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ICEM’s project portfolio in South Asia expands

Building on an already extensive track record of experience in South Asia, the ICEM project portfolio in the region has recently expanded with two more projects, building on experience in Nepal and now also including Bhutan. ICEM also added one more project to its current portfolio of projects in Myanmar.

Myanmar hydropower SEA Final Report draft available for review and comment

Yangon, Myanmar –  May 22, 2018: Myanmar Hydropower SEA Final Draft Report available for review and comment

The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the hydropower sector in Myanmar, draft Final Report is now available for review and comment. The SEA focuses on the country’s hydropower potential while mapping out environmental and social complexities. The SEA will identify opportunities to sustain natural river basin processes that regulate and maintain river health and other ecosystems services.

A key recommendation outlined in the SEA is to preserve the mainstems of Myanmar’s key rivers, including the Ayeyarwady, Thanlwin and Chindwin, encouraging decision makers to explore locations that carry less environmental, social and cultural risk.

“Recommending to protect the mainstems of Myanmar’s key rivers would be a monumental achievement with multiple socio-economic benefits, keeping the natural ecosystems of our country. We hope to see this recommendation moved forward by decision makers,” said U Hla Maung Thein, Director General, Environmental Conservation Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC). “Our department has reviewed the SEA final report and recommendations, and we agree with the direction it is pointing hydropower development in.”

According to Daw Mi Mi Khaing, Director General of Department of Electric Power Planning, Ministry of Electricity and Energy (MOEE), “this is the first time we have a basin-wide perspective on environmental and social values, which will help decision makers better site hydropower projects.”

Once finalised, the SEA Final Report will be published online in English and Myanmar. A concise summary will also be made available in select ethnic languages.

Download the draft SEA Final Report

Feedback should be returned in the supplied comment matrix

Deadline for comment is close of business (Yangon) on 12 June, 2018

Send […]

Framework to assess river health in Myanmar presented

Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar –  March 9, 2018: Framework to assess river health in Myanmar presented

As Myanmar develops, pressure on the country’s rivers is increasing. With limited data available to inform management decisions, sustainable development of these key national resources is challenging. In response, the Myanmar Healthy Rivers Initiative (MHRI) was launched; an applied research project designed to help government and communities explore different techniques to monitor river health and inform sustainable management of the rivers and the ecosystem services they supply.

Launched in 2015, the project is managed by the International Centre for Environmental Management (ICEM) with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and local partners Ecosystem Conservation and Community Development Initiative (ECCDI) and Myanmar Institute for Integrated Development (MIID). The project team work with the Ministry of Natural Resources Environment and Conservation (MONREC) and consulted a wide range of stakeholders from national to community level. Support and funding is provided by the WLE Greater Mekong Program and the Australian Government.

This March, final river health monitoring indicators, tools and results were presented to core government partners at the project’s final workshop. The event was also an opportunity to explore next steps and considerations for implementation and up-scaling of the Myanmar River Health Framework, a resource kit which includes characterisation of the main users, uses and values of river systems; a set of simple environmental indicators specifically designed to monitor changes and trends in these uses; a set of assessment tools and approaches; and guidelines on how to implement and analyse river health monitoring and reporting.

The framework was developed with a range of techniques, from analysis of satellite imagery to community based monitoring. The studies were conducted in Myanmar’s two iconic river basins, the Ayeyarwady […]

Notice of public consultation for draft ESIA/ESMP of Sub-Project 1 of the AIRBMP

The Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems (DWIR) is considering a combination of river training structures and dredging to improve year-round and safe accessibility to the port of Mandalay. ICEM has been engaged to prepare the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) for Subproject 1.

The project is part of the World Bank funded Ayeyarwady Integrated River Basin Management Project (AIRBMP), which aims at finding and implementing technical and operational schemes for making improvements of the navigability of the Ayeyarwady River Basin. The goal is “to improve inland water transport in priority stretches of the Ayeyarwady River and design a cost-effective and environmentally and socially acceptable strategy for managing the full length of the navigation channel”.

Public consultation for the draft ESIA and ESMP for Subproject 1 will take place on Thursday, 18 January at the Triumph Hotel in Mandalay at 08:45 am.

The objectives of the public consultation for the draft ESIA/ESMP for Subproject 1 are to:

  • Present an overview of Component 3 of the AIRBMP and Subproject 1;
  • Outline the technical solutions and detailed designs for Subproject 1 based on the results of modeling and simulations;
  • Review the key findings of the draft ESIA/ESMP of Subproject 1;
  • Discuss stakeholder issues and opportunities to be included in the final ESIA/ESMP for Subproject 1; and
  • Outline next steps in relation to the implementation of the Draft ESIA/ESMP and Subproject 1.

