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6th Green Gathering Event: Global Energy Transition and Myanmar

As a long- term partner of Myanmar Green Network (MGN), Spectrum contributed finance and communication support to three-day conference of “Global Energy Transition and Myanmar” that MGN organized as their 6th Green Gathering event at Zwe Kabin City Hall, Pha An township in Kayin State.

The conference started from 14 December 2017 to 16 December 2017. The event is co-organized by Earth Right International, Paungku, Point, KESAN, Spectrum and Youth Circle. The main purpose of the conference is showing the unity of local NGOs and INGOs group with the same goal on Myanmar Energy Sector for renewable and more alternative energy options.

At three days event, Spectrum distributed its energy related publications such as “Developing a renewable energy policy for Myanmar: Insights from the 2014 census”, “Women and Electrification: What women want electricity for”, “Policy directions for Myanmar’s energy future”, “Electricity: The view from CSOs and Intra-community issues” and “A case study on gender aspects at the Upper Paunglaung Hydropower Dam” to all participants.

At opening ceremony, Kayin Ethnic Minister U Banya Hlaing Oo said, “Myanmar has a lot of difficulties in implementing green business trend because of weakness in rule and regulations and lack of advanced technology know how. So we welcome workshops, training events or the conferences like this. This will widen our local people knowledge to know international rule and regulations, and principles as example.”

The conference totally focused on revealing global energy trends and letting locals and government participants know how much clean alternatives ways are available in Myanmar. Moreover, with the goal of decarbonization by 2030 on the horizon, new coal projects in Southeast Asia like Myanmar are in the inevitable danger of becoming too risky for locals and be an additional burden to NDC (National Determined Contribution) that Myanmar agreed in COP 21 Paris agreement.

Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of these long-term goals. NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

In her welcome speech, Daw Devi Thant Cin, leading founder of Myanmar Green Network (MGN) said, “Myanmar is one of the countries that agreed to implement NDCs according to Paris Agreement. So our goal for reducing carbon emissions will be impossible if we will continue to allow the construction and operation of new coal-fired power plants in Myanmar land. And our current government is civil democratic one, so we fully hope they will listen to local people voices and their concerns of coal plants’ impact on their lives, health and environment.”

U Aung Myint from Renewable Energy Association Myanmar (REAM) explained about Myanmar National Electrification Plan, Energy Master Plan and Myanmar current energy need. He said, “It is time to vividly reduce the coal-dependent energy path. It is time to pursue a clean, people-centered development paradigm. And there should be decentralization of power for State and regional Governments to decide their prefer energy method.”

Nearly 200 people from local green CSOs, local community, international NGOs like Greenpeace Southeast Asia, WWF, NGOs, government officials and Myanmar Media groups participated in Green Gathering Conference.

They discussed deeply about decentralization in energy management, different views of locals, experts, activists and current government bodies on Myanmar energy needs, the likely impacts of national energy policy change and the importance of transparency and accountability in implementing risky energy projects like Coal power plants and Mega Dams.

As a result of that conference, local people whose societies are under threat of coal projects have a chance to raise their voices and concerns in media channels in presence of government officials. And participants have an opportunity to meet with local people and observe the real ground situations of the coal issue they are facing now.

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