Project Name Environmental Safeguard Institutional Strengthening
Project Number 48145-001
Country / Economy Myanmar
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 8786-MYA: Environmental Safeguard Institutional Strengthening
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 1.00 million
TA 8786-MYA: Environmental Safeguard Institutional Strengthening (Supplementary)
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 500,000.00
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Private sector development
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Agricultural policy, institutional and capacity development - Irrigation - Land-based natural resources management - Rural market infrastructure - Rural water supply services - Water-based natural resources management

Energy / Electricity transmission and distribution - Large hydropower generation

Transport / Road transport (non-urban) - Urban roads and traffic management

Water and other urban infrastructure and services / Urban sanitation - Urban water supply

Gender Some gender elements

The CDTA is intended to address the identified functional and technical capacity gaps faced by ECD, enabling the department to better fulfill its environmental quality management mandate. Specifically, the CDTA will: (i) provide comprehensive support for application by ECD of newly developed EIA Procedure, including introduction of administrative and technical review systems and related capacity development; (ii) deliver training to MOECAF and other sector ministries intended to raise awareness and develop capacity in strategic environmental assessment (SEA), and promote future adoption and application; (iii) develop capacity in support of project level environmental regulation, including permitting, inspection, monitoring, reporting, and compliance; and (iv) support data and information collection and dissemination, and utilization in national environmental reporting, and ADB country reporting including preparation of a first Myanmar Country Environmental Analysis (CEA) as an input to the full Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) 20172021. In line with the Midterm Review of Strategy 2020, this TA will support the strengthening of governance and institutional mechanisms and provide an opportunity to mainstream international best practices on safeguards.

The CDTA will build on work already completed under TA 7566-REG and ongoing under TA 7987-REG compliment newly commenced TA 7566 support for institutional strengthening and capacity development on environmental and social safeguards for the Ministry of Construction, benefit from TA 8398-MYA e-Governance support for strengthening of government departments' portals and web information management, and coordinate with safeguard activities being undertaken by other development partners such as World Bank and JICA, towards standardization of environmental safeguards and their application. The CDTA administration and implementation will benefit from formation under CEP of a National Support Unit to support MOECAF in program implementation, including environmental safeguards and information management, and ongoing ADB grant and loan projects.

Environmental screening, assessment, compliance monitoring and reporting capacity development under the CDTA will also support ADB's operational pipeline for 2014-2016, specifically to reduce project preparation times and increase implementation efficiency through ensuring consistency with screening checklists, adherence with applicable assessment requirements, and conduct of appropriate compliance monitoring and review.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Myanmar is at an important inflection point - its long term growth trajectory will depend on sustainable management and utilization of natural resources. If current economic reforms continue, the country's economy could expand by 7-8% per year. Much of this growth is likely to be fueled by the country's rich endowment of natural resources, with an inevitable upsurge in environmental pressures. Institutional and governance frameworks will need to be strengthened to underpin environmental sustainability, help screen and mitigate risks for country development strategies and investments, and mainstream climate change, biodiversity and ecosystem services into national policies, programs and projects.

The Government of Myanmar has already taken significant strides in enhancing its environmental management capability. The mandate and role of the recently reconstituted Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF) places a strong emphasis on sustainable natural resources and environmental quality management, with the latter theme being addressed through the addition of a new Environmental Conservation Department (ECD). The 2012 Environment Conservation Law and 2014 Environmental Conservation Rules provide the legal basis for implementing a range of enhanced environmental management measures. Attention now needs to shift to drafting corresponding regulations to enact legislation, including procedures and technical guidelines on environmental safeguards and pollution abatement. Developing regulations and guidelines, and creating the enabling conditions for effective implementation will require substantial effort and technical expertise. Additionally, Government capacity to undertake environmental impact assessment (EIA) review, monitoring and compliance will need to be built and institutional linkages forged to ensure necessary inter-agency coordination on environmental management.

The shift in mandate and additional roles of MOECAF has important implications for institutional capacity in the short and long term. In particular, ECD is contending with functional and technical capability gaps, both of which must be addressed if the department is to effectively contribute to overall ministerial performance.

Early ADB Support for Safeguards. Robust and effective EIA system and practices need to be developed to meet international standards and fulfill domestic requirements. Reflecting ECD core functions, early priority has been given by ADB to strengthening Myanmar's country safeguard system (CSS). ECD has already received short term CSS capacity development technical assistance (CDTA) through TA 7566: Strengthening the Use of Country Safeguard Systems during 20132014, involving an assessment of the institutional set-up for country safeguards application, delivery of workshops introducing safeguards good practice for MOECAF and the Ministry of Electric Power, and preparation of a capacity development action plan. Substantial safeguard related support has also been provided through the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Core Environment Program (CEP) regional TA 7987, including: drafting of new EIA Procedure to strengthen the project proposal review process and ensure consistency with environmental assessment requirements set out in relevant laws, rules and notifications, including the 2012 Foreign Investment Law; preparation of environmental quality guidelines (EQG) for application by approved projects in implementing project environmental management plans (EMP), and by MOECAF and other ministries in ambient environmental quality and pollution control monitoring; and preparation of general EIA technical guidelines.

Given the nascent stage of environmental management systems and capacity development in Myanmar, there is an important opportunity for strengthening coordination and harmonizing approaches with development partners using the safeguard policies of ADB and World Bank as the appropriate benchmarks. World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have already expressed interest in supporting CSS efforts in Myanmar through joint efforts in strengthening implementation capacity, knowledge development and transfer, and in adopting standard operating protocols covering key sectors.

