Joining Forces to Build A Climate Resilient Myanmar

Dec 23, 2015

The Myanmar delegation which attended the Conference of the Parties 21 (COP21), also known as the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, earlier this month, today shared what the global climate agreement means for the country and what needs to be done to implement it locally.

The Paris Agreement represents an unprecedented opportunity to keep the planet safe while advancing human development and sends a strong signal that countries, rich and poor, are committed to work together to tackle climate change, building a more resilient and equitable world for all.

“Cyclone Nargis in 2008 and the floods earlier this year which destroyed so many lives and properties are grim reminders of the impacts of climate change in Myanmar. It is therefore no surprise that experts have identified Myanmar as one of the 10 most vulnerable countries to climate change,” said HE Dr Thet Thet Zin, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF), speaking at an event organised to share the outcome of COP 21 and its implications in Myanmar.

The event was attended by 100 representatives from government, civil society and development partners.

“In order to achieve sustainable development and have healthy and happy lives, everyone has to actively participate in climate change mitigation and adaptation and environmental conservation,” she said.

Myanmar is developing its National Environment Policy with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and also the Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan with support from UNDP, UN Habitat and the European Union. The National Environmental Policy and the Climate Change Strategy are key strategic frameworks of the National Comprehensive Development Plan, and will mainstream environment and climate change into all sectors.

UNDP Country Director, Toily Kurbanov said that putting the Paris Agreement into action was everyone’s business.

 “Myanmar will need significant financial resources to undertake mitigation and adaptation activities in the long-term, including securing resources through public, private and alternative sources. It is important to recognize that Myanmar is already spending a significant amount of domestic resources in sectors that are climate sensitive. Effective coordination of these resources can lead to bigger dividends,” he said.   

Civil Society Voices
Also attending the event were local civil society representatives who were present at COP 21. Representative from the Promotion of Indigenous and Nature Together (POINT), Ei Ei Min said participating at the events at COP 21 opened her eyes to indigenous people’s involvement and effectiveness in the fight against climate change.

U Aung Myint, a representative from the Renewable Energy Association Myanmar (REAM) said that people’s participation was key to implementing the outcomes reached at COP 21.

“Government will provide guidance for implementation, but it is the people who will implement,” he said and added that pro-poor public private partnerships plus parliamentarians were important in getting traction on climate change actions.

Myanmar’s Next Step Forward Under the Climate agreement
“The process of developing Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) report took about six months. Myanmar submitted the INDC in line with national circumstances to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) after intensive consultation with relevant stakeholders. I welcome recommendations, comments, and participation from CSO in the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We have a long way to go to implement this,” said the Director General of the Environmental Conservation Department, U Nay Aye delivered the closing remarks.

INCD refers to the climate actions countries have publically outlined to take to meet the new global climate agreement when it comes into effect in 2020. Myanmar has committed to minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and putting in place policies and actions to mitigate climate change.

The event concluded with the commitment that all stakeholders would work closely together to fulfill Myanmar’s commitments under the new climate agreement and build a climate resilient country.

The event on sharing the outcome of COP 21 was jointly organised by the United Nations and the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF) with support from UNDP. The event included presentations on the discussions at COP 21, the components of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the United Nations collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) as well how to access climate finance.


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