On Friday 20th of February, Green Lotus and the French Embassy organized a successful meeting with French MPs delegation, the friendship group France-Myanmar of the French National Assembly, currently visiting Myanmar, and Myanmar civil society organizations (CSOs) working on environmental issues.
Michèle Bonneton (MP for the French Green Party, Isère constituency) chaired this group. She has been accompanied by Mrs. Annie Le Houerou (Côtes d’Armor constituency), Mr. Jean-Pierre Le Roch (Morbihan constituency) and Mr. Didier Quentin (Charente-Maritime constituency).
The main organizations working on the issues at stake attended this meeting, among which the Myanmar Forest Association (MFA), Ecosystem Conservation and Community Development Initiative (ECCDI), NEED-Myanmar, Myanmar Environmental Group Association (MEGA), Myanmar Green Network (MGN), Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN), Local Resource Centre (LRC), Food and Security Working Group (FSWG), Myanma May Myay and Green Way.
Mr. Jean-Marc Brûlé launched this meeting with a fruitful presentation on the main environmental challenges and opportunities Myanmar has to face, such as climate change, uncontrolled urban sprawl, water and soil pollution and loss of biodiversity. Then he opened the floor and each participants introduced themselves and discussed environmental issues in France and Myanmar.
The French members of Parliament explained their role in the French democracy process, how environmental policies are implemented and the existing environmental protection in France as well as its constituency. Then they asked Myanmar’ CSOs to share their work and the issues and challenges they have to face in their daily work.
Different topics were pointed out during the discussion, such as the influence of the civil society on decision making process and policies, the coastline protection (with the Coastline Conservatory example), and the agricultural education and study. This meeting illustrated the fact that even if France and Myanmar are completely different countries, there are some common environmental issues (pollution, intense use of pesticides…). Part of the solution is to consider mistakes made by other countries to avoid repeating them. French MPs mentioned the upcoming Climate Conference (COP21) that will be held in Paris in December, and insisted on the fact that this important event will be a great opportunity for Myanmar to bring in its views.