Govt seeks as­sis­tance for cli­mate change dam­ages

The Myanmar Times - - News - LUN MIN MANG lun­min­mang@mm­times.com

MYAN­MAR is seek­ing fi­nan­cial and tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance from in­ter­na­tional donors and tech­nol­ogy in­sti­tu­tions for losses and dam­ages the coun­try suf­fered due to cli­mate change.

Myan­mar of­fi­cials made an ap­peal at the Con­fer­ence of Par­ties (COP23) of the United Na­tions Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change in Bonn, Ger­many, held from Novem­ber 6 to 17.

Along with Haiti and Hon­duras, Myan­mar ranks high­est in the Global Cli­mate Risk In­dex 2018 re­port based on the most re­cent data avail­able – from 1997 to 2016 – which was re­leased this month.

Be­ing among the Least De­vel­oped Coun­tries (LDC), Myan­mar seeks fund for adap­ta­tion as well as cli­mate change mit­i­ga­tion. In 2007, Cy­clone Nar­gis caused dev­as­tat­ing dam­ages to Myan­mar, re­sult­ing in an es­ti­mated 140,000 de­ceased and 2 mil­lion home­less.

Myan­mar’s loss amounted to 3.1 per­cent of its GDP for the 2014-2015 fi­nan­cial years.

U Hla Maung Thein, head of Myan­mar del­e­ga­tion - com­pris­ing of­fi­cials from six min­istries - said that they are cur­rently ne­go­ti­at­ing for as­sis­tance with in­ter­na­tional fund­ing in­sti­tu­tions as well as tech­no­log­i­cal in­sti­tutes.

He said his team cur­rently en­gages in talks with the Green Cli­mate Fund (GCF), a global fund to sup­port de­vel­op­ing na­tions in their ef­forts to tackle cli­mate change. A US$300,000 grant has been ap­proved last week by the fund for two projects: ca­pac­ity build­ing for Na­tion­ally Des­ig­nated Author­ity and for the draft­ing of projects to be sub­mit­ted to the GCF.

The coun­try also seeks fund­ing for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a na­tional adap­ta­tion plan, a long-term pro­gram aim­ing to in­crease re­silience in deal­ing with the ef­fects of cli­mate change in the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to U Hla Maung Thein.

He said his plea for as­sis­tance would be dis­cussed in de­tail on Mon­day (Novem­ber 13) with the GCF.

“We are pre­par­ing to ap­ply for a project for coastal re­gions, which are the most im­pacted by cli­mate change. We hope that we can ap­ply for this project as early as 2018,” said U Hla Maung Thein.

In ad­di­tion, talks with GCF of­fi­cials would also con­tain projects in­volv­ing the Myan­mar’s pri­vate sec­tor in adap­ta­tion and mit­i­ga­tion ef­forts, to re­duce fac­tors caus­ing cli­mate change.

“For in­stance, they can as­sist with the de­vel­op­ment of mini-hy­dro power in­fra­struc­ture, waste treat­ment plant and ways to tackle the is­sue of sea-level rise for agri­cul­ture,” he said.

Aside from fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance, the Myan­mar del­e­ga­tion head had a bi­lat­eral meet­ing last week with the di­rec­tor gen­eral of Green Tech­nol­ogy Cen­ter (GTC), a South Korea-based tech­no­log­i­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion, to draft a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MOU) for tech­nol­ogy need as­sess­ment.

GTC is a mem­ber of the Cli­mate Tech­nol­ogy Cen­ter and Net­work formed un­der the Paris Agree­ment.

“We need tech­nol­ogy needs as­sess­ment that will an­a­lyse what are the ar­eas that we should pri­ori­tise. When we know what our pri­or­i­ties are, we can draft pro­pos­als for fi­nanc­ing and tech­nol­ogy as­sis­tance to or­gan­i­sa­tions like GTC and GCF,” U Hla Maung Thein said.

Tech­ni­cal need as­sess­ment is ex­pected to take place over six months at least.

Myan­mar’s cur­rent pri­or­ity with re­gard to cli­mate change con­cerns coastal re­gions that stretched from Thah­nintharyi and Aye­yarwady re­gions to Rakhine state, over nearly 2,000 km.

Of the three states, Rakhine and Aye­yarwady are most vul­ner­a­ble and suf­fer the great­est dam­ages from nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

For Thah­nintharyi re­gion, three projects have been ap­proved on Oc­to­ber 30 by the Global En­vi­ron­ment Fa­cil­ity this year.

“They [the ap­proved projects] are for the adap­ta­tion of the fish­ery sec­tor, bio­di­ver­sity and re­new­able en­ergy that amount to US $ 5 mil­lion,” the di­rec­tor gen­eral said.

Seven other projects are be­ing listed for ap­pli­ca­tion at the GCF. The GEF has also pledged to pro­vide US $30 mil­lion for eight projects, U Hla Maung Thein said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Global Cli­mate Risk In­dex 2018 re­port, less de­vel­oped coun­tries in­clud­ing Myan­mar are more af­fected than in­dus­tri­al­ized coun­tries.

Dur­ing the COP23, na­tions are ex­pected to con­tinue the de­vel­op­ment of ‘rule-book’ for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the 2015 Paris Agree­ment with the in­clu­sion of global adap­ta­tion goal and adap­ta­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion guide­lines, it said.

Photo: EPA

Burmese cy­clone sur­vivors re­build their house at a cy­clon dev­as­tated area in Kun­yan­gon, South­ern Myan­mar, 14 May 2008.

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