PRESS RELEASE DISCLOSING THE DESIRES OF LOCAL PEOPLE
ON THE DEWEI DEEP SEAPORT AND
SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE
15 December 2011
The Dawei Deep Seaport and Special Economic Zone are being developed in Nabule area, Yebyu Township, Dawei District, Tanintharyi Region. It is said that the deep seaport in this region will become the largest one in Southeast Asia, and will play a pivotal role in the regional trading and transportation. In addition, it is also said that the deep seaport is being developed with aim to create many more job opportunities for the people who are residing in the special economic zone.
The Nabule area is the place where Dawei traditions and customs, Dawei original language, historic pagodas, the old cities, and other invaluable historical heritages still remain. Large villages consisted of hundreds of houses are situated in this area. The area is also rich in natural resources on which local people rely for their social economy. According to the official statistics regarding the project, the Dawei Deep Seaport and Special Economic Zone, which are being developed in the Nabule area, stretches over 250 square kilometers, and about 20 villages and total population of over 32,000 are in that area.
We local people expect that the deep seaport and special economic zone should not only help develop transportation, education, health, and economy, but also focus on sustainable development for the region and the country. However, the local people are concerned that they would lose their well-established life and re-start the new life at the new place should thousands of them be relocated. They are also concerned that their religion and culture, their well-established livelihoods, and ethnic minority would be more or less affected. Accordingly, the local people believe that if the project developers take into account the desires and cooperation of them, the genuine development will become sustainable.
It is reported that foreign investments in the Dawei Special Economic Zone will include coal-fired power plant, petrochemical industries, and other industries. The local people desire that those factories have to do no harm to their health and environment, and just center on the sustainable development.
We local people wish to collaborate with the government and project developers on the development projects for the goodness of our region and country. Therefore, the Dawei Development Association has conducted a survey, talking with the local people in this area, and here under discloses their desires over the Dawei Deep Seaport and Special Economic Zone.
(1) We desire that the Dawei project should be beneficial to the people of our region, our country and other countries, and accordingly we desire that the project should center on the sustainable green development.
(2) We desire that the project should be implemented with consideration of the desires of the local people in order to avoid destroying their livelihoods and stability should they be relocated for the project. We desire that the project has to do no harm to the land of culture. Should the properties of the local people such as houses, lands and orchards be affected, the local people have to be consulted, and just compensation has to be made with exact amount and time frame.
(3) In a bid to prevent foreign investments from harming the environment and health of the local people, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) should be conducted in accordance with the international standards before the project is developed. The local people should be informed of the results, and consulted.
(4) For the sake of sustainable green development, interests and desires of the local people should be considered and discussed by the independent civil society groups, NGOs, UN agencies, the authority, and project developers.
(Dawei Development Association)