In the popular imagination, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has been a boon for the natural world. With more than a third of the global population under some level of lockdown, we’ve delighted to see skies burst back into blueness and wild animals venturing into urban neighborhoods. It’s been easy to convince ourselves that wildlife and the environment have flourished. The truth, however, isn’t so reassuring. The pandemic has created an increase in poaching, animal trafficking, illegal fishing and other environmental crimes.
The ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting on 4 June adopted the Hanoi Plan of Action on Strengthening ASEAN Economic Cooperation and Supply Chain Connectivity in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Through the action plan, economic ministers hope to counter the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak by promoting ASEAN markets for essential goods and strengthening economic cooperation among ASEAN countries.
A press release from the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance announced plans to improve facilities at border gates with Thailand and Viet Nam.
Cambodia’s border crossing points with Thailand and Vietnam are crowded with traffic of cross-border transport and tourists. The country wants to develop the necessary infrastructure to manage this traffic flow to ease cross-border transport and boost trade activities.
The Economic and Financial Policy Committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Aun Pornmoniroth, approved the proposal.
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) and Myanmar will explore opportunities to enhance tourism cooperation through bilateral and multilateral frameworks. This was agreed by the two countries at the 12th Meeting of Myanmar-Laos Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation held in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 6 March 2020.
Lao PDR and Myanmar aim to create a new cooperation master plan. Tourism could help promote each other’s rich culture and heritage and bring their people together.
A 190 kilometer expressway project is set to link Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. Cambodia’s Ministry of Public Works and Transportation reports that the project has reached 20% completion since construction began in March 2019.
Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen underscored that construction of the expressway is in line with regional integration in both the ASEAN and the Greater Mekong Subregion, linking regional transport networks from one country to another.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) report “Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Outbreak on Developing Asia” outlines how the COVID-19 outbreak will affect economic activity in developing Asian economies
As the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) increases its electricity exports, the country is prioritizing safety improvement of its dams. A committee comprising local and foreign experts will conduct dam safety inspections, according to news by the Laotian Times. The Government is also implementing new safety measures and standards.
Government officials and university researchers from Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Thailand, and Viet Nam will work together to examine plastic waste leakage into the Mekong River system. The aim is to understand the current state of plastic pollutants in the region and offer policy recommendations to address the challenges.
A $37.8 million loan deal between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and TTC Energy Development Investment Joint Stock Company (TTC Energy) will provide TTC Energy with long-term financing to develop and operate a 50-megawatt (MW) photovoltaic solar power plant. The solar power plant and its associated facilities will be built in Tay Ninh Province in Viet Nam, and serve the electricity demand of residents and businesses of Ho Chi Minh City and its surrounding areas. This will help reduce 29,760 tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2020.