CEP Core Documents

Here we provide the core documents for the program, including the Technical Assistance paper, Phase II inception report, procurement plan, as well as our annual and semi-annual progress reports.

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GMS Environment Media Roundup–December 2015

13th January 2016

Greater Mekong Subregion

Paris climate change agreement: the world's greatest diplomatic success
In the final meeting of the Paris talks on climate change on Saturday night, the debating chamber was full and the atmosphere tense. Ministers from 196 countries sat behind their country nameplates, aides flocking them, with observers packed into the overflowing hall.
Source: The Guardian (December 14, 2015)
Paris agreement gives hope in fight against climate change
A global agreement driven by diplomacy and furnished with some of the tools required to combat global warming has been adopted at the Paris summit of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Source: China Dialogue (December 12, 2015)

ADB boosts climate funds
The pool of climate finances available to Southeast Asia is set to expand following an announcement by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) that it plans to double its climate funding to the region by 2020 – a move welcomed by the Cambodian government and climate NGOs yesterday.
Source: Phnom Penh Post (December 16, 2015)
Mekong Region: Asia’s new growth center and strategic frontier
The Mekong countries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam are emerging to be not only the new growth center but also a new strategic frontier in Asia.
Source: Khmer Times (December 10, 2015)

Border markers’ inauguration reflects Vietnam-Cambodia’s joint resolve
The inauguration of two border markers along the Vietnam-Cambodia border on December 26 demonstrated the two countries’ resolve to build a border of peace, friendship, cooperation and sustainable development, Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung said.
Source: Vietnam Plus (December 27, 2015)
Road link to Laos-Myanmar bridge nears completion
The final unpaved section of Road No. 17B linking the Laos-Myanmar Friendship Bridge to Luang Namtha province is currently being surveyed prior to asphalt being laid.
Source: Vientiane Times (December 29, 2015)
Laos, Vietnam agree to extend cooperation
The Intergovernmental Committee on Bilateral Cooperation between Laos and Vietnam convened its 38th meeting in Vientiane on December 27 to consider the execution of the Laos-Vietnam Cooperation Agreement since 2011.
Source: Vientiane Times (December 29, 2015)
Boten-Mohan border checkpoint, a gateway to strengthen Laos-China-ASEAN cooperation
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic shares a 505-km borderline with the People’s Republic of China in the north.
Source: KPL Lao News Agency (December 15, 2015)
Thai investments in ASEAN countries increase
Thailand invested 64.75 billion baht (about US$1.9 billion) into other ASEAN nations, accounting for 27 per cent of the total of 242.9 billion baht channelled overseas from January to September this year, according to the Bank of Thailand.
Source: Bernama (December 29, 2015)


Minister confirms purchase of shares in China-led development bank
The government will spend $62.3 million to buy 623 shares of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), paving the way for it to obtain funds from the bank for infrastructure development, Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Porn Moniroth confirmed during a meeting at the National Assembly on Monday.
Source: Khmer Times (December 23, 2015)
Responding to climate change
As COP21 comes to a close, it would be best to remember that tackling climate change won’t happen overnight. It will be a long road ahead and the Paris conference should serve as a roadmap for longer term climate action.
Source: Phnom Penh Post (December 11, 2015)
CSOs seek input on climate policies
Civil society and government representatives met at the Royal University of Phnom Penh yesterday to discuss how both sides can cooperate to formulate climate change policies that fulfill the Kingdom’s treaty obligations in the wake of the historic climate accord reached in Paris earlier this month.
Source: Phnom Penh Post (December 25, 2015)

