Environmental Conservation and Climate Change Central Committee holds eighth meeting

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Environmental Conservation and Climate Change Central Committee holds eighth meeting

 

The National-Level Environmental Conservation and Climate Change Central Committee held its eighth coordination meeting at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.

Vice President U Myint Swe, as a patron of the Central Committee, delivered a speech at the meeting. In his speech, the Vice President recounted the formation of the National-Level Environmental Conservation and Climate Change Central Committee by the order number 35/2016 of Union Government Office dated 2 June 2016. The 25-member committee assigned 26 tasks, and supervised the six working committee, as well as the supervising committes in Nay Pyi Taw Council and the States/Regions.

Over the past three year, the Central Committee had already organized seven meetings and made 95 decisions. Out of them, 46 topics have been done and the ongoing 49 topics were divided into 15 points for long-term plans and 34 points for the immediate plans.

He also urged to finalize the ongoing topics as soon as possible.

The Vice President remarked that conservation of natural resources, maintenance of ecosystem and preservation of clean environment were important national duties.

He said that environmental conservation was a wide sector that needed the collaboration of Union level, Nay Pyi Taw Council, state/region levels and district/township levels under the supervisions of the central committees, the working committees and the supervising committees.

Some significant steps of the committee in adopting environmental policy and procedures helped the government to issue ‘National Environmental Policy’, ‘Myanmar Climate Change Policy’, ‘Myanmar Climate Change Strategy (2018- 2030), and ‘Myanmar Climate Change Master Plan (2018- 2030)’. The ‘National Level Waste Management Strategy and Action Plan (2018-2030)’ had been adopted and it would be published soon. It included the pledges and the international norms of practices on environmental and environmental changes suggested by the stakeholders who participated in adopting the policy, the strategy and the master plan.

A road map should be set up based on the policy, strategy and the master plan for implementation in development sectors.

The Myanmar Climate Change Policy said that ‘not only the Government of the country, but all institutions, the civil society, the NGOs, the productive forces and sectors, communities and people must contribute to building a resilient country.

Moreover, the National Environmental Policy has called for ‘the mainstreaming of environmental protection into planning and decision-making at all levels of government and in all sectors.’

He also said that the committee needed to ensure collaboration in implementing its prioritized plans in the National Environmental Policy, the Myanmar Climate Change Policy, the Myanmar Climate Change Strategy, and the Myanmar Climate Change Master Plan with the master plans of ministries, Nay Pyi Taw Council, States/ Regions. The Vice President also reminded the attendees about the tremendous challenges posed by waste materials resulting from the increasing population, urban development and industrial sector. He also said that the lack of a systematic waste management plan has led to random discard of trash on roads, rivers and creeks, causing pollutions of air, soil and water, and resulting in health hazards for the people, social sector and business sectors like tourism industry. Myanmar has adopted the National Level Waste Management Strategy and Action Plan (2018-2030) for good practices on sustainable waste management system that was based on the improved methods, instead of conventional waste management system, to reduce production of waste materials, recycling and reproducing useful items. The action plan was being carried out in Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay in collaboration with international organizations, and that the state/regional governments were urged to implement the goals in the plan. The problems that needed to be addressed immediately were air pollution and the plastic wastes, and the main themes for the World Environment Day for 2018 and 2019 were ‘beat plastic pollution’ and ‘Air Pollution’ to raise the awareness of global people about the increasing issues of plastic and air pollutions to be addressed in prompt actions.

He also pointed out that drainage systems were blocked with waste materials during the rainy season, causing floods due to the lack of unsystematic waste disposals, and he asked to reduce the use of plastic bags, to recycle the waste products, to attract more investments in this sector, to conduct educative programmes, to take legal actions and to adopt laws, procedures and rules and to control these products.

According to the special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – (IPCC) released in October, 2018, it was found out that the renewable energy resources which release low carbon were being used abundantly. Due to global warming, the sea level has risen at the end of the 21st century. Some experts had already calculated that some coastal cities and nations would go underwater.

