ENR Code Draft 9.1 in English 25.07.2017

The Secretariat of the Technical Working Group to Create the Environmental Code is pleased to present to the Ministry of Environment Draft 9.1 of the Environment and Natural Resources Code in Khmer and English for review. This Draft 9.1 includes additional modifications to Book 4 Sustainable Management of Natural Resources Titles 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.

The deadline for receiving comments from the Ministry of Environment is 11 August 2017.

We would like to request that all reviewers please use Track Changes in Microsoft Word for submitting comments and use the Comment Submission Form.

We also ask for reviewers to please be specific when providing proposals for substantive revisions and provide as much detail as possible. In other words, to the greatest extent possible, we ask all reviewers to propose in their comments specific changes in the text of the draft Code, rather than providing general comments about different concepts and approaches.

If any reviewers have conceptual concerns, need clarifications, or would like to raise broader issues, we are ready to meet and discuss these at any time. However, it will be beneficial for such discussions to take place as far in advance of the August 11 deadline as possible. Please contact us directly to arrange meetings.

As we are providing this draft in both Khmer and English, we appreciate any comments regarding any edits that might be necessary to ensure the proper meaning and consistency of the two drafts.

We are in the process of preparing an extensive Glossary of terms to accompany the Code. We expect to release a draft of this Glossary in the next several weeks.

ASEAN ICHR Presentation on EIA in ASEAN

I attended the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights Workshop on Human Rights the Environment and Climate Change in Mandalay, Myanmar, on 26-27 September 2015. My presentation focussed on a regional assessment of EIA in ASEAN and proposed an ASEAN Framework Agreement on EIA as a way of promoting sustainable development within ASEAN member countries. Matthew Baird AICHR September 2015

PACT Mekong Partnership for the Environment Bangkok, August 2015

Presentation by Matthew Baird, Environmental Counsel Asia, at the Shared Solutions: Safeguarding Sustainable Development in the Mekong Region. A Symposium hosted by Thailand ONEP, PACT and the Mekong Partnership for the Environment, USAID, Sweden, and the Stockholm Environment Institute. The presentation was on EIA in the Mekong Region examining the developments in EIA in the five countries in the Mekong Region over the past 4 years.

Presentation on Myanmar’s Environmental Governance

Baird EIA Presentation 5 June 2015

Presentation to Myanmar MOECAF, September 2014

EIA Presentation

Cambodia – Draft EIA Law for Community Consultation

The draft EIA law is available for public consultation and comment.

Revised Draft Cambodia EIA law Eng 27 Feb 2014 – Clean


Stimson Centre/NREM Conference in Chiang Rai

Stimson Centre/NREM Workshop

The Stimson Centre partnered with Natural Resources and Environmental Management Centre at Mae Fah Leung University to a hold a workshop on Solutions to Equitable Hydropower Development Planning in the Lower Mekong Basin.

Matthew Baird, Environmental Counsel, presented a paper on the Legal Issues Surrounding the Mekong Main Stream Dams. This paper highlighted the increasing legal and financial risk for Mekong River hydro-power, including the Xayaburi Dam, as a consequence of the developments of environmental law in Thailand and also the development of EIA and Transboundary EIA in Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and China.

Abstract of paper

The development of large-scale hydro-power faces many challenges. One of the significant legal risks is associated with the failure of the project proponent to undertake adequate assessment of the environmental and social impacts of the hydro-power project. Compliance with domestic Environmental Impact Assessment Regimes is, of course, a fundamental prerequisite for project approval and is also required by IFC in order to secure funding. However the consequences for the failure of a project to fully comply with EIA law is not so clear.

Recent decision in Thailand highlight a growing legal risk associated with the failure to comply with domestic legal obligations. Both the decision on the Stop-Global Warming Association against the 300 THB Billion Flood Mitigation Scheme in 2013 and the recent 2014 decision on the legal challenge to the Xayaburi Power Purchase Agreement has shown that failure to comply with domestic EIA laws can have significant legal and financial repercussions.

An analysis of these decisions leads to the overwhelming conclusion that the legal and financial risk for main-stream dams is increasing. The significance of that risk raises doubt as to the viability of future main-stream dams. One analysis of the current legal environment may also raise the question of lender-liability for environmental and social harm, whereby the banks and other financial institutions will be required to provide compensation for such harm.

In the context of the Mekong River Basin a further legal risk is the development of Transboundary EIA obligations. Under the present arrangements for the Mekong River Commission, there is a need for Prior Notification, Prior Consultation and Agreement. The failure of host-countries to following these procedures can also increase the legal risk for proponents, construction companies and financial institutions.



Cambodia EIA Workshop Mondulkiri 24 July 2014

Cambodia EIA Workshop Mondulkiri July 2014

27th LAWASIA Conference 2014 – Bangkok, Thailand, 3-6 October.

LAWASIA is an international organisation of lawyers’ associations, individual lawyers, judges, legal academics, and others which focuses on the interests and concerns of the legal profession in the Asia Pacific region.

LAWASIA facilitates its members’ participation in the most dynamic economic region in the world. Since its inception in 1966, LAWASIA has built an enviable reputation among lawyers, business people and governments, both within and outside the region, as a committed, productive and genuinely representative organisation.


The 27th LAWASIA Conference will be held in Bangkok, Kingdom of Thailand from 3-6 October 2104.

Second South Asia Judicial Roundtable on Environmental Justice (Thimphu, Bhutan), 29 -31 August 2013.

AJNE Bhutan

I was honoured to be able to present a presentation on the Key Principles of EIA Law to the Chief Justices Roundtable on Environmental Justice in Thimpu, Bhutan in August 2013.

Matthew Baird Key Principles of EIA Bhutan 2103

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