Briefing Paper on Biodiversity, Human Rights and Business
The Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB) has published a briefing paper intended to help business, civil society and government, particularly regulators, understand how some types of investment in Myanmar can negatively impact biodiversity and thereby affect human rights, in particular the right to livelihood.
The Briefing Paper, supported by the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, draws on MCRB’s research for sector-wide impact assessments in oil and gas, mining, tourism and oil palm. It was co-authored by Sally Johnson international expert on the biodiversity impacts of business, who consulted a variety of Myanmar-based government and expert stakeholders. It presents the business case for addressing biodiversity and ecosystem services, addresses compliance with biodiversity aspects of Myanmar’s environmental laws and regulations, including the recently updated 2018 Biodiversity and Conservation of Protected Areas Law and the 2015 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Procedure, and offers advice on how EIA can be used by companies to improve outcomes for biodiversity and related human rights.
The Paper provides practical recommendations to companies to address biodiversity conservation in order to be – at a minimum - compliant with Myanmar environmental regulation but also offers advice for companies that are willing to take extra steps. It signposts resources to help business, including sources of biodiversity data, a major weakness of EIAs in Myanmar.
Section 1 explains the ‘nexus’ between business, biodiversity and human rights, and the business case for addressing biodiversity and ecosystem services
Section 2 provides an overview of biodiversity in Myanmar, with emphasis on the biodiversity resources that are likely to be affected by private sector activities and the major threats to them
Section 3 provides an overview of the policy and legal framework and institutional arrangements related to biodiversity and addresses compliance with biodiversity aspects of Myanmar’s environmental laws and regulations, including Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Section 4 looks at how Myanmar’s EIA process can be used by companies to improve outcomes for biodiversity and related human rights
Section 5 provides an overview of international standards, practice and tools and application of international good practice on biodiversity protection by business, including in EIAs
The Briefing Paper is supplemented by additional material on:
The paper is also accompanied by short briefing notes on biodiversity impacts of the oil and gas, mining, tourism and agriculture sectors. These sectoral briefing notes cover potential biodiversity/human rights impacts, and links to sources of more detailed guidance.
MCRB has also addressed impacts on biodiversity and environment in its sector-wide impact assessments (SWIAs) on Oil and Gas, Tourism, ICT, Mining and Oil Palm (draft, for publication in 2019).
The Paper is part of a series on cross-cutting issues published by MCRB, which describe challenges facing businesses and set out detailed recommendations to them. Others include ‘Discrimination by Business and in the Workplace in Myanmar’, ‘Indigenous People’s Rights and Business in Myanmar’, ‘Land’, and ‘Children’s Rights and Business’.
For more information, please contact Inga Makusheva, Programme Manager, +95 9 975 938 200,