M&AOSB Takes Part in a Round Table Discussion on Public Participation Process in the EIA
Pyae Pyae Phyo
Myint & Associates Offshore Supply Base Limited (M&AOSB) received an invitation to join a round table discussion on the public participation processes in undertaking the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) from the event organizer OXFAM. M&AOSB willingly accepted the invitation as a panelist in the fourth session: Monitoring and Compliance. Daw Kyisin H. Aung, Corporate Affairs Manager of MPRL E&P GOCs and a representative of M&AOSB, participated as a project proponent panelist in the discussion and she shared her panelist experiences from the discussion.
The round table discussion was jointly organized by OXFAM and EarthRights International, supported by Myanmar Environmental Assessment Association (MEAA). The event aimed to provide a platform for relevant government officials, EIA/ SIA Consultants, Businesses, and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to discuss challenges, concerns, and share experiences and success stories based on their previous experience of undertaking the EIA for respective projects from various perspectives as different stakeholders.
The event was organized in Nay Pyi Taw on October 30th, 2019 and several government entities were in attendance — the Environmental Conservation Department (ECD), Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC), Directorate of Investment and Company Administration (DICA), and General Administration Department (GAD), EIA Consultants such as Myanmar Environmental Assessment Association (MEAA), Environmental Resource Management Co., Ltd. (ERM), E-Guard Environmental Services Co., Ltd. (E-Guard), and Myanmar Sustainable Development Engineering Services Co., Ltd (MSDES) and Civil Society Organizations such as Kann Chay Arr Man, Dawei Pronbono Lawyer Network, Dawei Development Association, Thilawa Social Development Group and many more.
After the opening speech by U Hla Maung Thein, Director General from ECD (Nay Pyi Taw), continuous panel discussions followed: Screening and Scoping; EIA Investigation Process; EIA Review Process and Monitoring and Compliance.
In the discussion, Daw Kyisin H. Aung shared the company’s commitments to ensure public participation throughout the EIA process and in every project phase by disclosing the results of monitoring surveys if it is normal or exceeds the baseline and M&AOSB’s actions to mitigate risks of any possible environmental and social impacts. Challenges remain in some cases since the Project Affected Person (PAP) have not fully understood the EIA’s insights and obligations within EMPs/ ECCs where the subject matter is highly technical.
She also highlighted that MPRL E&P Group is the first and only company in Myanmar that has not only initiated, but is robustly, implementing the Operational Grievance Mechanism (OGM). The mechanism refers to IFC’s good practices and IPIECA’s standards. IPIECA is an international non-profit association which develops, shares and promotes practices and industrial knowledge to improve the environmental and social performances, involving both upstream and downstream oil and gas industry. The mechanism is proved to be effective and functional in Mann Oil & Gas Field in Magwe, operated by MPRL E&P since 2014 with 100% of community satisfaction on the process. A similar Operational Grievance Mechanism (OGM) has been rolled out in one of the Group’s assets, Myint & Associates Offshore Supply Base, located in Nga Yoke Kaung Bay in 2016.
She also discussed that Myint & Associates acknowledges that ISOs are required to conduct business in the oil and gas industry and the company has applied relevant ISO practices in its businesses. In a similar manner, M&AOSB will venture to obtain ISOs relevant to its operations over time.
The discussion topics covered all stages of implementing EIA and the panel discussions involved all rounded views of stakeholders. Through the attendance of the roundtable talks and participation as a panelist, the company got learned not only current situations and the challenges related to EIA laws and procedures but also the roles of CSOs and their perspectives related to environmental and social performances. M&AOSB took this as an opportunity to share the company’s good practices, efforts, challenges encountered, and lessons learnt throughout the implementation of ESIA.