YANGON -- Myanmar government is working towards the adoption of a national climate change policy, expecting to announce the launch of the policy soon.

The policy, formulated in collaboration with civil society, private sector and experts from across all sectors, will be launched along with a new national climate change strategy and action plan, President U Htin Kyaw disclosed at a ceremony celebrating the World Environment Day in Nay Pyi Taw on Monday.

The president encouraged Myanmar people to appreciate and help preserve the beauty of the country, one of the most ecologically diverse countries in Asia, urging people to take forward the call of the theme of the World Environment Day to connect with the nature.

World Environment Day is a United Nations-led annual event since 1972, aimed at bringing awareness to the destructive effects of natural resources extraction pollution and the need to protect biodiversity.

Read more: Myanmar gov't working on national climate change policy


Women participate in an embankment repair cash for work program following Cyclone Giri in Myanmar. Photo by: IRC Myanmar/Burma / CC BY-ND

Myanmar’s national government and some international development groups are adopting different but complementary approaches to tackling what many in the country consider to be one of the biggest threats to achieving sustainable development: Climate change. Government officials are working on implementing a new country-wide climate action plan, while several foreign aid groups are going straight to local communities and helping them adapt to the realities of a warming world.

They face large hurdles, however — and many stakeholders fear the impact of Myanmar’s lack of resources, capacity and funds to deal with the devastating effects of climate change.

Admittedly, the Southeast Asian country is only starting to prioritize climate action after emerging from decades of self-imposed isolation. Yet if efforts currently being spearheaded by government officials, United Nations workers, aid groups and others prove effective, Myanmar could herald a model for other countries emerging from authoritarianism to grapple with climate change issues.

Read more: Climate change is undermining sustainable development in Myanmar. Here is what can be done about it.


Meeting with REDD+ team at Forest Research Institute (FRI), Yezin, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar Photo: ICIMOD

Having inaugurated the REDD+ Himalaya Initiative in an official ceremony in August 2015, Myanmar is making progress on its national roadmap for REDD+ readiness. In this first preparatory phase, countries design their national REDD+ strategies and build capacity for the following stages.

Read more: Myanmar Builds Ground for REDD+


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