Patron of the National Level Environmental Conservation and Climate Change Central Committee Vice President U Myint Swe delivered an address at the sixth coordination meeting of the National Level Environmental Conservation and Climate Change Central Committee held in the meeting hall of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning.
The meeting was attended by Central Committee Chairman Union Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation U Ohn Win, Central Committee members including Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation U Hla Kyaw and Deputy Attorney-General U Win Myint, environmental conservation and climate change supervisory chairmen Nay Pyi Taw Council member, states/regions government ministers, officials from six work committees, Permanent Secretaries, Directors General, representatives from non-government organizations and civil society organizations, and officials.
In his address, the Vice President said emphasis must be placed towards achieving the common aim of “coordinating environmental conservation sectors for sustainable development” by balancing the social, economic and environmental conservation for socio-economic development of the State.
It is important that the eco-system and natural environment is not harmed or spoiled by increase in natural resource- based local and foreign investments. It is important that the land, water and air qualities are not affected by industries and expansion of urban areas.
The bad effect of climate change faced every year by Myanmar is a huge challenge for the country’s socio-economic development. Preventive works and preparations against climate change is our main work process. As such “a strong natural environmental management system to coordinate sustainable development works” needs to be established for the benefit of the country and the people.
It must be firmly stated that conserving the nature and environment is the main priority work of the State because the five strategic aims of the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan (2018-2030) drawn up by the Union Government includes prioritizing the conservation of the nature and environment.
Based on this aim, the incumbent government is pushing towards strengthening environmental policy, law and procedures to coordinate sector wise work processes on maintaining the natural environment and combating climate change.
Emphasis needs to be placed on the fact that the committees play an important role in effectively coordinating and implementing environmental conservation plans in all sectors.
After forming the Central Committee, six work committees and management committees, coordination meetings were held starting from August 2016 and this is the sixth coordination meeting. The result of the collective efforts of the committee members are put on record, as in the five central committee meetings 77 future work processes were established, out of which 36 were completed and 41 were underway.
At the moment, long-term aims in the natural environmental sector has been submitted to the Office of the President. On the matter of natural environment, the aim is to maintain a clean natural environment and a good eco-system for the socio-economic development, health and happiness of all people living in Myanmar. On the matter of climate change, the 2030 strategic long term aim of supporting sustainable development, withstanding the effect of climate change and achieving development while reducing carbon emission was established.
To effectively implement these long-term policy aims, relevant ministerial departments, Nay Pyi Taw Council area, states/regions are required to conduct the necessary coordination works that include practical priority plans.
Of the matters decided in the past meetings, the long-term works of education, information and capacity raising works are to be conducted with emphasis placed on it. On the other hand, there is a need to assess and manage whether maintaining of natural environment, according to laws, is included and coordinated in development works, including industries. These need to be done with increasing momentum all over the country.
In addition to this, to draw up and implement the priority work of raising the technology level in urban environment management, to maintain, manage and use effectively and in a sustained way the natural resources, environment, eco system and bio-diversity, central committee and Nay Pyi Taw Council, states and regions are to interact down to district and township level and work together for the long run with related organizations, NGOs, CSOs and private sector.
The air pollution which affected the people in nearby wards caused by the garbage dump fire in Yangon during April 2018 is a warning to prioritize the systematic management of waste products all over the country. That is why it is urged to draw up and implement a guideline on systematic collection and disposal of wastes, including plastics, based on waste management strategy and aims included in the work program not only in major cities of Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay but in the whole country.
Nay Pyi Taw Council, state, region management committees and relevant ministerial departments are urged to discuss works conducted on decisions made in the last five meetings, drawing up and implementing long and short term natural environment maintaining work programs and priority works appropriate for their own regions in this meeting.
Although there are limitations in human resources, technical requirements and fund in implementing the maintaining of natural environment and climate change matters to support the country’s economic policy, socio-economic development of the country and the people, it is believed that difficulties and challenges can be overcome step by step with the combined efforts of all who are involved in this.
To overcome the technical, capacity, expertise requirements and obstacles, relevant ministerial departments, Nay Pyi Taw Council, state/region governments are urged to increase cooperation with the United Nations as well as international organizations and partner countries. To implement the future works established by the central committee, work committees, Nay Pyi Taw Council area, state, region management committees, are urged to discuss and suggest based on the strength and weaknesses experienced in the past two years, said the Vice President. Next, Central Committee Chairman Union Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation U Ohn Win said that the natural environment is the foundation in working for social, culture and economic development of a country. Therefore, social economic development and maintaining a sustainable natural environment need to be balanced.
Due to excessive production of mineral, forestry and fishery resources, especially through illegal production, natural resources were degraded and damaged. All are required to put in extra efforts to prevent and eradicate such illegal production as a national duty. The Central Committee Chairman urged all attendees to cordially and openly discuss.
Afterwards, the Central Committee Secretary explained about works conducted on decisions made at the fifth coordination meeting, and works conducted and future works of the six work committees.
This was followed with sector-wise discussions and explanation by central committee members, and seven decisions were made. The meeting then concluded with a closing speech by the Vice President. — MNA