Environmental damage caused by China-Myanmar oil pipeline not addressed, says NGO

26 October 2019
Environmental damage caused by China-Myanmar oil pipeline not addressed, says NGO
A general view of the gas pipeline project in Kyauk Phyu, Rakhine State, Myanmar. Photo: EPA

The Pyinoolwin Green Organization claims that despite their efforts to highlight the environmental damage caused by the building of the Sino-Myanmar oil and gas pipeline, officials have done little to respond.

Sai Min Latt from Pyinoolwin Green Organization said, “The gas pipeline has destroyed springs and other water sources but the local people do not understand this. We presented the destruction of the ecosystem and forest to the officials concerned but they did not take any effective measures. So we do not know what we shall do as they did not do anything in response to our presentations. So I came to this opening ceremony of a school built by the company held today to tell them this is not enough for the destruction they caused.”

Sai Min Latt expressed these concerns during the handing over ceremony of a school donated by SEAOP-SEAGP Sino-Myanmar oil and gas pipelines, held in Thone Daung village, Pyinoolwin Township on October 25.

“The local people want to see the repair of the damage of ecosystem caused by the building of this Sino-Myanmar gas and oil pipeline. Not only giving this school building. They want the company to give them other things that are needed. Pyinoolwin was once a famous hill resort but now destruction of ecosystem worsens climate change damage here,” he added.

This oil and gas pipelines were built by six companies from four countries in a multilateral agreement, running in parallel connecting Ramree Island in Rakhine State to China through Ruili in China by crossing through Rakhine, Magway, Mandalay and Shan State-Region in Myanmar.

SeinTun, a member of Sino-Myanmar Pipeline Watch Committee, said, “The pipeline runs through forests and rivers along the pipeline and they did their best to circumvent these forests and rivers but damage of ecosystem cannot be fully avoided and also we have not yet seen any remedial measures made by them to repair this environmental damage.”

Under this project, 13 million tons of crude oil and 5 billion cubic metres of gas are transported through these pipelines every year, out of which Myanmar gets 2 million tons of crude oil and one billion cubic metres of natural gas from this pipeline.

The company said that they have provided 54 projects under their corporate social responsibility (CSR) which total US$1.698 million in the Mandalay Region as damages for the destruction of environment along these oil and gas pipelines and they would provide more projects under the CSR plan at places where they are needed.