New national-level environmental conservation policy to be issued in 2018

Myanmar will get a new national-level environmental conservation policy and strategy framework in 2018.
“Currently, the new national-level environmental conservation policy which has been issued in 1994 is almost complete to update.
Also, a national-level environmental strategic framework will be come out,” said Daw Khin Thidar Tin, the director of Yangon Region Environmental Conservation.
With a national-level environmental conservation policy, soon to come will be a national-level climate change policy and strategy, a national-level green economy policy and strategy and a national-level waste items management policy, Daw Khin Thida Tin said.
“We are finalising the draft national-level environmental conservation policy, which will ensure environmental protection and sustainable development across Myanmar, which will be issued very soon.
We have drawn the national-level waste items management policy and strategy till 2030. All the strategies will be used in appropriate sectors,” she added.
The national-level environmental policy covers three strategic areas — clean environment and health, functioning ecosystems, sustainable development and mainstreaming environmental protection and management.
“In order for the country’s development, environmental conservation needs to be
combined and be in harmony with the other sectors, she added.
“I think impact on the environment and on business are most significant because impacts on environment are also impacts on the people, people’s livelihood and people’s health.
For example, what we see in Hpakant with the jade mining is that it is poorly managed, allowing access by scavengers. Hundreds of these people die each year from the collapse of the waste.
And also we have pollution in the form of wastewater not properly controlled by factories.
And then there is deforestation, which you see particularly in the shrinking mangrove areas, also we’ve seen it with the palm trees cut down for palm oil in the south of Taninthayi, we see it at mining sites, including small scale mining that causes deforestation.
So environmental impacts are the biggest problems, and they will impact people’s lives”, said Ms. Vicky Bowman, the chairman of the Myanmar Center for Responsible Business.
Weaknesses are also found in the implementation reports of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) by enterprises. Some third parties are allegedly committing breach of copyright regarding activities of the EIA, SIA and EMP, especially in construction businesses.
The government has already issued warnings about these breaches, it is learnt.
The Environmental Conservation Law was enacted on March 2012 in Myanmar and its rules issued in June 2014. The National Environmental Conservation Committee (NECC) was formed in June 2016.

May Thet Hnin


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