22 August 2019

 

Predictions

  • Environmental protests will encourage government crackdown on online dissent, increasing burden of compliance on certain foreign firms
  • Climate change and low public trust in government handling of environmental issues will prompt further protests, but these will largely remain localised in rural areas
  • Government will largely seek to avoid introducing overly burdensome environmental regulations or imposing related fines on foreign firms

Analysis

Hundreds of residents of Quang Trach, a predominantly Catholic district in central Quang Binh Province, protested on 15 August against government proposals to expand a local dam. The local authorities say that the increased capacity will allow the dam’s reservoir to store more water ahead of dry seasons, when water shortages are a strain on local agriculture production and power generation. However, residents living downstream of the dam say the proposed expansion will increase the risk of severe flooding when the dam releases excess water during rainstorms or typhoons.

Environmental concerns are a common cause of protests in Vietnam, particularly in the central regions. A series of protests erupted…

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