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Environmental Concerns on ADB Projects in Mekong Region


Ms. Yuki Akimoto, an attorney who works on human rights and environmental issues concerning development aid to Burma gave her comments to VOA on two controversial infrastructure projects in Burma as part of the Greater Mekong Subregion( GMS ) Economic Cooperation Program. Currently she works with Mekong Watch.

Ms. Akimoto did not think the corresponding international financial institution i.e. the ADB would fund these two projects - Tasan Dam Project and Asian Highway Project - anytime soon because of pressure from some governments and groups like Earthright International.

However, she said the idea behind the GMS Program is to first build an infrastructure within the region in order to promote or stimulate economic growth in the region.

Ms. Akimoto also agreed with groups like Earthright International. She argued that it is really difficult to implement these projects at this time due to sesitivity of those areas and their political instability. With regard to construction of Asian Highway Burma sector, she is of the opinion that it is really difficult to build such a large highway
without causing a lot of environmental damage and human rights abuses.

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