MCRB Contributes to Successful First International Conference by Myanmar Environment Assessment Association
The First International Conference on Enviroment and Sustainable Development was held by Myanmar Environment Assessment Association on 8-9 January 2020 in Sule Shangri-la Hotel. It was launched by Deputy Minister of Mining Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Dr Ye Myint Swe, and attended by around 200 Myanmar and international environmental experts and EIA consultants, policymakers, academics, NGOs and companies. Around 30 papers were presented on a variety of topics related to environmental and social impacts, governance and scientific research.
MCRB contributed to the conference with:
- a presentation on Day 1 by Hnin Wut Yee on 'Myanmar's Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Law 2019 - One Step Forward Two Steps Back?' which analysed the gaps between the new law and international standards on land acquisition, in particular IFC Performance Standard 5 which many projects in Myanmar are seeking to achieve due to requirements of donors and investors, as well as stakeholder expectations. This analysis, which draws on a more detailed paper submitted for the conference by MCRB Senior Advisors Margaret Wachenfeld and Donna Guest as well as Vicky Bowman, Hnin Wut Yee and Min Banyar Oo or MCRB, which in turn supplements the forthcoming 2nd edition of MCRB's Land, Business and Human Rights Briefing Paper.
- A keynote presentation on Day 2 by Vicky Bowman on ‘How an EIA Can Contribute to Responsible Investment in Myanmar’. Vicky focussed on the relationship between EIA and Operational Grievance Mechanisms and how effective grievance handling and reporting by companies should be an important compliance requirement and tool for the company and government to monitor social performance, which will also support a company’s social licence to operate.
- MCRB Research Fellow Matthew Baird moderated a discussion on ‘The way forward’ which focussed on how the EIA process and Myanmar’s wider sustainability goals could be pursued in 2020, together with U Hla Maung Thein (Director-General of the Environmental Conservation Department), Gordon Johnson (Resident Representative a.i. of UNDP Myanmar), U Aung Nanda (Chair of the MEAA), Khine Thwe Wynn (Environmental Consultant at the World Bank), and Anastacia Howe (Managing Director of Conyat Create, a sustainability consultancy).
- Vicky Bowman and Win Min moderated two sessions of presentations of research papers, one on legislation and environmental governance in Myanmar and its neighbours including China and ASEAN; and one on safety and pollution.
MCRB also had a booth to make available its publications relevant to environmental impact assessment and in particular the set of Briefing Papers on Biodiversity, Business and Human Rights including the sectoral supplements on biodiversity impacts of mining, oil and gas, agriculture and tourism, as well as the supplements providing sources of further information on Protected Areas and Key Biodiversity Areas and Local and International Organisations working on Biodiversity.