Gov’t warns big dry spell, extreme weather coming
The country is headed for a prolonged dry spell for the first half of next year as the El Nino weather phenomenon hits hard, the government warned yesterday, urging people to put water conservation plans into effect now.
Source: Khmer Times (December 23, 2015)
Rosewood exports down
In the first nine months of 2015, exports of Cambodian rosewood to China – the Kingdom’s largest market for the protected species – have declined by as much as 95 per cent compared with the same period last year, data released by NGO Forest Trends show.
Source: Phnom Penh Post (December 28, 2015)
Cambodia inaugurates 6th Chinese-built hydropower plant
Cambodia has inaugurated its sixth Chinese-built hydro power plant, bringing the country's total power supplies by dams of up to 927 megawatts.
Source: Bangkok Post (December 24, 2015)
Cambodia PM stands by hydropower, dismisses critics as 'extremists'
Cambodia's prime minister defended his government's energy policy on Wednesday and hit back at environmentalists opposed to hydropower plants by suggesting their electricity be cut off and they should use resin torches instead.
Source: Reuters (December 23, 2015)
Cambodia seeks Chinese money for power grid
As Cambodia talks cooperation on a nuclear power plant and expertise with Russia, Prime Minister Hun Sen is urging China to increase its lending to help the country boost its electricity production.
Source: Khmer Times (December 23, 2015)
Tycoon senator opens up on Thai power deal
Cambodia’s electricity generation reached 2.714 billion kilowatt hours last year, of which 1.851 million KWh was generated by hydro dams and 863.02 million KWh by coal-powered plants. Household access to electricity rose 18.8 percent, compared to 2013, according a report from Cambodia’s Electricity Authority.
Source: Khmer Times (December 27, 2015)
Last talks on compensation for Phnom Penh railway residents
Authorities in Tuol Kork district’s Toek Laok I Commune on Saturday informed 22 families living along the Asia Development Bank (ADB)-funded railway line that they need to discuss compensation directly with Australian company Toll Holdings within the next month, officials said.
Source: Khmer Times (December 27, 2015)
New Vietnam border markers feted
Prime Minister Hun Sen inaugurated two border markers with Vietnam over the weekend, including one in Ratanakkiri province close to where some 40,000 hectares in land concessions were revealed last week to be controlled by the Vietnamese military.
Source: Phnom Penh Post (December 28, 2015)
Villagers seek land dispute intervention in capital
Representatives of 253 families embroiled in a land dispute with government officials in Preah Vihear province yesterday came to Phnom Penh to seek intervention after being ignored by provincial authorities, they said.
Source: Phnom Penh Post (December 24, 2015)
Rosewood bust at Tbong Khmum pepper field
Officers from Tbong Khmum provincial police’s anti-economic crime unit yesterday seized 36 pieces of luxury rosewood timber dumped in a pepper field in Memot district’s Memot commune.
Source: Phnom Penh Post (December 30, 2015)
Officials raid four ‘anarchic’ gold mines in Prey Lang forest
About 70 officials raided four illegal gold mines in Kompong Thom province’s Sandan district on Wednesday but made no arrests as all the camps had been abandoned, officials said on Thursday.
Source: The Cambodia Daily (December 25, 2015)

People’s Republic of China
For China, climate deal is imperfect but huge step forward
For China, the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter, the global climate accord reached in Paris marked a huge step toward greener growth that safeguards its sovereignty while falling short on funding for cleaner energy.
Source: Reuters (December 13, 2015)

China's environment in 2015: a year in review
This year saw China introduce bold new regulation to tackle its environmental crisis. But can these laws be enforced effectively?
Source: China Dialogue (December 23, 2015)
China pays heavy environmental price for economic growth
Over the last half century China’s economy has grown 80-fold, but a huge environmental price has been paid. A recent report from WWF has tracked 2,419 populations of 682 species, finding that from 1970 to 2010 populations of land-dwelling vertebrates fell by 50%. The biggest fall, 97%, was seen in amphibious reptiles.
Source: China Dialogue (December 22, 2015)
Asian Development Bank agrees loans to China to tackle pollution
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to loan China $430 million to support government efforts to reduce coal use and tackle the choking smog that regularly envelops the capital and other major cities, it said on Thursday.
Source: Reuters (December 10, 2015)
Environmental lapses cost China coal-fired power producers $98 million
Violations of environmental regulations for scrubbing coal emissions have cost Chinese power producers 635 million yuan ($98.33 million) in lost subsidies and fines under new regulations that came into effect in 2014, the country's central planning commission said.
Source: Reuters (December 14, 2015)
Forecasting China's smog seen as business opportunity for IBM and Microsoft
Two of the world’s largest technology firms, IBM and Microsoft, are vying to tap the fast-growing market for forecasting air quality in the world’s top carbon emitters.
Source: The Guardian (December 29, 2015)
Amid smog crisis, China vows more liveable cities
China vowed on Tuesday that it would make "liveable" cities a central goal of China's urban planning, amid persistent problems over choking smog that frequently blankets the populous east and north.
Source: Reuters (December 22, 2015)
China detains 10 company officials over fabricated pollution data
Police in China have detained 10 company officials for fabricating pollution data, the environment ministry said on Thursday, as the government steps up inspections of businesses amid growing public discontent over pollution.
Source: Reuters (December 17, 2015)
China to cut on-grid tariffs for solar, wind power: state planner
China will cut payments to wind and solar electricity generators for contributing power to the grid, the country's state planning commission said on Thursday, reflecting recent declines in operating costs.
Source: Reuters (December 24, 2015)

