Despite opposition from environmental activists and civil society groups, the junta’s lawmakers could soon pass a new Mining Bill to ease environmental regulations for mining businesses. On 1 December 2016, the National Legislative Assembly will consider the new Mining Bill, which was proposed by the Ministry of Industry to replace the 1967 Mining Act and the 1966 Mineral Royalty Rate Act. The bill had been put on fast track by the junta’s cabinet but has received stiff disapproval from academics and environmental activists.
A criminal court has dismissed defamation and computer crime charges against anti-mine activists. On 29 November 2016, the Southern Criminal Court of Bangkok read the verdict on a lawsuit filed by Akara Resources against Somlak Hutanuwatr and Smit (surname withheld due to privacy concerns), according to iLaw.
Thailand’s cabinet has halted plans to build a controversial coal-fired power plant in the southern Krabi province.
In a landmark case for media, a Thai court has dismissed a criminal defamation case filed against the Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS) and four media workers for airing a program on environment impacts of the gold mining industry. On 16 November 2016, the Bangkok Criminal Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Tungkam Co. Ltd against Thai PBS and four of its current and previous employees. Tungkam is a gold mining company operating in Wang Saphung District of the northeastern Loei Province.
Anti-mine activists in Isaan, fired back against a mining company, demanding the company 3.18 million baht for judicially harassing them. On 12 September 2016, about 30 members of Khon Rak Ban Koed (KRBK), translated as ‘People Who Love Their Home’, attended a hearing at Loei Provincial Court, the Thai PBS reported. The hearing was held to consider the KRBK’s request not to pay the court fee in a civil lawsuit they filed against Tungkum Company, a gold mine operator in Loei.
The Thai Agricultural Minister has said that he might ask the junta leader to enact absolute power under Section 44 of the Interim Charter to build a controversial dam in a national park area, saying tigers have legs to run away from the water.
Fusion, a more environmentally friendly form of energy that operates at the nuclear level, but by combining atoms -- typically forms of hydrogen -- is a potential new answer not only for Thailand's quest for clean energy but for the requirements of the entire planet, and especially economies in transition.
More than two dozen civil society groups have urged the Thai authorities not the pass a Mining Bill, saying that while reducing red tape for mining businesses, the bill will do more harm than good to society.
The largest environmental story to break this month has been The New York Times' exposé of the Mississippi-based Kemper Project's mismanagement, delays, inflated costs, and alleged fraud, making a mockery of the NCPO's plans to convert Thailand from natural gas to 'clean coal'.
Unknown to many Cambodians, severe damage that may affect the whole country is currently occurring. This is being caused by just one dam, the Lower Sesan 2.