IGES supports Myanmar’s environmental policy development
13 March 2014
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) agreed last week to help strengthen environmental policy cooperation and support Myanmar’s efforts to address ecological challenges at the early stages of the country’s development.
The Memorandum of Understanding signed with Myanmar’s Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry on 6 March 2014 is part of a larger effort to move the country towards a green economy and green growth.
“We are committed to contributing to the sustainable development of Myanmar,” said Hideyuki Mori, President of IGES, a nonprofit, policy think-tank based in Hayama, Japan.
He explained that IGES has already been expanding activities to support environmental policies in Myanmar over the past few years, including on waste management, forestry management and climate change.
Since Myanmar opened up its economy, many international firms, including several Japanese ones, have started doing business in the country. This has resulted in a range of environmental concerns, including mining pollution, air pollution in major cities, and insufficient capacity for the treatment of municipal solid waste.
In addition, providing basic needs such as clean water and energy supply to Myanmar’s growing economy and population is critical and will require greater use of the country’s natural resources.
Ensuring environmental sustainability, while pursuing economic development, is now recognised as a key priority in Myanmar. International support is, however, needed as Myanmar has only recently started designing legal frameworks and implementation structures for environmental policies.
“There is a lot of knowledge and lessons that we can share from our environmental policy and capacity building efforts conducted in Japan and other ASEAN countries,” said Mr. Mori.
“This partnership will be an important milestone for IGES to further its cooperation with the government of Myanmar on bolstering its environmental policies and to assist the country to move towards more sustainable development.”
IGES is currently exploring the scope of this cooperation, which includes climate change and energy; natural resources and ecosystem services; waste management; environmental management tools, including environmental safeguards; and other thematic areas that are relevant to both parties.
The cooperation approach would take the form of organising joint research and workshops , as well as encouraging knowledge sharing through both parties’ policy and research networks.
IGES is a nonprofit, research institute based in Japan that conducts environmental research to realise sustainable development regionally and globally. Information on IGES research, networks and events are available on our website: http://www.iges.or.jp/en/