The overall objectives of Subproject 1 are to achieve a Least Available Depth (LAD) of 2.0 m for a design of 1,000 dead weight tonne. The river training works and dredging will allow vessels to pass more heavily loaded during dry season, increasing the efficiency of passenger and […]

Major study on hydrogeology of Myanmar’s Dry Zone published

Approximately 15.4 million people, just under 30 % of the population of Myanmar, live in Myanmar’s Dry Zone. Most villages, towns and cities rely on groundwater for potable water supplies, and away from the Ayeyarwady River and tributaries, the Dry Zone is extremely short of water. Villagers without tubewells travel great distances to collect small quantities of water from shallow dugwells and polluted earth ponds.
By |November 17th, 2017|Myanmar news, News, Water news|0 Comments

Baseline information on Ayeyarwady River gathered from local communities

The Ayeyarwady is one of the most important of Myanmar’s rivers for economic development, yet relatively little is still known about this key waterway. Team members of component three of the Myanmar Ayeyarwady Integrated River Basin Management (AIRBM) project, recently turned to local community members to fill some of the gaps in information necessary to inform the future development of the river.
By |August 25th, 2017|Myanmar news, News, Water news|0 Comments

Public invited to discuss planned Ayeyarwady River improvements

The Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems (DWIR) is considering a combination of river training structures and dredging to improve year-round and safe accessibility to the port of Mandalay. ICEM has been engaged to prepare the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) for Subproject 1.

The draft scoping reports for the ESIA and ESMP for Subproject 1 are now available for public comment. To meet the requirements of the Myanmar EIA procedures (2015) and World Bank safeguard policies a Public Consultation meeting will be conducted on Friday 4th August, 2017 in Mandalay to review the Draft Scoping Report. The scoping reports are part of component three of the Myanmar Ayeyarwady Integrated River Basin Management (AIRBM) project. Managed by DWIR with support from the World Bank, the AIRBM project aims to develop and enhance navigation for the full navigable length of the river from Mandalay to Yangon. Navigation is proposed to be enhanced by river training by constructing groynes, guide bunds etc. in the river channel, bank protection works, dredging and installation of navigation aids such as signage, buoys and lighting.

The ESIA will assess the baseline and potential impacts of river improvement works and lead to the preparation of an ESMP and a monitoring framework for the developments. This will ensure that measures are put in place to avoid and mitigate impacts and enhance the sub-project benefits. The environmental and social impacts of sub-project 1 will need to be considered during both the construction and operational phases.

In compliance with the Myanmar EIA procedures (2015) and World […]

Further steps taken to establish country-wide river basin modelling tool for Thailand

Thailand has long recognised that river basin modelling provides important evidence to inform basin planning and integrated water resources management (IWRM). Flood management is closely linked with the broader issues of river basin planning and IWRM, and the need to strengthen it has become urgent after the severe floods of 2011, which affected almost 14 million people across 65 of Thailand’s 77 provinces.
By |July 18th, 2017|News, Thailand News, Water news|0 Comments

New data collected for Ayeyarwady River

New data on key infrastructure, social indicators and environmental issues are being gathered and updated for the Ayeyarwady River between Mandalay and Nyaung Oo. The data will contribute to an environmentally and socially acceptable strategy for managing the future development of inland water transport (IWT) in Myanmar.

Myanmar hydropower SEA draft Baseline Assessment Report now available for public comment

Yangon, Myanmar –  June 8, 2017: Myanmar hydropower SEA draft Baseline Assessment Report now available for public comment

*UPDATE: The deadline for public review has been extended to 20 July 2017

The draft Baseline Assessment Report for the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Hydropower Sector in Myanmar is now available for public review. The document (presented in eight separate chapters) will be available from today (8 June) until 22 June 2017. Following this review period, the baseline chapters will undergo a final round of revisions and comments will be included in the annex. The release of the draft chapters follows on a series of national, basin and local level stakeholder consultations, during which sustainability principles and key themes were refined in order to identify the key strategic environmental and social issues for each river basin.

