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On December 29, 2015 Myanmar’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC) issued the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Procedure in order to establish a standard process to assess and analyze the potential environmental impacts of development proposals prior to approval. The EIA Procedure requires that public participation be a robust and integral part of EIA processes.
The Environmental Conservation Department (ECD) of MONREC convened a multi-sector Working Group to prepare a Draft Guideline on Public Participation in Myanmar’s EIA Process. The Guideline is designed to implement the EIA Procedure’s public participation requirements. The Working Group and drafting process is being assisted by Vermont Law School’s (VLS) Myanmar Environmental Governance Program, with the support of the USAID-funded Mekong Partnership for the Environment project.
The process to draft the Guideline commenced in November 2016. Over the following months, the multi-sector Working Group convened a series of meetings to discuss and develop the draft Guideline. Additionally, the ECD and VLS hosted a briefing for civil society organizations on the Guideline, as well as both a National Consultation event and a Government Consultation event. These activities were designed to introduce the Guideline to a wide range of interested stakeholders including the private sector, civil society, and other government ministries and departments, and to get their input and feedback on the Guideline. The working group and drafting team also solicited written comments and submissions on the Guideline during this period.
At the culmination of this process, the VLS drafting team submitted the Final Draft Guideline on Public Participation in Myanmar’s EIA Process to ECD for consideration. To accompany the Final Draft, the drafting team prepared a document to summarize all of the comments and feedback received during the consultation period, as well as the drafting team’s responses. Both of these documents can be found by following the links below.
This draft Guideline represents an important step toward strengthening Myanmar’s EIA process and making it more open, transparent, and accessible to impacted communities.