Between 22 – 24 November 2016, Timu assisted in a training on environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) in Dawei (the capital of Tanintharyi Region), organized by the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) in partnership with the Dawei Pro bono Lawyers Network (DPLN).
Tanintharyi Region is situated in the south of Myanmar and has multiple (tin, coal) mine sites, palm oil plantations and a proposed Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with a planned deep-sea port, a large industrial zone, LNG terminal and power plants.
As with the proposed SEZ in Kyauk Phyu, local communities around Dawei are deeply concerned about loss of land, dust, water pollution and other negative social and environmental impacts related to these projects. In discussions with local communities it became clear that most projects have so far failed to organize meaningful and inclusive public consultations. Moreover, compensation for loss of land has been haphazard and inadequate, mainly due to a lack of systematic approach as well as corruption. The fact that many EIAs have been conducted post-construction has further exacerbated the lack of proper impact mitigation measures.
The training on environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) helped local community-based organizations to understand international (IFC, WB, ADB) standards as well as the national Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure (2015). Specific attention was given to the process of EIA in Myanmar, the importance of meaningful consultation, free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), land acquisition and involuntary resettlement, compensation, livelihoods restoration and improvement, vulnerable groups, and what effective grievance mechanisms should look like.
Construction facilities inside the Dawei SEZ.