Lao People's Democratic Republic

Laos turns ASEAN economic challenges into opportunities
As Chair of ASEAN in 2016, Laos is exerting every effort to turn challenges from the year-end establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) into opportunities, reports Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
Source: Bernama (December 29, 2015)
Convoy of Lao trucks transports logs to Vietnam, despite ban on timber exports
Laos has continued to transport logs from its forests to Vietnam, despite a government ban on timber exports that took effect in August and a leaked report by an international environmental group two months ago, revealing huge increases in illegal logging with the implication of government collusion.
Source: Radio Free Asia (December 30, 2015)

Japan-based aid group sets up fish, timber projects in rural Laos
Despite enjoying robust economic growth, Laos continues to face challenges in development, particularly in rural areas.
Source: Japan Times (December 3, 2015)


Climate initiatives must not include large hydropower projects – NGOs
 In a global manifesto released on the 3 December, a coalition of more than 300 civil society organizations from 53 countries called on governments and financiers at the Paris climate talks to keep large hydropower projects out of climate initiatives such as the Clean Development Mechanism, the World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds, and green bonds.
Source: Burma News International (December 3, 2015)

Jade mining firms break agreement to stop dumping waste into lake in landslide-prone Hpakant
Some jade mining companies have reportedly continued to dispose of dump soil into a big lake locally known as "Ever Lake" in Hsaijabwam Village, Ayemyatha Ward, Hpakant Township, Kachin State, violating their agreement with local people to stop dumping there.
Source: Eleven Myanmar (December 1, 2015)
New deadly landslide hits Myanmar jade mine
Dozens of people were feared missing Saturday in the latest landslide to hit a remote jade mining region in northern Myanmar, the second such deadly incident in just over a month.
Source: The Nation (December 26, 2015)
Myanmar’s Parliament seeks answers about jade mining industry from government
Myanmar’s parliamentary speaker asked the government on Monday to explain jade mining conditions and the import of heavy machinery in the northern township of Hpakant, where more than 100 people died in a landslide of mining debris last month.
Source: Radio Free Asia (December 21, 2015)

LCB Ruby Project to maintain Yadana natural gas project
France-based Total has started the explorations at three oil and gas projects it has been awarded in Myanmar, including LCB Ruby, which is expected to complement supply from the nearby Yadana project beyond 2020.
Source: The Nation (December 18, 2015)

ADB, Japan to help boost opportunities for entrepreneurs in 4 Mon towns
Japan and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) are supporting a project that aims to scale up incomes and new employment opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs selling crafts and local food to tourists and residents in four townships in Mon state—Chaungzon Island, Kyaikto, Mawlamyine and Mudon, according to a press release on 16 December.
Source: Burma News International (December 17, 2015)

INGOs push disaster risk education in Myanmar
With earthquakes, flooding and cyclones an ever-present danger, the importance of DRR or Disaster Risk Reduction education is growing in importance in Myanmar.
Source: Burma News International (December 23, 2015)

Japan banks urged to stop supporting coal-fired power stations
Request letters were handed in to the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), urging them to withdraw their support for coal-fired power plant projects in Burma.
Source: Burma News International (December 8, 2015)


Government green light for power purchase from Laos 
The government approved a draft memorandum of understanding (MoU) yesterday to purchase electricity from the Nam Thuen 1 hydro power project in Laos.
Source: Bangkok Post (December 22, 2015)
Farmers, poor call for forest dweller rights
Groups representing farmers and poor people in northern provinces have called on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to keep his government's promise to resolve land rights problems.
Source: Bangkok Post (December 23, 2015)
Dept mulls fate of forest encroachers
The state must try harder to keep national parks clear of illegal occupiers if it is to reach its goal of preserving the forests, said Tanya Netithammakun, deputy director-general of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation 
Source: Bangkok Post (December 21, 2015)

