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Business associations and government ministries meet with EU funded environmental projects and GIZ in Naypyitaw

Discussions on improving consistency, clarity of environmental impact assessments and environmental management plans for manufacturers

On July 4th and 5th 2019, representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MoNREC) hosted a public-private meeting with business associations which was jointly organized by the EU’s SWITCH-Asia funded grant projects, SMART Myanmar and WWF’s Tha Bar Wa project, as well as representatives of the SWITCH-Asia SCP Facility and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

The Union Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation opened the event, speaking on the importance of environmental conservation and the need to implement regulations protecting the environment while maintaining economic growth. He also spoke on Myanmar’s commitment the the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Welcome remarks by the European Union Delegation to Myanmar were provided by, Dr. Johann Hesse who emphasized, “As Myanmar’s industrial sector grows, the need for pollution control, whether solid waste, air pollution and wastewater treatment, becomes evident… It is, therefore, timely for the government to evaluate its current implementation and to identify what would make progress faster.”

Participants attending included the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association, the Myanmar Food Processors and Exporters Association, the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Myanmar Industries Association, private enterprises and several other representatives of business and civil society, as well as government attendees from MoNREC, the Ministry of Industry and the Ministry of Electricity and Energy.

The particular focus of this two-day event is on consulting with MoNREC environmental protection and sustainable production. This event particularly focused on improving capacities and consistency in the implementation of environmental impact assessments, initial environmental examinations and environmental management plans for the manufacturing sectors. In particular, discussions focused on the garment/textile and food and beverage products manufacturers.

The regional GIZ FABRIC project, working on behalf of the German government, also co-organized parts of the 2-day discussions. GIZ in collaboration with Solidaridad has previously been in consultation with MoNREC, organizing a series of public-private meetings during 2018 and 2019 on environmental regulations in the garment and textile industries. This event in Naypyitaw built upon the learnings from these previous meetings and advanced some of these topics into the food processing and manufacturing sector via the Tha Bar Wa project of WWF.

"The garment sector has grown rapidly during the previous years, and now numbers about 630 garment, textile and footwear factories producing for the export industry at an industrial scale, and there are many hundreds of small workshops producing traditional garments for the local market. Especially, effective environmental impact measuring and monitoring is critically important, and this is an area in which factories need significant education and capacity building. We were pleased to help facilitate this discussion, which brought sector stakeholders and government together to outline a realistic and coherent path forward." Jacob A. Clere, Team Leader of SMART Myanmar

“Manufacturing expected to account for ca. 70% of Myanmar’s growth in 2030. 60% of the companies in Myanmar are in the Food and Beverage (F&B) sector of which 89% of Myanmar’s F&B companies are small and medium enterprise. Hence, it is important that these enterprises are supported through a concept of sustainable production so that the industry moves toward clean and green production contributing to sustainable economy and impact on climate change.” Ujjwal Pokhrel, Project Manager, Tha Bar Wa Project, WWF.

“Myanmar is at a critical point for action. Many local and international investors show interest in textile manufacturing. At the same time, suppliers’ performance in water usage, waste management and chemical management has never been so important in the buyers’ decision making. The capacity to set-up, implement and assess effective EIAs and EMPS is key in this regard. We are pleased that we could contribute to this event and look forward to continue the public-private dialogue towards an enabling environment that will promote investments and sustainable growth in the textile sector in Myanmar.”Petra Schill, GIZ Country Director