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31 Jan 2017

S.H.A.N., Burma News International

Myanmar: Groups oppose Intl. Finance Corporation’s alleged efforts to promote hydropower projects in conflict zones

“Environmental groups voice opposition to IFC dam workshops”, 30 Jan 2017

Leading Burmese environmental groups, including Burma Rivers Network (BRN) and Save the Salween Network (SSN)…released a statement, voicing strong opposition to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which they say is currently promoting various hydropower projects in areas that are primarily conflict zones.

“BRN and SSN oppose any attempts to push ahead with large dams while conflict continues along Burma’s major rivers, where Burma Army offensives and systematic abuses have displaced hundreds of thousands, and where ethnic peoples continue to be constitutionally denied their right to decide over natural resources in their homelands,” read the statement.

The IFC is a member of the World Bank Group which finances private sector initiatives in many developing countries including Burma.

The IFC workshops, which are to include seminars about social and environmental impact assessments, are scheduled to start…[on] January 27, in Yangon, Kachin State capital Myitkyina, and Karenni State capital Loikaw…

“Pushing ahead with projects in conflict zones reinforces the root causes of conflict, and contradicts the NLD government’s claims to be promoting democratic federalism,” said Mi Ah Chai, the other joint-spokesperson for today’s statement…