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New Report: Shwe Gas Project Sets Dangerous Precedent

By Shwe Gas Movement  •  September 30, 2013

A new report released by Shwe Gas Movement calls for suspension of the Shwe Gas Project on the grounds that it sets a dangerous precedent for the extractive industries and leads to ongoing human rights abuses that include land confiscation, poor labor practices, environmental damage and exacerbation of tensions with ethnic nationalities.

Drawing the line: the case against China’s Shwe Gas project, for better extractive industries in Burma examines the Shwe Gas Project as a case study of the failures of Burma’s booming extractive sector. Based on testimony from locals in all affected areas and analysis of Burma’s legal setting, the report concludes that weak governance, unfair distribution of revenue and continued human rights abuses are cause for suspension, and that addressing these fundamental problems now will pave the way for more responsible future investments in one of the nation’s fastest-growing industries.

The Shwe Gas Project, estimated to earn US$54 billion for the government over the next thirty years, is a dual-pipeline project transferring gas and crude oil from Burma’s western coast to southern China. The project cuts across some of Burma’s poorest communities where many still live without electricity, and even traverses areas marred by armed conflict in northern Shan State.

“This is a critical moment for Burma’s extractive sector, we cannot let this project set a bad example for future investors. Only when we have ensured equal benefits and humane conditions can development proceed without conflict,” said Wong Aung, Coordinator of the Shwe Gas Movement.

The release of the report follows the recent opening of the Shwe Gas pipeline and the announcement of 30 additional gas and oil blocks open for foreign bidding, while the government and civil society scramble to hit an arbitrary December deadline to sign the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, a protocol that could green-light a flood of investments in the extractive industry. It also follows the May 2013 announcement by Revenue Watch Institute that Burma’s resource governance is the world’s weakest.

In light of this criticism and the impending rush of extractive investments in Burma, the report concludes that the only way to avoid complicity in abuse and a future of inequality and displacement is to postpone the Shwe Gas pipeline and similar projects until the fundamental problems of poor governance and the disenfranchisement of ethnic nationalities are solved.

Contact: Wong Aung – global@shwe.org
Mobile +95 (0) 9448032210

Shwe Gas Movement promotes human rights, environmental justice and revenue transparency within Burma’s oil and gas sector in Burma. www.shwe.org |www.facebook.com/shwegas |

Download the press release in Burmese here. 

Download the report in English or Burmese here.

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This post is in: Business and Human Rights, Press Release

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