December 13, 2017

Businesses’ EIA, SIA, EMP report to government found weak points

Weakness is found in implementation reports of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and Environmental Management Plan (EMP) by enterprises, said Daw Khin Thida Tin, the director of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.
The submitted reports of EIA, SIA and EMP show weak points concerning with policy, procedures, criteria, transparency, assessment methodology, impact mitigation measure and lack of report on related impact, said Daw Khin Thida Tin.
Additionally, EMP implementation group was described in general and no organization structure, no terms of reference were mentioned. Also, there are weakness in giving commitments, parameters, frequency and geographical location, she continued. Moreover, the report has flaw in public consultation methodology and describing the feeling and experiences of people affected by the projects, she added.
“Report also fails to clearly express the request of the local residents, meeting minutes, commitments given by the company. The report also has no detailed project information given to the public, lacking reference in the report”, said Daw Khin Thida Tin. Founder of ECodev, U Win Myo Thu said that EIA and SIA activities are required to seek advices and cooperation from a panel of experts and most of domestic companies are not well-prepared for this.
“It is usual to see that kind of weakness as the Environmental Conservation Law has come into force only for five or six years. We need to walk on the right path slowly and steadily as companies are working ineffectively regarding the inclusiveness of the public participation. Therefore, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation needs to urge the company to carry out public participation in an effective way so as not to blemish the country’s reputation”, he added.
Mrs. Vicky Bowmen, director of Myanmar Center for Responsible Business (MCRB) said that Myanmar suffered the worst environmental impact and third party plays a crucial role to EIA and SIA activities.
“All companies require hiring the third party. It is a legal requirement in Myanmar Environmental Impact Assessment to hire qualified third party. It is not a choice but the problem at the moment. We still have a problem that many of the people who are not offering third party EIA services are not actually experienced and unqualified to do it. So, our recommendation would be building the partnership between local companies and international EIA consultancies. And also international EIA consultancies should see that responsibility as probably around skills transfer”.
Some third party is allegedly committing breach of copyright regarding to activities of EIA, SIA and EMP, especially in construction businesses. The government has already issued warning about it.

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