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European Union supports Myanmar SMEs in Food & Beverage industry to step up toward cleaner production
Yangon, November 15 – Industrial wastewater pollution from Myanmar's growing Food and Beverage industry - the country's largest industrial sector, accounting for almost 60% of all companies – poses a significant threat to the freshwater ecosystem in Myanmar. The European Union supports small & medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the sector to move towards green production with sustainable water and energy management processes.
“It is a positive shift that leading local businesses are eager to invest in wastewater treatment systems to protect and conserve Myanmar’s unique natural environment and valuable rivers which are now hugely threatened by pollution from growing industries,” said EU Ambassador Kristian Schmidt today at the opening of a waste water treatment plant at a local dairy factory. "Through the ‘Tha Bar Wa’ project, we are able to bring technical experts to work with Myanmar’s leading manufacturing sector and support them in stepping up towards a cleaner production."
“Tha Bar Wa” is a four-year EU-funded programme that promotes cleaner production, conserving natural resources, contributing to people’s wellbeing, promoting innovation and helping industries to mitigate risks, cut costs and reduce water and energy use.
Today, Silvery Pearl Dairy (Ngwe Sin Pearl) put into operation a wastewater treatment plant at their dairy factory that was installed with the support from “Tha Bar Wa”. The plant will reduce wastewater pollution and therefore the risks to the neighboring communities and the environment.
Silvery Pearl Dairy (Ngwe Sin Pearl) decided to set up a wastewater treatment plant at their production plant with support from the “Tha Bar Wa” project. “Tha Bar Wa” has also provided technical assistance to 11 SMEs in designing their wastewater treatment plants and works with the F&B industries of Yangon and Mandalay regions to increase awareness of cleaner production processes.
U Tin Win, the Managing Director of Silvery Pearl (Ngwe Sin Pearl) Dairy said “The (Tha Bar Wa) project not only provides capacity building assistance but also technically supports business owners like us so that effective implementation of cleaner production could be managed. In my view installing wastewater treatment plant is just the beginning of reducing environmental impact. Now I can be proud of being a responsible business man and a true citizen who love his country’s nature and environment.”
Ujjwal Pokhrel, the Project Manager of “Tha Bar Wa” project said “We commend Silvery Pearl (Ngwe Sin Pearl) in taking this step forward and hope others will follow. This will serve as another business case for F&B business that implementing a waste water treatment plant in small and medium sized business is possible. Tha Bar Wa is looking forward to working with many other small and medium size business from the F&B sector to promote cleaner production practices.”
“Tha Bar Wa” also supports the government to establish more effective and business friendly environmental regulations. In particular, the project works closely with the Environmental Conservation Department (ECD) of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation on the effective implementation of the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) procedures. The project additionally has a large component in support of domestic financial institutions for making green financing options available for SMEs.
Recent research by WWF’s Asia-Pacific office showed a 74% increase in Facebook posts selling wildlife items in Myanmar between 2020 and 2021.
Tha Bar Wa project developed the sector specific Environmental Management Plan (EMP) checklist and guidance with the support of an international consultant, in order to assist small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in food and beverage (F&B) sector in preparing and implementing effective EMPs.
The paper seeks to share lessons learned from the project and advance sustainability finance in the region.
It would be part of a campaign called ‘Voices for Rivers’. Mohinga, the nation’s favourite dish and one that always features fish, was the perfect entry point. Without healthy rivers, there would be no mohinga.