The SEA comprises three main phases:

  • Scoping and baseline assessment
  • Impact assessment and sustainability analysis
  • Mitigation and recommendations

The scoping and baseline assessment phase led to the preparation of three volumes:
1. Stakeholder Engagement Plan
2. Regional River Basin Consultations – Key Findings
3. Baseline Assessment Report

The draft Baseline Assessment Report, which is now available for review, consists of the following chapters:

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Hydropower
Chapter 3: Geomorphology and sediment transport
Chapter 4: Biodiversity
Chapter 5: Aquatic ecology and fisheries
Chapter 6: Economic development and land use
Chapter 7: Social and livelihoods
Chapter 8: Conflict

Download the draft Baseline Assessment Report chapters

Send your comments to Rory Hunter at rory.hunter@icem.com.au

For more information, visit the SEA of the Hydropower Sector in Myanmar project page

Download the Stakeholder Engagement Plan Report

Download the Regional River Basin Consultations Report

Socio-economic and environmental trends in 3S river basins discussed at regional meeting

What have we learned so far? What are the gaps to be highlighted? And what are the inter-relationships of the issues concerned? These are the questions that were answered during the recent dialogue between government and NGO representatives of the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) countries and technical experts from regional organisations.
  • 3S basins nexus assessment workshop

Trade-offs in 3S river basins deliberated

The Sekong, Sesan and Sre Pok basins are richly endowed with natural resources and support the livelihoods of an estimated 3.5 million people living in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam.  In early-March, potential trade-offs among development decisions in the 3S basins, and their social, economic and environmental risks were the topic of a dialogue involving government representatives of the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) countries and technical experts from regional organisations.

ICEM Director General published in handbook of significant scholarly debates

ICEM Director General, Dr Jeremy Carew-Reid contributed a chapter on strategic environmental assessment of mainstream hydropower development in the Mekong to the recently published Routledge Handbook of the Environment in Southeast Asia.

3S River Basins Study set to begin

The Sekong, Sesan and Sre Pok are transboundary tributaries of the Mekong River. The 3S basins, as they are collectively known, are richly endowed with natural resources and make an important contribution to national and regional development while supporting the livelihoods of 3.5 million people living in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. However, there is a critical need to understand and respond to the risks inherent in the current "growth at all costs" paradigm.

Creating a Vision for Healthy Rivers in Myanmar

"I have seen many changes in the river since I was young," said Pham Maw, a resident of Sein Pan Kone in Northern Myanmar. Pham Maw was one of the stakeholders who recently participated in workshops where views on the state of two of Myanmar's key rivers, and how they should be managed, were shared.
By |July 26th, 2016|Myanmar news, News, Water news|0 Comments

ADB Highlights ICEM Work on Nam Ngiep Dam in Water and Climate Training Session

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently hosted a training session for water and urban development professionals to tackle climate change risks, climate risk management, and climate resilient solutions in the water sector.
By |October 15th, 2015|News, Uncategorized, Water news|0 Comments

L-CRVA Kicks Off in Sekong and Saravane Provinces, Lao PDR

The Lao PDR Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessments for Rural Infrastructure (L-CRVA) kicked off with a series of working sessions and field missions in southern Laos. The project, which aims to build capacity in assessing the climate risk and vulnerability of water infrastructure systems in Sekong and Saravane provinces.
By |September 15th, 2015|Lao PDR news, News, Water news|0 Comments

Depth of ICEM Experience in Rivers to be Featured in 18th Annual International RiverSymposium

Tarek Ketelsen, ICEM Technical Director, will present as a keynote speaker at this year's International RiverSymposium to be held in Brisbane, Australia. Held annually, this premier event brings together river managers, policy developers, scientists, consultants, NGOs and community organisations to share knowledge and innovative ideas on all aspects of river and water management. The theme for this year's Symposium is “Healthy Rivers – Healthy Economies”.
By |August 19th, 2015|News, Water news|0 Comments

ICEM Participates in 2015 FOSS4GNA Geospatial Conference in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – 9 – 12 March, 2015: ICEM Participates in 2015 FOSS4GNA Geospatial Conference in San Francisco

ICEM presented at this year’s FOSS4GNA in San Francisco. FOSS4GNA is one of the largest global gatherings focused on open source geospatial software. It brings together developers, users, decision-makers and observers from a broad spectrum of organizations and fields of operation to foster the development of and support for open source geospatial software in a variety of fields.

The presentation focused on ICEM’s map Impact of Water Supply Infrastructure on Floods and Droughts in the Mekong Region, which was built as part of the Optimising Cascades project. This interactive map highlights results of a study of 67 Mekong dams for indicators such as flood control capacity and natural flood threat of the dam’s catchment. Users are given the option to change which indicator they are viewing at any given time, thus changing the overall picture of floods and dams in the basin. Each map element contains deeper data and information.

The presentation highlighted in particular the Lower Se San Dam, which coincided well with the keynote delivered by Planet Labs, whose high-resolution satellite imagery recently captured the dam’s rapid construction.

