Vice-Senior General Soe Win addresses third meeting of State-level Central Committee on Administration and Management of Coastal Resources

Vice-Senior General Soe Win addresses third meeting of State-level Central Committee on Administration and Management of Coastal Resources

NAY PYI TAW October 3

The State-level Central Committee on Administration and Management of Coastal Resources held its third meeting at the Forestry Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation in Nay Pyi Taw at 2 pm today, addressed by Chairman of the Central Committee Vice-Chairman of the State Administration Council Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Senior General Soe Win.

Present at the meeting were Central Committee member Union Minister U Khin Maung Yi, deputy ministers, permanent secretaries, directorsgeneral and officials from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Navy) while region and state chief ministers and officials attended it via video conferencing.

In his speech, the Vice-Senior General said today’s meeting was held to explain the implementationof the resolutions of  the first and second meetings and the continuation of future tasks.

Thanks to the coordinated measures for coastal resource management after the meetings, there have been results such as adoption of Integrated Coastal Management-ICM, formation of Myanmar coastal guard force, drafting of the law controlling sea pollution, destination of no-fishing zones in bio-diversity areas with high marine ecosystem, extension of mangrove and forest reserve and protection plantations in the coastal regions, establishment of mangrove forests and shade trees in 60 coastal townships including Coco Island, and maritime enforcement under the leadership of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Navy).

The government views Myanmar’s coastal resources as good prospects for sustainability and a target for sustainable use for next generations. As such, links and cooperation need to be forged with global and regional countries in the areas of economic and environmental development policies and concepts.

While the UN is implementing 17 sustainable development goals, global countries have adopted a blue economy and regional countries are also implementing it.

The blue economy is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystem.

Its two basic concepts are protection and reestablishment of natural resources and systematic use of businesses and opportunities that lie in the maritime and coastal areas.

For the blue economy prospect of Myanmar, we have to systematically adopt opportunities given by nature such as possession of over 2,800 kilometers of coastal regions accounting for one fifth of the ecosystem of the Bay of Bengal,

blessings of sandy beach, mangrove, coral reef, sea grass and marine ecosystems, being able to tap marine products, environmental services, onshore and offshore fishing and oil and gas extraction on a longterm basis, being strategic to global maritime trade, being able to establish international ports and special economic zones, potential development of renewable energy sources based on sea such as wind power, prospects for unspoilt beaches and islands and tourism development and safeguarding of cultural heritages in coastal regions with colourful national races.

Such a blue economy has many challenges. But they must be addressed by taking measures for protection of diverse marine creatures, coral reefs, mangroves, sea grass, prevention of food security from depletion, less vocational sources, climate change and natural disasters, reduction of challenges to response measures, and control of sea garbage, e-waste and agricultural waste.

Myanmar belongs to China’s Belt and Road Initiative and stands as a geographically strategic country.Of the six major economic corridors, Myanmar is in the economic corridor of Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar and serves as a hub of South Asia and Southeast Asia.

The ports in Myanmar’s coastal areas are crucial because of being exit to sea between the Indian Ocean and China’s landlocked provinces, using Kyaukphyu deep-sea port, cutting water transport distance to about 5,000 kilometers between South Asia, West Asia, Africa and Europe, and being able to transport goods to India. So, respective sectors must make efforts for farsighted management of coastal resources to contribute towards the country’s economy with rapid progress.

Blue economic policies must be implemented with focus on addressing challenges rather than economic opportunities.

The government is making an effort to establish the good foundations necessary for the identification and implementation of blue economic policies for Myanmar’s coastal-based long-term development.

In order to carry out longterm development and effective coordination between users and founders of coastal resource management activities, “Statelevel Central Committee on Administration and Management of Coastal Resources”,

“Working Committee”, “Regional and State Committees of Coastal Areas” and district level committees have been formed, and a good strategic basis for coordination and integration is already in place. In order to develop the blue economy, we must identify and implement a plan for the comprehensive management of coastal resources.

Myanmar’s ICM program is being drafted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, and the approval process is ongoing.

The ultimate goal of the ICM program is to “value Myanmar’s coastal and marine resources as the country’s natural resources, and to be able to benefit from the principle of balancing the objectives of conservation and development with the participation of all stakeholders of these resources, the principle of promoting the ability to respond and protect against natural and human-caused damage and the principles of long-term development for current and future generations with all participation.”

It has been written to be based on six strategic processes such as management and operation of Myanmar’s ICM, improving organizational and managerial capabilities, protecting, maintaining and restoring the coastal ecosystem, research and supervision, inclusive governance and benefit sharing and connecting private roles and responsible businesses.

The expert of the International Natural Resources Conservation Organization, which is writing the ICM program in cooperation with the Department of Forestry, has studied and presented the good examples of the regional countries on ICM at the second meeting of the working committee held on August 2, 2022 and the points suggested by the Central Committee members and the working committee members on ICM are being studied, prepared and approved, so the ICM will be approved soon.

By making Myanmar’s ICM program emerge, it will serve as a reference for the comprehensive management of coastal and marine resources and measures to be taken according to business sectors to develop the blue economy.

In Myanmar, the existing law, rules and procedures for the management of coastal resources have been enacted according to the relevant sector, as well as the new law and policies required by the times are being developed.

As related organizations are cooperating with the Office of the Commander-in-Chief (Navy) on the law enforcement activities of the sea and coastal areas, in line with the situation that the state can increase according to the times, organizations such as the Coast Guard are being expanded and established, and good strategic bases are also being identified for the promotion of law enforcement activities, so that it will be able to support the development of the blue economy sector.

Myanmar is a country rich in natural resources, along its long coastline, rich in coastal and marine resources, and these resources play a key role in the country’s food security and long-term development.

The State Administration Council is emphasizing on the recovery of economic activities that have declined due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in accordance with three economic directions, coastal and marine resource management and ability to develop business opportunities must be established.

About 70 percent of Myanmar’s population is rural people, so only if rural-based agricultureand livestock activities can be carried out seriously, the development of the country will speed up along with the improvement of the socioeconomic life of the rural people.

As our country is an ASEAN member country, the ASEAN leaders’ blue economic statement issued by the 38th ASEAN Summit held on October 26, 2021, calls for people to pay attention to the development of the people in the ASEAN region and to be able to connect with local development programs during the period of COVID-19, plans must be identified and implemented according to the relevant business sector. In doing so, we must aim to achieve long-term development goals through balanced management of national development and environmental protection.

The Vice Chairman of the State Administration Council said to clarify and discuss the plans and processes that should be carried out to strive to be able to connect with regional programs in coastal and marine resource conservation and development activities, to cooperate comprehensively in the conservation of coastal and marine resources, and regarding the sustainable and balanced development of coastal and marine waters according to relevant sectors and ministries.

After that, an educational video about the coastal region is shown. After that, U Htay Aung, Director General of the Department of Forestry (on behalf of) the Secretary of the Central Committee, explained the committee’s duties and completed work.

Then Union Minister U Khin Maung Yi, a member of the Central Committee, Region and State Chief Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Director-Generals and officials gave briefings according to their respective sectors, while the Vice Chairman of the State Administration Council Deputy Prime Minister, discussed the briefings and coordinated the necessary actions.

After that, the Chairman of the State-level Central Committee on Administration and Management of Coastal Resources, the Vice Chairman of the State Administration Council Deputy Prime Minister gave closing remarks and adjourned the meeting.