Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Thursday stressed that people need to protect natural resources from the adverse impacts of urbanisation and invited responsible investment to harness resources in her country.
Suu Kyi visited The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) campus and invited the organisation to offer advice on boosting sustainable development in Myanmar.
“Myanmar is rich in energy resources, but also needs investment. We look for responsible investment that is not only sensitive to the environment but also secures the future of our country. We need to learn more about handling our energy resources. Moreover, Myanmar also needs an effective energy policy,” Suu Kyi said.
She said TERI’s innovations held the potential to become models for wider replication in Myanmar, which is a developing nation facing a major resource-crunch to fuel its economic growth.
“We seek advice from TERI on how sustainable development can be brought to Myanmar, and on the contours of a national energy policy. I also feel that people’s prosperity should be considered when we think of environment and energy. We need to boost local governance by strengthening people economically,” she said.
The pro-democracy leader, who is also a strong advocate of environment protection, visited the research facilities, including the RETREAT (Resource Efficient TERI Retreat for Environmental Awareness and Training), which uses renewable energy.
TERI Director General R K Pachauri showed her the RETREAT campus, designed to be self-sufficient and independent of any external power supply.
It has harnessed both traditional and modern means of tapping renewable sources of energy to offer modern amenities at substantially reduced costs.
TERI officials said the organisation has been working in Myanmar for the past several years. In 2009, it set up biomass gasifier systems for electrification in Myanmarese villages ravaged by cyclone Nargis.
Pachauri said India and Myanmar face similar challenges in eradicating poverty. “Our countries can be linked in a mutually productive programme, linking institutions such as TERI in India and those in Myanmar in sectors such as bamboo craft and orchid cultivation.”
Suu Kyi toured the Nanobiotechnology Research Centre, the two-stage gasifier facility, the Bioremediation Complex and other energy-efficient structures on the campus.