平成25年度クリーンアジア・イニシアティブ(CAI)及び戦略的国際環境協力推進業務 概要調査①報告書 ミャンマーの環境改善に資する事項

Commissioned Report

This study aims to grasp the progress of environmental policy making and implementation capacity by the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (hereafter referred to as Myanmar), in order to assist the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOEJ) in planning the secondment of one of its experts to the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry of Myanmar (MOECAF). A quick study on Myanmar in 2012 titled “A basic study relating to strengthening the environmental programmes and the participation in the regional environmental frameworks by Myanmar” provides a holistic picture of environmental policy in Myanmar. On this basis, the current study focuses on the progress of making legal frameworks and policy instruments, as well as the institutional arrangements and capacities of the environmental authorities in regards to environmental impact assessment (EIA), environmental quality standards (EQS) and environmental monitoring systems. The study is based on information collected by means of literature review and key informant interviews.

Since President Tein Sein started democratic reform in 2007, industries in Myanmar have been rapidly growing and diversifying mainly due to the lift, or relief, of sanctions, increased official development assistance (ODA) and active foreign direct investment from other countries. Gas and mineral mining backed by rich deposits of natural gas, minerals and gem stones, as well as hydropower dams and plants making use of Myanmar’s rich rainfall and mountainous geography, are among those industries in Myanmar that attract the highest interest from foreign investors. However, the emerging environmental impacts of these industries have started drawing public attention, such as large scale land clearance and environmental pollution caused by mining effluent or emissions. In the short term, light and labour-intensive industries, such as apparel, are expected to shift their factories to Myanmar from surrounding countries including China, Vietnam and Thailand, taking advantage of relatively low labour costs in Myanmar. Environmental pollution and occupational health issues that frequently accompany such industries are also of high concern.

Efforts in developing Myanmar’s environmental safeguard policy have just recently started so as to prevent or mitigate environmental damages or pollution caused by industrial development, since the promulgation of the Environmental Conservation Law in March 2012, as well as the establishment of the Environmental Conservation Department (ECD) under MOECAF. The Asian Development Bank (ADB), other UN and international organizations, as well as bilateral donors have been supporting MOECAF/ECD to drive the current progress in developing legal frameworks and institutions related to ECL. The Environmental Impact Assessment Procedures (EIAP) and the national Environmental Quality Standards (EQS), which constitutes the core part of environmental safeguard policy, have so far been drafted and subject to a series of stakeholder consultations. The earliest approval and implementation of EIAP and EQS are highly anticipated. On the other hand, no significant progress is observed in regards to the management of hazardous substances and wastes, monitoring systems, law enforcement, compliance promotion, economic incentive measures, as well as integrating the work plan at the national and regional levels.

Assuming the first-track promulgation of legal frameworks and institutions for EIAP and EQS, the substantial gap will remain as an issue between the newly introduced international high standards and existing sectoral interim standards in Myanmar. It will require extensive efforts to enhance the existing monitoring, compliance promotion and enforcement systems, as well as the facility and efforts for effluent or exhaust treatment, to meet the international high standards. To fill this gap, it is indispensable to strengthen the institutional arrangement and capacity of ECD in regards to monitoring, data management, law enforcement and economic incentive measures. In doing so, the importance of strategic planning and implementation of the entire compliance promotion and law enforcement system needs to be highlighted, in addition to technical capacity building on measurement and monitoring.

Participation in the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) will be an effective option for ECD to strengthen its capacity in strategic planning and implementation of compliance promotion and law enforcement systems. AECEN provides a common framework and institution for effective compliance promotion and law enforcement, as well as good practices, which are based on the experiences in the AECEN member countries such as China, India, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Participation in AECEN would provide ECD a direction in planning and implementing the entire system for monitoring, compliance promotion and law enforcement, reflecting on experiences in neighbouring Asian countries. In addition to this, it would be beneficial to explore the potential for the south-south twinning projects with other AECEN member countries based upon a common framework. AECEN experience with establishment of Compliance Assistance Centres in several countries would also be highly valuable for the small and medium enterprises in Myanmar to understand their legal obligations for environmental controls. ECD has expressed its willingness for Myanmar to become a member of AECEN and intends to report the benefits of membership to the Minister of Environment for consideration and rapid action. However, given the limited capacity of ECD, support would be needed for ECD to become more proactively involved in AECEN and for effectively using AECEN to strengthen ECD’s capacity in monitoring, compliance promotion and law enforcement systems.

The “Environment Centre” approach, one of the major approaches that the Japanese Government has taken in a number of developing countries, has proved to be effective for transferring monitoring and data management technologies. There is, however, an implication from a number of past Environment Centre projects on the appropriate timing for the adoption of this approach in relation to the development of the Social Environmental Management System (SEMS). SEMS is determined as a collective environmental management system which involves governments, private enterprises and citizens, and takes three development phases from system development, full-fledged operation, to autonomous operation. An analysis of several past projects found it effective to start implementing the Environment Centre approach at the final stage of the system development phase, and to exit the approach after seeing the transition to the earliest stage of the autonomous phase. The analysis also highlights the importance of the clear and strategic positioning of the Centre in the national environmental institution. At present SEMS in Myanmar is in the initial stage of the system development phase. In 2015, changes in governmental institutions and policies are anticipated following the general election, which could affect the development of SEMS. To this end, it would be desirable to consider the implementation of the Environment Centre approach after seeing the final stage of the system development phase, which would be no earlier than the 2015 general election. Until then, the efforts to identify the strategic position for the Centre can be made from the earliest possible timing.

Foreign aid to the environment sector in Myanmar has been rapidly growing, with the increasing amount of ODA and activated foreign investments, following the commencement of Myanmar’s democratic reform. Currently ADB, UN-HABITAT and UNDP are among those major actors which are supporting ECD in developing the environmental legal framework in Myanmar. German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) have recently started support to ECD and other environmental authorities in Myanmar in terms of technical capacity building. The World Bank (WB) has also showed interest in its future support to Myanmar’s safeguard policies. Taking these into account, MOEJ needs to plan the secondment of one of its experts to MOECAF so as to effectively complement, but not to duplicate, the existing aid programmes. In this line, the above proposed approach through AECEN is thought to be effective, by which the existing efforts by ECD, as well as various support from multilateral and bilateral aid agencies, are strategically connected so as to constitute enhanced capacity of ECD for effective compliance promotion and law enforcement. It is also important to follow the updated information from the Myanmar Environmental Sector Working Group which is co-chaired by MOECAF, UN-HABITAT and the Norwegian Government.

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