[Unofficial English Translation]
CSO’s Statement on the effort for adopting the REDD+ National Strategy
3 May 2018
We know REDD+ National Strategy (draft) is going to be adopted in Myanmar. It is important to respect and recognize the self-determination and customary practices of each and every ethnicity. Moreover, any process related to natural resources under customary governance in ethnic areas needs free prior informed consent; and it is the fact that we believe.
We have noticed that the whole process of REDD+ is not sufficient in getting the consent of ethnic communities and public consultation especially the potentially affected communities and the effort to invite those communities in the process of consultation is not sufficient. In addition, there is no meaningful consultation with the local communities from the areas where this strategy would promote attraction for resource extractions.
The people from natural resource rich ethnic areas need sufficient amount of time to get & digest the complete information on REDD+ and to be gender sensitive & inclusive process. The people have the rights to information which is not only about the plan & the National Strategy but also the consequences of it. Moreover, the livelihoods of ethnic peoples from decades long arm conflicts areas are relying customarily on forest and natural resources. The marginalizing & exclusive processes are pushing those peoples towards unsecured & deteriorate lives.
REDD+ would create potential misunderstandings under existing peace building process; would become a cause for serious potential conflicts in mixed control areas (the Government and ethnic armed organizations).
Lastly, the strategy document is mentioning that shifting cultivation is the reason of deforestation; without concrete & clear evidence. That citation is not correct according to systematic studies in practice. The strategy is not discussing on industrial & infrastructure projects (especially transnational roads passing through the forests).
Civil society organizations demand the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation and the organizations supporting for development of Myanmar REDD+ National Strategy the following points.
- To respect the indigenous peoples’ rights to govern their natural resources; and to halt the process till supportive & protective measures are in place for customary land rights and the livelihoods of indigenous peoples
- To proceed wider and meaningful public consultations with communities and key local actors (including civil society organizations, smallholder farmers, people living in rural areas and conflict affected areas)
- To analyze conflict sensitivity for strategy development and to include in the current peace building & national reconciliation process.
- To ensure REDD+ strategy is for promoting human wellbeing and not for diminishing.
- Saw San Ngwe (09-793958791)
- Saw Alex (+66-967656615, 09-793595873)
- Ma Kamoon (09-401601822)