Let’s draft green cities!

Myanmar Platform for Dialogue on Green Growth organized its first committee meeting last Saturday on Sustainable cities.

More than one human being out of two lives in a city since 2000, and it is growing, as urban population shall include 70% of humankind in 2025… Urbanization being linked with economic development, Myanmar is now in the process where urban population will keep growing very fast every year.

For big cities like Yangon or Mandalay, challenges are huge: will traffic congestion, already impressive, look like Beijing or Djakarta in few years? Will air pollution pose a threat to population’s health, like everywhere else in the world?

In order to get a comprehensive understanding of those stakes, and above all starting to think about sustainable solutions, Myanmar Platform for Dialogue on Green Growth organized its first committee meeting on “Green cities”, Saturday 16th of August, in Yangon.

Chaired by Tharzin Oo, founder of Gaihahita, the first youth movement on environment in the country, and animated by Green Lotus team, the Committee gathered around 10 different stakeholders: Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC), Ministry of National planning and economic development, Yangon Heritage Trust, Spine Architect, Shwe Taung Group, Local Resource Center, Gender & Environment Network, Myanmar Center for responsible business (MCRB)…

 Inside article pic GGP 1st Committee Cities

Discussions among stakeholders led to the selection of the most important topics to be discussed in future meetings: Waste, water treatment, construction, transportation, urban planning… Many issues are to be raised, but also many solutions to be imagined.

In the afternoon, participants started to focus on waste management: pilot projects in Myanmar or India, situation in Yangon and in middle size towns, different kinds of sustainable solutions…

Mind sets have to change if we want Myanmar cities to be clean, as recycling is already organized” argued an institutional member of the Committee. “Yes, but there is a lack of means, we need more garbage trucks, and garbage everywhere” answered another participant. Awareness and more determination in public policies seemed to be key points. First recommendations arose, soon to be published online!

Drafting green cities in a country where everything is still possible, the worst like the best, created enthusiasm for all participants. Next committee meeting to be held on 19th of September!