Between 2 – 4 June 2016, Timu assisted in a training workshop on environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) in Kyaukphyu in Rakhine State, organized by the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP) in partnership with the British Council’s Pyoe Pin program and Myanmar Legal Aid Network (MLAW), led by U Kyaw Myint law firm.
Located in the Bay of Bengal in western Myanmar, Kyaukphyu is the proposed site for a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with a new deep-sea port, an industrial park and a residential area. Local residents, many of whom depend on rice farming and fishing, are concerned about the potential impacts of the large-scale infrastructure project, which will be connected to the already existing Shwe dual oil and gas pipeline.
The training aimed to improve the understanding of local civil society organizations on key international standards for environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA). Using the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards as well as the recently adopted Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure (2015), specific attention was given to the process of EIA in Myanmar, the importance of meaningful consultation and free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), land acquisition and involuntary resettlement, compensation, livelihoods restoration and improvement, vulnerable groups, and effective grievance mechanisms.
Community representatives identifying potential social impacts of Kyaukphyu SEZ.
A fisherman with his catch from the Bay of Bengal, near Kyaukphyu.