Notwithstanding the recognized utility of short term technical assistance to ECD, it is evident that the department requires a substantial, long term capacity development program. Further elaboration of procedures and guidelines, and institutional support is needed to clarify (i) the process for project screening and scoping, and application of Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) and EIA requirements; (ii) the process for stakeholder consultations, public hearing and information disclosure; and (iii) sector specific EMP content and implementation provisions. Official development assistance (ODA) funded projects, including projects submitted to the Myanmar Investment Commission also need to be screened, evaluated and assessed through the IEE/EIA lens. The environmental assessment process needs to be integrated with important thematic and operational issues including climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, biodiversity and ecosystem services (including consideration of biodiversity offsets, critical habitats and environmental flows), and supply chains and financial intermediaries.

Support is needed to ensure that ECD possesses sufficiently trained staff to fulfill their mandated functions, including: (i) EIA report review and approval, and project compliance monitoring responsibilities; (ii) pollution control, involving building systems and human resource capacity for EQG application and environmental monitoring; and (iii) utilization of an environmental information portal in support of country environmental reporting.


Sustained environmental quality across the investment project pipeline in key sectors

Project Outcome
Description of Outcome

ECD national and state branches exhibit improved processes and procedures for environmental assessments and review

Progress Toward Outcome

The TA supported ECD in drafting the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures, which was adopted by the Government in December 2015. This was a successful exercise in terms of quality of both substance and process involved. This TA supported the development of the following guidelines and guidance notes: Environmental Safeguard Capacity Assessment and Capacity Development Plan; General EIA Guidance; National Ambient Water Quality Guidelines; EIA Guidelines for Mining Sector; Pollution Control and Management. The following trainings were also developed and delivered: Environmental Management Planning; EIA, IEE, EMP Report Review; Environmental Supervision and Monitoring during Project Implementation; Special Environmental Assessment Requirements (e.g., biodiversity, cultural heritage); Application of Environmental Quality Emission Guidelines in EIA; Pollution Control and Management.

Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Enhanced EIA framework and capacity development plan prepared

2. Comprehensive environmental quality management training program delivered

3. Improved environmental monitoring, information sharing and reporting

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

- Draft final assessment of Environmental Safeguard Capacity and Capacity Development Plan has been completed and circulated for review

- Finalization and submission the Interim Guide for Reviewing EIA Reports is underway

- Draft Discussion Paper Strengthening Environmental Supervision and Monitoring during Project Implementation prepared and submitted to ECD

- The TA has developed a draft framework for preparation of the Environmental Compliance Certificates. Six Environmental Conservation Certificates for have been prepared for specific projects.

- EIA Guidelines for the Mining Sector: A scoping report for Guidelines has been prepared. Consultations on the report have been held with the Mining EIA Guidelines Working Group. A detailed Outline for the Guidelines have been prepared Consultations on the Outline have been held with the Mining EIA Guidelines Working Group. Draft Guidelines for EMPs for Prospecting and Exploration have been prepared and submitted to ECD.

- Work continued on development of ambient water quality guidelines - a core element of Myanmar national environmental quality standards. A comprehensive list of potential priority pollutants is being cross-reference by PCD to lists of industrial and agricultural chemicals already in use or proposed for use in Myanmar. The full list of pollutants, once compiled, will next be presented to a standards sub-committee for advice on priority pollutant selection. Training courses on Reviewing Mining Sector Environmental Management Plans were held from 6-10 August 2018 and 10-14 September 2018.

Geographical Location
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design The CDTA concept was developed based on extensive consultations with MOECAF during implementation of short term safeguards and environmental quality monitoring TA. The CDTA coverage additionally responds to priority requests formally made by MOECAF during development partner consultations, including annual Myanmar development cooperation forum and environment sector working group meetings.
During Project Implementation

A Mining EIA Guidelines Scoping Workshop was held to identify new issues and concerns that need to be considered in developing the Guidelines, review and discuss specific questions to help clarify the scope and coverage of the Guidelines, and receive direction on the scope and coverage of the Mining Sector EIA Guidelines. Stakeholders have been consulted during the development of each guideline, guidance note or training.

Business Opportunities
Consulting Services ADB will engage international (total of 25 person-months) and national (total of 30 person-months) consultants to carry out the planned activities. An international Environmental Safeguards Specialist (12 person-months) will support strengthening of environmental safeguards under Output 1. International Pollution Control (6 person-months) and national Environmental Monitoring (12 person-months) specialists will support environmental regulation and enforcement under Output 2. A national Environmental Information and Database Specialist (18 person-months) will support the EIS and provide inputs to the CEA, while an international Natural Resources and Environment Specialist (7 person-months) will prepare the CEA under Output 3. Consultant recruitment will be in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2015, as amended from time to time).
Procurement Any equipment and materials to be provided under the TA will be procured in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (2013, as amended from time to time). Equipment purchased for activity implementation becomes the property of the implementing agency after activity completion. Disbursement under the TA will be done in accordance with ADB's Technical Assistance Disbursement Handbook (2010, as amended from time to time).
Responsible ADB Officer Dina, Stefania
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, SERD
Executing Agencies
Environmental Conservation Department
Concept Clearance 29 Oct 2014
Fact Finding -
Approval 11 Dec 2014
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 27 Sep 2018

TA 8786-MYA

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
11 Dec 2014 26 Jan 2015 26 Jan 2015 31 Dec 2017 31 Dec 2018 29 Apr 2019
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
1,500,000.00 0.00 300,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1,800,000.00 17 Jun 2022 1,201,594.10
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