More than 400 CSOs demand government to stop coal and large dam projects

There is no doubt: Myanmar’s economic development requires energy. Only one third of the country’s population has access clean and reliable energy sources today. Thus, energy policy plays a key role in achieving sustainable development in Myanmar. But the recent energy master plan adopted by the government focuses on big hydro and coal power projects, largely neglecting the potential of alternative renewable energy source available in the country. It is obvious that implementing the current energy master plan would put a huge burden on the country’s future by generating more social conflicts, environmental degradation and political instability. Particularly, women and children will be most vulnerable to the impacts of the projects as thousands of people will be displaced and relocated from the project areas.

In response to this, civil society groups and activists in Myanmar jointly organized the Myanmar Green Energy Forum on 12-13 December 2016. During the two days forum experts, grassroots and community activists and civil society representatives discussed potential risks, damages and threats posed by the government’s energy master plans if implemented. They urged the government to consider more sustainable and renewable energy sources available in Myanmar. A joint statement against the existing energy plans but in favor of an alternative energy policy based on renewable energy solutions was released. More than 400 CSOs and NGOs/INGOs in Myanmar endorsed the statement.

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