Monday, 09 December 2019

Mizzima News

Home > Business > Natural Resources > Myanmar ranked worst in resource governance

Myanmar ranked worst in resource governance

 A gold mining site in Tanai, Kachin State. Photo: Mizzima
Myanmar has been ranked as the worst country in the world in terms of resource governance, according to a report issued recently by US-based NGO Revenue Watch Institute.

The international watchdog says its 2013 index rates the governance of oil, gas and mining sectors among 58 resource-rich countries around the globe. It says that it concentrates exclusively on nations which are abundant in natural resources because “these are countries where poverty, corruption and armed conflict too often converge.”

Myanmar was ranked No. 58 out of 58 nations, sitting below Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea and Turkmenistan.

The highest ranking country on the index was Norway.

The New York-based group said that in ranking each country it regarded four specific criteria:

  •     Institutional and legal setting: laws and systems that facilitate open, accountable government;
  •     Reporting practices: the information governments actually share with the public;
  •     Safeguards and quality controls: checks and balances in place to follow the money;
  •     Enabling environment: broader policies and practices that support democracy, transparency, accountability and rule of law.

Myanmar failed miserably on every score. The report states: “Almost no information is available on the management of the extractive sector. Myanmar has no freedom of information law, and environmental and social impact assessments are not required … It is unclear which authority receives payments from extractive companies. It is widely assumed that corruption is rampant in the sector.”

Speaking at a press conference in northern Thailand on Thursday, Paul Donowitz, the campaign director of EarthRights International, called on the Myanmar government to adopt a Freedom of Information Law, as well as laws requiring firms to conduct Environmental Impact Assessments and Social Impact Assessments.

Related articles:
  1. Natural resources committee formed in Naypyitaw