FOSS4GNA also afforded the opportunity to develop connections with Development Seed. Development Seed’s work focuses mainly on humanitarian aid, however, its OpenDataKit collection of software, originally designed to gather spatial and on-the-ground information in refugee camps in Lebanon, will likely prove very effective in ICEM’s upcoming projects on the Salween and Irrawaddy rivers in […]

By |March 23rd, 2015|ICEM team news, News, Water news|0 Comments

ICEM workshop on Nam Ngiep 1 climate vulnerability brings with it a number of firsts

In 2014, Nam Ngiep 1 Power Company (NNP1PC) commissioned ICEM to undertake a climate change risk and vulnerability assessment (CRVA) of their Nam Ngiep 1 hydropower facility. The NNP1 CRVA was to be the first comprehensive assessment of climate change impacts to a hydropower facility in Lao PDR and the Mekong Region, and one of the first few comprehensive studies worldwide. The overall objective of the study was to assess the climate risk of the proposed Nam Ngiep Hydropower 1 Project (NNP1) in Lao PDR, and to identify measures to increase its climate resilience.
By |February 28th, 2015|Mekong news, News, Water news|0 Comments

ICEM Brings Spatial Expertise to Mekong Delta Forum

ICEM Brings Spatial Expertise to Mekong Delta Forum The Mekong Delta Forum, co-hosted by MARD, MONRE, World Bank, Australian Aid, Kingdom of the Netherlands, was held in Ho Chi Minh City over February 2 & 3, 2015. The Forum brought together experts, dignitaries, and professionals to address the "what" and "why" of:

Initial Field Mission Establishes Groundwork, Implements Hydraulic Monitoring Program in Khone Falls Channels

ICEM hydrologists have been undertaking field monitoring and training with researchers from WorldFish, the National University of Lao (NUoL), and Ubon Ratchathani Universtiy (UBU). The project Informing Fish Passage in the Mekong River aims to assess the swimming capabilities of migratory fish species in the Khone Falls, Chapasak in Southern Laos.

ICEM holds National Workshop on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in Thailand

On December 13th and 14th 2014, ICEM, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Thai Government’s National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) hosted a National Workshop on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in Thailand at the Woraburi Ayothaya Convention Resort in Ayutthaya.
By |December 30th, 2014|News, Thailand News, Water news|0 Comments

DELTA Tools Team visits Mekong Delta

DELTA Tools Project Team visits Mekong Delta The DELTA Tools project aims to bring climate modeling, hydropower development projections, and land use change together with data on infrastructure investments to facilitate high quality decision making in the Mekong Delta.

National Workshop on Strengthening Integrated Water and Flood Management Implementation in Thailand

BANGKOK, THAILAND – 2-3 July 2014: ICEM and ADB host the National Workshop on Strengthening Integrated Water and Flood Management Implementation in Thailand

On July 2nd and 3rd 2014, ICEM and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) hosted the National Workshop on Strengthening Integrated Water and Flood Management Implementation (IWRM) in Thailand at the Eastin Grand Sathorn Hotel in Bangkok. The workshop was held to promote awareness and consensus on the issues, tools and processes for improving water resource management in Thailand’s river basins, in particular flood and drought prevention and mitigation and water pollution control.

Over the two days, representatives and key personnel from major water management agencies at the national and provincial level, as well as international organisations and the private sector collaboratively discussed and worked through the opportunities and obstacles to IWRM in Thailand.

The workshop saw dynamic presentations and panel discussions about the future of water resource planning in Thailand. Key presentations included:

  • The Application of Satellite Monitoring Tools in Water Resource Management
    Anond Snidvongs – Director General of the Geo-informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA)
  • Economic Planning at River Basin Level to Achieve Sustainable Resource Use
    Ladawan Kumpa – Deputy Secretary General of the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB)
  • Using Managed Aquifer Recharge
    Sittisak Manyou – Senior Geologist of the Department of Groundwater Resources on Mitigation of Floods, Drought and Groundwater Level Declination in Sukhothai, Phitsanulok and Phichit Provinces
  • How to maintain sustainability in water resources and natural systems while achieving flood and drought protection
    Songtam Suksawang – Director of the Research Division, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP)

A full report on the proceedings will be published in […]

By |July 15th, 2014|News, Thailand News, Water news|0 Comments

To reduce flood threats, Nepal builds climate risk into planning

ICEM's Mainstreaming Climate Risk Management in Development project has been featured in a recent article by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Published as part of the Foundation's Human Impact series, the article outlines actions of the ADB-funded project and Nepal's government to coordinate efforts across ministries to build climate resilience into infrastructure planning.