H. E. Dr. Thet Thet Zin, Deputy Minister for Environmental Conservation and Forestry address at the Second Consultation Workshop on National Environmental Policy

Dec 18, 2015

Deputy Minister U Aye Myint Maung,
Mr. Toily Kurbanov, Country Director of UNDP,
Representatives from UNDP and Development Partners,
Permanent Secretariat and Heads of Departments,
Representatives from Departments, NGOs and CSOs,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

A Very Good Morning!

Firstly, I would like to extend my warmest greeting to all of you on the occasion of this Second Consultation Workshop on Developing National Environmental Policy and Road Map of Strategic Framework. It gives me a great pleasure to deliver the opening address at this important milestone event.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, I would like to highlight again the point what I mentioned at the first workshop which was held on 12 October 2015, is that the sustainability of natural resources and systematic environmental management are important of the country's economic development. In this regard, Myanmar has established a policy and normative and institutional framework since over the last twenty years.

For instance, the National Environment Policy was adopted in 1994 as a policy vision statement. Myanmar Agenda 21 in 1997 and the National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) in 2009 were developed for the implementation of the Policy with the aim to integrate into the national, sectoral planning and its implementation.

However, these documents were unfortunately not been well incorporated in the national and sectoral development planning due to lack of legal requirement of environmental consideration. For this reason, we are today facing environmental challenges in terms of forest degradation, landuse changes, loss of biodiversity, soil degradation and environmental pollution.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
We recognize that a compromise balancing between economic growth and long term environmental protection is crucial to minimise degradation and polluting impacts on natural resources and ecological life support systems which is the foundation of the sustainable development across all sectors.

 At present, Myanmar economy is shifting from an agriculture-based economy towards greater industrialization and integration with global markets for the economic development. Recognizing the challenges of leading to significant environmental degradation and pollution, sustainable environmental conservation is extremely important to integrate into the national planning and implementation of the country's economic development.  

In this regard, I would like to highlight that 2008 State Constitution as a foundation of legal guidance has clearly mentioned: to protect and conserve the natural environment, and every citizen has responsibility to help the State in protection and conservation of natural environment.

Nationally, as part of the political reforms that began in 2011, the Government of Myanmar is putting in place the necessary legal, procedural and governance instruments – and building the institutional, technical and human capacities – needed to achieve socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
With regard to environmental mainstreaming, the Environmental Conservation Law and rules were enacted in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Furthermore, Myanmar Investment Policy with emphasizing on national security and integrity, economic development and environmental sustainability, Law, Rules and Notification were promulgated recently. EIA procedures and Environmental Quality Guidelines as the key tools to mainstream environment into the economic development are approved very recently.

Nevertheless, with the aim to integration of environmental consideration into sectoral and development agendas, environment including climate change is one of the seven strategies of the National Comprehensive Development Plan –NCDP.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
More importantly, Environmental Policy Framework is a key instrument and standard for integration of environment into economic and social development of all sector activities at all levels to achieve sustainable development.

The formulation of National Environmental Policy and Road Map of Strategic Framework based on 1994 Environmental Policy is one of the expressions of the political commitment of the Government to sustainable development in appropriate with present reform of economic, social and political governance. It needs to recognize that the key actors in consistent with principles of sustainable development are government, civil society, private and public.

Therefore, we are now sitting together with multi-stakeholders again to discuss for the development of Comprehensive National Environmental Policy that will map out existing policies, norms and institutions to achieve our vision of national environmental policy statement 1994.

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Before conclusion, I would like to encourage to you to make positive contribution in this workshop for the formulation of Comprehensive National Environmental Policy. Again, I do believe that your actively participation and fruitful discussion based on your wide experiences  and knowledge from various areas would be vital for this important  task.  

Finally, I would like to express my sincerely appreciation to all of you especially UNDP and development partners for their initiatives and to hold this important workshop. I would like to extent my sincere appreciations and thanks to Mr. Carlos Lineras for your great contribution.

Thank you.


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