World Environment Day 2023 observed; Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing delivers address

World Environment Day 2023 observed; Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing delivers address


    World Environment Day 2023 was observed at Myanmar International Convention Center 2 here this morning addressed by Chairman of State Administration Council Prime Minister Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

Also present were SAC Joint Secretary Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo, SAC members, union ministers, union level officials, the Nay Pyi Taw Council chair, Chief of General Staff (Army, Navy and Air) General Maung Maung Aye, senior military officers from the Office of the Commander-in-Chief, deputy ministers, departmental officials, honoured guests, award winners, students of University of Forestry and Environmental Science and basic education schools, and officials.

The Senior General said the UN General Assembly designated 5 June as the World Environment Day at UN General Conference held in 1972 to solve the environmental problems collectively by all countries including Myanmar. The world countries started to observe the Day in 1973 and this year is its Golden Jubilee.This year’s theme is “Solutions to Plastic Pollution”, and its aim is to address the consequences of plastic pollution caused by global human action by all countries, to accelerate the work of solving the plastic pollution problem, to switch to circular economy which reduces waste to minimum and which causes least harm to environment.

Plastic is one of the environmentally harmful materials that does not decompose and that is so persistent. It takes a many years for the plastics to disappear.

Indiscriminate disposal of plastic materials causes blockage of waterways and natural watercourses, followed by floods. Dumping of plastic waste near natural watercourses contaminates water resources and degrades water quality. Plastic waste reached the sea from those watercourses, and after many years, it turns into micro plastics that cause marine pollution.

If plastic waste is incinerated it will release poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide, dioxin, hydrogen cyanide that will contaminate the atmosphere and will be severe harmful to health. From its production stage to usage and disposal stage plastic materials, throughout their existence, cause pollution to environment, air, land and water and harm to all aquatic and terrestrial beings. According to a UN reports, on average 50,000 and above plastic particles are entering individual human body annually through various causes. Everyone can imagine the extent of the danger.

The main cause of marine pollution is the plastic waste that is carried into sea by natural watercourses. Accord to a research report, from 75 million tons to about 199 million tons of plastic can be found in the oceans. If the culture of plastic use and disposal is not changed from 19 million tons to 23 million tons of plastics are flowing into marine ecosystem annually, and in 2040 this volume will rise threefold, according to UN Environment Programme.

According to the 2022 report “The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2022” of Food and Agriculture Organization  FAO, the decline of marine resources continues due to over fishing of marine animals, water pollution, bad management and other reasons. It mentions the challenges of abandoned fishing nets, lostfishing nets and unusable fishing nets and marine garbage as a global issue.

Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Region and the ASEAN Framework of Action on Marine Debris were adopted in 2019, and Myanmar is an active participant. The country is also implementing the ASEAN Regional Action Plan for Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Member States (2021 –2025) together with its ASEAN counterparts.

Sections 45 and 390(b) of the Constitution (2008) of Republic of Union of Myanmar states the responsibility of the State and its people for environmental protection and conservation.

Basically, the people of Myanmar are environment lovers. Hence, the people should take part in the national environment conservation programs in the respective sectors with full duty consciousness.

Myanmar has adopted “a national waste management strategy” and “a major task plan (2018-2023)” with six goals placing focus on solutions to plastic pollution. As a member country of “The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal,”

Myanmar is engaging in “environmentally sound management” over the import and export of plastic waste materials in line with the pledges of the convention.

Blessed with aboveground natural resources such as wood and bamboo, our country already has favorable conditions to produce single use plastic substitute materials. As part of environmental conservation, our country is able to take a role model in the world in establishing and maintaining forests. We have to try for forest conservation and reforestation by manufacturing various kinds of plastic substitute paper.

Moreover, the development of local MSMEs must be encouraged to reduce production of environmentally harmful goods including plastics as much as possible, and recycle and reprocess waste materials.

Measures are also necessary to avoid unnecessary environmental pollution and prevent import of waste products. Relevant organizations responsible for waste management need to try to improve garbage disposal and storage systems.

In accord with the theme “Solutions to Plastic Pollution” of World Environment Day 2023, the whole world including Myanmar must adopt 3Rs—reduce, reuse and recycle plastic products by implementing long-term projects. And this is a way of public cooperation and such efforts are necessary to create a better environment, the Senior General said.

Next, the video message of the UN Secretary General and the video message of UNEP were shown.

Then, the Senior General presented prizes for Zabuthiri Township of Nay Pyi Taw Council Area that won the best environmental management town award, Maye Ohnbinsu Village of Mawlamyinekyun Township in Ayeyawady Region that won the best environmental management village award and Global Earth Seafood Processing Plant and Cold Storage Facility Global Earth ARGO and AQUA Industry Public Company Limited that won the best environmental management factory award to officials concerned.

Afterwards, SAC Joint Secretary Lt-Gen Ye Win Oo presented first to third prizes to the schools that won the greening school awards (high school level), SAC member Deputy Prime Minister Union Minister General Mya Tun Oo first to third prizes to the schools that won the green school awards (primary level), SAC member Lt-Gen Moe Myint Tun first to third prizes to the winners who won the open commemorative article contest and SAC member Union Minister Lt-Gen Soe Htut first to third prizes to the winners won the open commemorative essay contest.

After that, an educational video on environmental conservation was shown. Then, the Senior General posed for a documentary photo together with those present.

Later, the Senior General and party viewed the commemorative booths.