Surasak raps graft claims
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Surasak Kanjanarat warned yesterday that legal action will be taken against anyone who accuses his ministry's officials of being involved in corruption without strong evidence. 
Source: Bangkok Post (December 26, 2015)
GMO bill would 'give farmers rights' 
A controversial bill regulating genetically modified organisms would give farmers the right to decide whether or not they want to plant GM seeds, a member of the committee which drafted the legislation says.
Source: Bangkok Post (December 27, 2015)
Ministry gets ready to fight drought
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will seek cabinet approval Tuesday to temporarily lift the ban on using underground water in the capital and its vicinity in preparation to fight severe drought next year.
Source: Bangkok Post (December 15, 2015)
Onep wants local experts for EIA work
The National Environment Board yesterday agreed with an Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning's (Onep) proposal for local groups of experts to undertake environmental impact assessment (EIA) studies of special economic zone projects.
Source: Bangkok Post (December 26, 2015)
4.5 tonnes of ivory seized in huge Interpol operation
A huge international police operation has seized 4.5 tonnes of African elephant and rhino tusks in Thailand and Singapore, leading to 376 arrests, Interpol said.
Source: Bangkok Post (December 23, 2015)

Viet Nam

Vietnam to create national greenhouse gas inventory system
The Prime Minister has approved the creation of the national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory system (NGHGIS), which will begin operation from 2016.
Source: Vietnam Plus (December 23, 2015)
Outcomes of UN climate change conference publicized
The significance of the outcomes of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in France’s Paris was highlighted at a press conference in Hanoi on December 16. 
Source: Vietnam Plus (December 16, 2015)
Mekong to battle climate change
The infrastructure needs of the Mekong Delta to battle the impact of climate change will be a key factor before setting up six agro-ecological zones in the region, Deputy Minister of Construction Phan Thi My Linh said in Hanoi early this week.
Source: Vietnam Plus (December 23, 2015)
Millions in coastal areas benefit from mangrove forest
Millions of residents in 10 coastal and mountainous provinces have benefited from a project on mangrove forestation and disaster risk mitigation implemented by the Vietnam Red Cross between 2011-2015.
Source: Vietnam Plus (December 15, 2015)

Vietnam’s agriculture contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions: minister
Vietnam has successfully applied a range of agricultural production models to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat has said.
Source: Nhan Dan (December 4, 2015)
Deputy PM Hai urges replicating effective forest protection and development models
Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai has asked for effective forest protection and development models to be followed while calling for further investment in the forestry sector.
Source: Nhan Dan (December 10, 2015)
Uppermost Na Hang district protects biodiversity
Covering an area of more than 21,000 ha, facing the Gam river, Na Hang special-use forest, located in the uppermost Na Hang district of north-eastern Tuyen Quang province, is ranked the 223rd most diverse eco-system in the world, according to the district's Forest Ranger Department.
Source: Vietnam Plus (December 21, 2015)
Drought hits Vietnam’s southern localities
Although the dry season has started, many areas in south-eastern region have faced with prolong drought which would affect the lives of local farmers.
Source: Vietnam Plus (December 17, 2015)
HCM City spends 444 million USD for flooding control
The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee on December 17 chose Trungnam Group to implement the phase 1 of a project to control flooding caused by tides in the City.
Source: Vietnam Plus (December 18, 2015)
Nearly VND362 billion earmarked for pollution treatment in 27 localities
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has decided to allocate VND361.76 billion (US$16 million) from the State budget to support 27 localities across the nation in handling serious environmental pollution in the public utility sector.
Source: Nhan Dan (December 1, 2015)
New climate innovation centre opens
A new business hub supporting local clean-tech enterprises was launched on December 11 with a budget of US$4.2 million.
Source: Nhan Dan (December 12, 2015)
Pilot programme improves students' awareness on water conservation
More than 1,600 primary school students in Thanh Oai and My Duc districts on the outskirts of Hanoi are now more aware about conserving water thanks to an education programme.
Source: Vietnam Plus (December 18, 2015)
Two tonnes of elephant tusks seized in Vietnam
More than two tonnes of elephant tusks, illegally brought into Vietnam from Mozambique have been seized, an official said Friday.
Source: Viet Nam Breaking News (December 18, 2015)

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GMS E-Updates (April to June 2012)

23rd July 2012

This quarterly publication produced by the ADB highlights recent and upcoming initiatives and events from the GMS Economic Cooperation Program. In this edition, the feature article focuses on the current environmental context in the GMS and how the Core Environment Program and Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Initiative will respond as it embarks on its second phase. 

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