Achieving Environmental Sustainability in Myanmar
48 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2015
Date Written: December 2015
Myanmar’s long isolation from international markets and sources of finance historically limited development, and thus, the pressure on its environment. Many of its resources remain relatively intact, despite an absence of effective environmental regulations. Yet, as the country integrates into the global economy and its economic development accelerates, resource degradation is rising rapidly. Deforestation of closed forests in recent years has taken place at the fastest rate among major Southeast Asian countries, much of it driven by concessions for plantations and other large-scale projects. Marine capture fishing pressure has increased rapidly, and the sustainability of catches is largely unknown. Water and air pollution effluents and emissions are escalating. At the same time, policy responses to date, while emphasizing overall sustainability, need to be developed to address these issues. Environmental impact assessment procedures, environmental quality standards, emissions regulations, and penalties for environmental violations remain under development. Perverse incentives for resource destruction are still in place and efforts to create market incentives for sustainable practices are at an initial stage. To ensure long-run, sustainable economic development, Myanmar’s reforms need to address these issues more quickly and comprehensively.
Keywords: deforestation, environmental protection and conservation, Myanmar, pollution management, vulnerability to climate change
JEL Classification: O13, O44, Q15, Q56
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation