediately available on when the farm will be operational.

The American company has said the wind farm will produce 16 megawatts of electricity on a site… more

by: Mike Ives

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China Prepares to Dam (Another) Wild River – August 23, 2011

Plan Would Help Boost Nation’s Renewable Energy Use but Harm Ecosystems and People

Some developers love Yunnan Province, in Southwest China, because its three major rivers — Mekong, Yangtze and Salween — hold vast hydropower potential. The Mekong has four dams and counting, and the Yangtze has the controversial Three Gorges Dam, the largest hydropower project in the world. But the Salween a.k.a. Nu River still runs wild from the snowy Himalayas to the tropical coast of Burma.

Photo courtesy International RiversThe first bend of the winding Nu river in the Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Site in Southwest
China. The nation plans to dam the Nu by the end of 2015.

Now a state-owned Chinese… more

by: Mike Ives

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