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Myanmar’s Environment and Climate Change Challenges

Myanmar is rich in natural resources and a global biodiversity hotspot. Myanmar is also one of the countries worst affected by climate change and one of the least equipped to improve its resilience without external support. How to manage natural resources has always been at the heart of Myanmar’s history and learning how to manage economic development sustainably became a central question of Myanmar’s democratic transition.

Since the February coup, the people of Myanmar have been mobilizing against the military through protest and an armed resistance led by ‘People’s Defence Forces’ and ethnic resistance organizations. These groups of actors and their associated federal-level interim governance institutions are developing a political framework to negotiate both an interim constitution and a permanent constitution for the future Federal Democratic Union of Myanmar.

This Policy Paper provides an overview of Myanmar’s environment- and climate-related governance challenges. It also identifies key considerations on how a future constitutional framework could guarantee environmental protection, protect biodiversity, promote access to justice and address climate change, informed by international good practices and comparative case studies.

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