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Danger Zone: Giant Chinese Industrial Zone Threatens Burma’s Arakan Coast

By Arakan Oil Watch  •  December 17, 2012

Danger Zone CoverChina’s plans to build a giant industrial zone at the terminal of its Shwe gas and oil pipelines on the Arakan coast will damage the livelihoods of tens of thousands of islanders and spell doom for Burma’s second largest mangrove forest.

The 120 sq km “Kyauk Phyu Special Economic Zone” (SEZ) will be managed by Chinese state-owned CITIC group on Ramree island, where China is constructing a deep sea port for ships bringing oil from the Middle East and Africa. An 800-km railway is also being built from Kyauk Phyu to Yunnan, under a 50 year BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) agreement, forging a Chinese-managed trade corridor from the Indian Ocean across Burma. Investment in the railway and SEZ, China’s largest in Southeast Asia, is estimated at US $109 billion over 35 years.

Construction of the pipelines and deep-sea port has already caused large-scale land confiscation. Now 40 villages could face direct eviction from the SEZ, while many more fear the impacts of toxic waste and pollution from planned petrochemical and metal industries. No information has been provided to local residents about the projects.

It is urgently needed to have stringent regulations in place to protect the people and environment before projects such as these are implemented in Burma.

Download the full report in English or Burmese here.

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This post is in: Business and Human Rights, Environmental and Economic Justice, Spotlight

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