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August 12, 2020

4th GMS Environment Ministers’ Meeting held in Nay Pyi Taw

Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham poses for documentary photo with environment ministers of GMS countries at 4th Greater Mekong Subregion  Environment Ministers’ Meeting.—mna
Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham poses for documentary photo with environment ministers of GMS countries at 4th Greater Mekong Subregion Environment Ministers’ Meeting.—mna

Nay Pyi Taw, 29 Jan—The Fourth Greater Mekong Subregion Environment Ministers’ Meeting took place here on Thursday, with Vice President Dr Sai Mauk Kham addressing the meeting, officials said.
The meeting is aimed at the continuous implementation of the call for greater growth by ministers at the 3rd Environment Ministers’ Meeting held in Cambodia in 2011 and adding new momentum to action plans for the sub-region agreed at the Rio+20 Conference, the vice president said.
Senior government officials and non-government environmental leaders, he noted, gathered at the two meetings in a bid to develop a shared understanding of key natural capital issues and solutions.
Myanmar boasts a great wealth of natural resources, with the vice president describing ecosystems and rich biodiversity as ‘our natural capital’ and adding that these natural assets provide people with food, water, livelihood, medicinal plants, biofuel, building material, means of natural hazard protection, and climate regulation.
He admitted some depletion of the country’s resources, citing massive development projects,
illegal wildlife trade, excessive exploitation of forest resources, population explosion, unsustainable consumption patterns, poverty and lack of public awareness campaigns.
Bagan has now become an arid area, undergoing scarcity of water with a few inches of rainfall resulting from depletion of forests in its immediate vicinity for excessive collection of firewood to bake bricks.
He cited historical researchers as saying that the ancient kingdom with thousands of pagodas and extensive paddy fields had flourished between the 9th and 13th centuries and enjoyed a humid climate and fertile soil.
Tigers were once roaming in the plains and forests of the region, but now both tigers and forests have disappeared, he quoted some written records as mentioning.
He also spoke of Shan State facing the similar fate, saying that tigers used to be spotted at night in his native town but now they have become rare sights in thick forests.
The disappearance of tigers in many parts of his region indicates the depletion of biodiversity and ecosystem, he noted, calling for effective approaches to environmental conservation in the context of individual countries.
He pointed the need to provide local communities with incentives to better management, preservation and enhancement of their natural assets, and ecosystem services such as Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).
He also talked of the Regional Investment Framework Implementation Plan 2014-2018 (RIF-IM 2014-2018) made at the 5th GMS Summit in Bangkok last year, saying the plan underlines improved connectivity, competitiveness and holistic approaches to health, education and environmental issues.
He called for all GMS countries and stakeholders to unlock investment opportunities to ensure food, energy and water security in the subregion and beyond.
According to the vice president, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has helped the MGS countries make significant progress in infrastructural connectivity, information and communication technology, transport and trade facilitation, human resources development, and environmental conservation. -MNA

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