Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Thailand Expat
    dirtydog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Pattaya Jomtien
    Posts
    58,776

    Mae Moh Mine Freshwater Snail Fossil Deposit destroyed

    MAE MOH MINE / FRESHWATER SNAIL FOSSIL DEPOSIT
    Court ruling soon on cabinet allowing Egat to destroy fossils

    APINYA WIPATAYOTIN

    The Central Administrative Court has set July 26 to hand down its verdict on whether four government entities were implicated in malpractice leading to the destruction of the world's richest freshwater snail fossil deposit in Lampang. The suit was filed by residents of Mae Moh district, where what remains of the fossil deposit is located.

    It names as defendants the industry minister, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat), the cabinet, and the Primary Industries and Mines Department.
    The group lodged the complaint with the Administrative Court in April 2005, soon after Egat began blasting the 43-rai fossil deposit to get to the lignite deposits.
    Estimated to be 13 million years old, the fossil discovery was confirmed by the Mineral Resources Department in 2003.
    Sitting in layers of up to 12 metres deep, the site is believed to be the richest known freshwater snail fossil deposit in the world.
    The villagers asked the court to nullify a December 2004 cabinet resolution reducing the protected fossil area from 43 rai to 18 rai as proposed by Egat.
    They also asked the court to instruct Egat to make an environmental impact study of how badly the prehistoric site would be affected by its mining activities if it continued.
    The court ordered Egat to suspend its mining activities in June 2005, pending a decision. By that time only 18 rai of the snail deposit was left.
    Lawyer Surachai Trong-ngam, who represents the Mae Moh villagers, said a court ruling in favour of the villagers would set a precedent.
    ''Although there is only one-third of the fossil deposit left now, we will continue to fight on.
    ''We need some legal measures to prevent other mining operators from doing the same thing to other prehistoric sites,'' he said. Egat has a 25-year concession to mine for lignite at the 297-rai site. The state firm is expected to appeal if the decision goes against it.

    Bnagkok Post

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
    dirtydog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Pattaya Jomtien
    Posts
    58,776

    Court orders ancient fossil site in Lampang to be protected

    Court orders ancient fossil site in Lampang to be protected
    Villagers delighted as resolution is nullified
    APINYA WIPATAYOTIN

    The Administrative Court yesterday nullified a cabinet resolution which had scaled back the size of a protected site of fossilised mud snail layers to make way for industrial mining, sounding a victory for villagers in Lampang. The verdict came after a group of villagers petitioned the Administrative Court in 2003, seeking protection for a 13-million-year-old fossil site in Mae Moh district from mining activity.

    The Administrative Court repealed a cabinet resolution from December 2004 which reduced the area designated as protected from 43 rai to 18.

    The court also ordered the department of primary industries and mines, under the Ministry of Industry, to withdraw the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat)'s mining licence for the 43 rai of the fossil site.

    The court also told Egat to conduct an environmental impact assessment study on its mining plans, which could help prevent erosion of the fossil site from nearby mining activities and natural disasters.

    The cabinet has been given 180 days to instruct the department of fine arts to declare the area a historical site, which will necessitate government preservation of the area.

    Mae Moh coal power plant was granted a 25-year lignite mining licence over 297 rai in 2000. Three years later, it found mud snail fossil layers aged over 13 million years spanning an area of 43 rai. Initially, the cabinet agreed to preserve all 43 rai of the fossil site, but it later changed its mind and decided to preserve only 18 of the 43 rai after Egat complained of the financial losses it would incur if the mining area was reduced by that much.

    Egat therefore continued mining operations, citing comments made by the chairman of the national United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation committee, Adul Wichiencharoen, who reportedly said the site may not qualify for World Heritage status due to its lack of fossil variety.

    Local villagers were delighted by yesterday's verdict.

    ''This is a historic case where villagers have been able to protect and save their own natural resources,'' said the villagers' lawyer, Surachai Trong-ngam.He said the verdict had set a precedent for people elsewhere who wanted to protect and preserve local resources and their environment.

    Maliwan Nakwiroj, one of the villagers who petitioned the court, welcomed the verdict. However, she demanded Egat be made to take responsibility for the damage already caused to the site.

    ''Although we won the case, we can't have our fossil site back in its original state. Some areas of the site have been destroyed by Egat,'' she said.

    ''It makes me wonder how Egat will take responsibility for the damage.''

    She said villagers would also examine the 18 rai of mud snail layers that were spared, because they are not certain about their present condition.

    Egat's legal team refused to comment yesterday. However, the state enterprise's lawyers had earlier said that they would appeal if the court ruled against them.

    Bangkok Post

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat
    dirtydog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Pattaya Jomtien
    Posts
    58,776

    Study centre for famed mollusc fossils

    Study centre for famed mollusc fossils


    Mae Moh residents plan to build an environmental study centre for the mollusc fossil "cemetery" situated in a lignite mine site in Lampang after winning a lawsuit against the Electricity Generating Autho-rity of Thailand, operator of the mine and power plant there.

    The centre will be built in their village just 250 metres from the prehistoric site. It will provide information about the petrified freshwater snails, and the villagers' trials in battling Egat, Maliwan Nakwirot, leader of the Network of Patients' Rights against Mae Moh Toxic Emissions, said yesterday.

    "We decided to set up a study centre for other communities to learn about mollusc fossils, share our fighting experience with government agencies, and how we won the lawsuit," she said.

    In April 2005, villagers petitioned the Central Administra-tive Court to order Egat to stop excavating the area in preparation for opening the lignite mine. The petition accused the Cabinet, a former industry minister, the Primary Industry and Mines Department and Egat.

    The court ordered Egat to conduct an immediate environmental-impact assessment and revoked its mining licence for the fossil zone. Egat also was required to build embankments and employ measures to protect the mound, which has partly collapsed from the digging, from further damage within 30 days.

    The Fine Arts Department was also ordered to register the "cemetery" as a natural historic site where 13-million-year-old fossils were found.

    The fossil lode was discovered on 43 rai of land. It measures 12 metres deep, 300m long and 230m wide.

    The huge deposit is the only one of its kind in the world.

    Egat continued digging out the site after the Cabinet agreed on December 21, 2004 to reduce the protected area from 43 rai to 18 rai, even though it had announced the entire protected area would cover 52 rai.

    Egat claimed it would lose about Bt7 billion each year or Bt182 billion over its 26-year concession if the entire 52 rai were put under protection.

    Pongphon Sarnsamak
    The Nation

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •