Building Environmental Legal Advocacy Skills for Civil Society Leaders
MCRB and Vermont Law School are undertaking a programme of In-Depth Training on Environmental Legal Advocacy for civil society leaders, to support them in understanding Myanmar’s environmental policy and law framework and how it can be used to address the environmental issues that threaten Myanmar’s sustainable development.
20 CSO leaders (11 male, 9 female) from Shan, Kachin and Karen States and Tanintharyi, Magwe, Sagaing and Bago regions attended the training programme in two batches in late May and early June at Bula-Einn Villas Resort near Bago. The participants, who are actively engaged in supporting local communities concerned about the negative impacts of extractives, infrastructure and hydropower projects, and learned how to build skills for environmental legal advocacy. The participants were selected through an open application process.
The 2 ½ day programme included training on the 2015 Myanmar EIA Procedure and the draft Public Participation Guidelines and how these could be used by communities to shape investment projects to minimise social and environmental impacts. It included a role play exercise featuring the Mandalay-Muse railway project, in which participants took on roles as government departments, companies and communities during different stages of the process. Vermont Law School received support from the USA Department of State to organise the programme.
MCRB and VLS have previously collaborated on a series of workshops with civil society organisations, and also worked with EIA consultants to strengthen Myanmar’s EIA process.