Vice Chairman of State Administration Council Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win addresses (first) meeting of National Level Central Committee for Administration and Management of Natural Resources in Coastal Areas
Nay Pyi Taw June 9
The National Level Central Committee for the Administration and Management of Natural Resources in Coastal Areas held its first meeting in Ingin Hall of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation here at 2 pm today, with an address delivered by Chairman of the Central Committee Vice Chairman of the State Administration Council Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army) Vice-Senior General Soe Win.
Present were members of the central committee Union ministers U Tin Htut Oo and U Khin Maung Yi, Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Admiral Moe Aung, Deputy Minister U Min Min Oo, the deputy attorney-general, permanent secretaries, directors general and officials. Members of region/state administration councils, who are also the members of the central committee, took part in the meeting through video conferencing.
In his speech, the Vice-Senior General said SAC is protecting and conserving the natural resources in all seriousness as a national task. In view of further promoting the coastal and mangrove forest management, the National Level Central Committee for the Administration and Management of Natural Resources in Coastal Areas was set up on 2 April 2021 under Notification No 95/2021 of SAC. It is the first meeting of the central committee. The coastline of Myanmar is 1,930 kilometres (1,200 miles) long.
Marine resources are valuable resources of the countries which have coastline. Hence the former national level central committee was formed on 30 November 2016. It laid down and implemented the ten action plans. It held meetings for seven times and laid down 54 resolutions. It had completed 47 of them and seven were still under implementation and they are long term projects.
The former central committee could hold regular meetings. But, it could not hold further meetings because of Covid-19 global pandemic that break out in 2020. Hence, today’s meeting is for the continued implementation of guidelines adopted by the central committee in real time.
Population is increasing across the world on a daily basis, and everybody can see improvement of lifestyles. As towns and villages as well as lifestyles are changing, only when development and environmental conservation can be managed in a harmonious manner, can the sustainable development goal be secured.
Hence, global countries including Myanmar are implementing all the tasks in line with the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. Among 17 sustainable development goals, the 14th one is related to development of coastal and marine areas.
The 14th sustainable development goal related to the water temperature of coastal area and marine affairs, water creatures and biodiversity are basic factors to primarily contribute to living of humans. Livelihoods and jobs of more than 3,000 million of global population depend on coastal areas and biodiversity. It was reported that some 30 percent of world’s fish resources including that of Myanmar have been extremely exploited.
Volume of fish resources at the coastal areas remarkably declines due to extreme extraction. Seawater pollution threats fish resources and ecosystems. Some 80 percent of waste found in the seawater was mainly discarded from the inland areas.
The waste which causes pollution at the coastal areas and marine area spread from the poles to the equator, the international water territories and the bed of the sea via water surface and then destroy biodiversity, habitations and ecosystems. Most of the waste discarded into the seawater is plastic wares such as packaging wares and disposal plastic equipment and waste fishing nets. Drainage of waste solution, fertilizers and chemicals causes pollution at the coastal areas and marine water. Seawater pollution much harms the seawater which threats sustainable extraction of fish resources, food sufficiency, plentiful of biodiversity and health and socio-economic development of humans.
As marine creatures eat waste materials such as plastic wares in the seawater, they die due to blocking the digest routes with plastic wares. Fish and sea creatures die at the discarded fishing nets. Likewise, piling of waste is destroying coastal areas, marine natural resources such as mangrove forest, coral reefs, sea grass, delta area and sandbanks.
Oil leaks are also threatening coastal areas and oceans. High sound transmissions installed in offshore oil and gas exploration vessels can affect the food searching system, mating and other habits of whales, a rare species of mammals in the world, and even kill invertebrate marine creatures.
According to the 2020 data released by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature – IUCN, 25 percent of marine mammals, 27 percent of seabirds and 27 percent of coral reefs are almost in extinction. It is forecast that over a half of marine species could disappear by 2100. This is the risk Myanmar is facing along its coastal regions. In a way, it is a challenge.
The Covid-19 pandemic may have great impact on the coasts and marine resources. Waste materials for Covid-19 prevention and ontrol measures such as disposable masks, gloves and other personal items are being found in the seas and oceans, and they are creating a new type of sea pollution, experts have reviewed.
As the world pays special attention to addressing Covid-19 challenges and difficulties, it is necessary to adopt long-term plans for coastal and marine development in order to realize State sustainable development goals, protect natural resources in the long run and respond to and prevent water pollution and related challenges of climate change.
Myanmar is cooperating with the international community in realizing the 14 sustainable development goals for coastal and marine areas. At a national level also, the country has adopted a sustainable and balanced development plan (2018-2030) and is focusing on environmental conservation tasks including coastal and maritime areas as part of goal 5 “natural resources and environment for future generations of the State”.
The protection of Myanmar’s coastal and maritime areas and environment is a national duty of every citizen. Similarly, it is the duty of all citizens including the Navy to protect the country’s coastal and maritime areas, the Vice-Senior General said.
The Vice-Senior General urged the participants to resume the coastal and ocean resources conservation tasks which have been suspended due to the outbreak of COVID-19, to cooperate for prevention of water pollution in seas and to discuss measures and existing and future tasks that should be carried out for sustainable and equitable development of coastal and ocean resources by respective ministries and regions frankly.
Afterwards, a video educating the conservation of coastal areas was shown. Then, Secretary of the central committee Permanent Secretary Dr. Nyi Nyi Kyaw reported on duties of the committee, previously completed tasks and services for conservation of coastal resources of Myanmar.
Afterwards, members of the central committee union ministers and me mbers of state/region administration councils, the commander-in-chief (Navy), the deputy attorney-general, permanent secretaries, directors generals and officials reported matters related to management and conservation of coastal resources, management of mangrove forests and rehabilitation of mangrove ecosystems, prevention of water pollution, environmental conservation and disaster management, conservation and sufficiency of fish resources and awareness-raising campaigns and the Vice-Senior General attended to the needs.
Afterwards, the Vice-Senior General delivered concluding remarks, saying the harmony between consumers and founders is important in the conservation, extraction and application of resources in coastal areas for the sustainability of the resources for current and future generations and it is necessary to cooperate between them. In doing so,coastal region development tasks including agriculture, fishery, livestock breeding, hotels and tourism, resource extraction, industries and construction tasks can have long-term impacts on coastal nvironment and socio-economic of respective regions and attention must be paid to them.
Coordination and collaboration must be made in the long-term interest of the nation. Besides, it is to carry out tasks with momentum and plans to establish mangrove plantations, to expand reserved forests and protected public forests, and to establish marine sanctuaries and marine wildlife parks. Furthermore, it has to take measures of supervision on installing off-shore fishing boats with equipment to set sea turtles free if they are caught by the boats.
Measures are needed to be taken in order that fishing boats do not dump plastic appurtenances, fishing equipment and old fishing nets at sea, and relevant education tasks are to be expanded for people dealing with sea in order to know consequences of dumping such things.
It is to carry out tasks with use of natural-based solutions as the best as possible to restore ecosystem and conserve biodiversity and carbon emission reduction. It has to take measures to effectively protect mangrove forests from matters causing damages. Regarding the Central Committee's 10 tasks, all are to work together based on the work experiences to achieve the committee's goals. For long-term existence of natural resources in Myanmar's coastal regions, it is to make collective efforts on multi management over coastal resources among all the stakeholders.