Therefore it was needed to keep a close watch on the challenges of environmental and climate changes that occur day by day and what should be done in cooperation with the international community. As for Myanmar, emphasis should be placed to make preliminary arrangements for the coastal cities that may sink underwater due to the sea level rise. Thus efforts should be exerted to lay down the long-term schemes aiming to increase the use of renewable energy in cooperation with INGOs. All in all, when it came to carrying out the implementation of sustainable and balanced development schemes adopted by the Union Government, some major implementation processes covered environmental conservation, curbing climate change, adapting to climate change, climate resistance and natural hazards mitigation. The ministries, the Nay Pyi Taw Council and regions/states governments were urged to draw up long-term and short-term projects so that the implementation process could be conducted. By doing so, environmental deterioration could be avoided while reducing the impacts of climate change.

As for the members of central committees, working committees and supervisory committees, an all-out effort should be made to conduct the schemes at full capacity in cooperation with the stakeholders in the aim of fostering the longterm benefits for the state and its citizens. The Vice-President also called for making suggestions to draw up the ongoing work process that could generate a sound environmental management plan based on the experiences, weakness and strong points of the committee during the period of three years.

Then chairman of central committee and Union Minister U Ohn Win clarified the polices, strategies and principal schemes of work, drawing up long-term and shortterms schemes in terms of relevant ministries, organizations, the Nay Pyi Taw Council area, region/ state governments, drawing up the yearly financial allocation and monitoring laws, regulations and procedures.

Next, secretary of the central committee and Director-General of the Environmental Conservation Department U Hla Maung Thein explained about the work progress of the seventh coordination meeting and its ongoing schemes.

Afterwards, Central committee members Deputy Minister U Hla Kyaw, Deputy Attorney General U Win Myint, Permanent Secretaries U Myo Myint Maung, U Win Khant, U Tin Maung Oo, Dr. Tha Tun Kyaw, U Tun Tun Naing and U Win Tint, director-generals, officials, representatives from NGOs, Chairman of Ecosystem Conservation and Community Development Initiative (ECCDI) Dr. Kyaw Tint, Vice-President of UMFCCI Dr. Myo Thet, officials from six working committees, chairmen of the Nay Pyi Taw Council and state supervisory committees U Tin Tun, U La Saing, U T Yal, U Saw Pyae Tha, U Mehn Hin Darl, U Bauk Htaung Htan, U Hla Htwe, Dr. Saw Nyo Win, U Myint Zaw, U Myo Thit, Dr. Min Kyi Win, U Kyaw Lwin, U Han Tun, Dr. Nyi Nyi Aung and U Tin Aung Win explained about conducting the process of environmental conservation and mitigation of climate change, ongoing work programmes, barriers to implementation, cooperation with INGOs, preventative measures in line with the environmental conservation law, measures being taken to avoid environmental degradation and safeguarding cultural heritage, speeding up the education campaign about the environmental conservation and preventive measures in order to prevent the infectious diseases on account of climate change.

Then secretary of the central committee and Director-General of the Environmental Conservation Department U Hla Maung Thein clarified the proposals made to discuss and ongoing work schemes of the committees. Following this, the meeting has laid down nine points. The meeting then came to a close with closing remarks by the Vice President.

The following dignitaries and senior officials attended the meeting:

The committee’s Chairman and the Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, U Ohn Win, Deputy Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation, as a member of central committee, U Hla Kya, Deputy Attorney-General U Win Myint and the members of central committee, the member of Nay Pyi Taw Council and the ministers of state/region governments who are the chairmen of Environmental Conservation and Climate Change Supervising Committees, the chairmen and the members of of six working committees, the permanent secretaries, the directors-general, Chairman of Ecosystem Conservation and Community Development Initiative (ECCDI) Dr Kyaw Tint who represented INGOs, Vice President of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Dr Myo Thet and officials.