Geography Assignment Paper on Natural Resources in Myanmar and their Impact

Natural Resources in Myanmar and their Impact

Myanmar is one of the countries in Southeast Asia that is richly endowed with various natural resources.  Some of them include oil, hydropower development, gems and precious stones, precious metals like minerals such as gold, copper and aluminum, and natural gas (Allan and Einzenberger).  Myanmar is ranked in position eight in the world regarding gas and crude oil reserves at 11.8 trillion cubic feet and $ 3,2 billion barrels, respectively (Allan and Einzenberger).  In 1962, Myanmar nationalized the mining, oil, and gas enterprises, and the relevant ministries charged with the responsibility of regulating and overseeing operations through private contract arrangements (Ethnic Nationalities Affairs Centre 18). Essentially, the has enabled foreign firms to do business in Myanmar although the law requires them to enter into joint ventures with State corporations.  Undoubtedly, such joint ventures have proven useful in facilitating the exploring, extracting and processing of natural resources like mineral, oil, and gas.

The ownership and management of natural resources in Myanmar hinge on effective collaboration between the regional and state government. The same case applies to sharing of revenue emanating from the extraction, processing, and sale of natural resources (Ethnic Nationalities Affairs Centre 23). The passage of various laws, such as the 1994 Mining Law Act, is aimed at ensuring a smooth governance of natural resources, which are frequently the source of conflict over ownership and revenue sharing. The sale of these natural resources acts as a huge source of the country’s national income (Ethnic Nationalities Affairs Centre 25). However, the country has to invest adequately in modern survey techniques, and this has hindered an extensive exploration of natural resources. Although they are meant to be a source wealth for a country like Myanmar, it has not been the case. Unfortunately, natural resources are often characterized by public protests and conflicts over their ownership and pollution of the local environment during extraction. This has elicited criticism from the civil society over mining companies. Conflicts over natural resources are a hindrance to their sustainability.


Works Cited

Allan, David, and Rainer, Einzenberger. ‘Myanmar’s Natural Resources: Blessing or Curse?’

December 11, 2013. Web. 20 October 2017.

Ethnic Nationalities Affairs Centre. ‘Natural Resources of Myanmar (Burma), September 2017. Accessed from