Yangon office, Myanmar

Downtown Yangon

The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung in Myanmar works in the two programme areas „Environmental Governance and Development“ and „Political Culture and Human Rights”.

After decades of military dictatorship under international isolation and Western sanctions, a process of rapid opening and reform began in 2011. However, political progress appears uncertain since 2016: The peace process makes little progress does not make much progress, and the space for media and civil society is under threat. The Rohingya refugee crisis does not appear to be solved any time soon; the severe human rights violations that caused and accompanied it continue to put a strain on relationships especially to the West. Meanwhile, weak governance and problematic decisions about Myanmar’s development oath threaten to increase environmental and social problems.

Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung in Myanmar works in two programme areas:

1.    Environmental Governance and Development: In this programme, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Yangon supports local civil society actors in their work towards the sustainable use of natural resources and the expansion of renewable energy. The foundation also support capacity building measures with the Environmental Conservation Department (ECD) of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC), especially with a view of improving the quality of environmental impact assessment. Furthermore, hbs Yangon critically engages on planned large-scale infrastructure investment, especially the projects planned as part of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” in Myanmar, and promotes the discussion of development models and options for Myanmar.

2.    Political Culture and Human Rights: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Yangon seeks to strengthen democracy in Myanmar by supporting initiatives that work for the defence of the right to freedom of expression and support the responsible use of media, especially of social media. hbs also supports actors who promote an open and tolerant society, especially in the area of women's and LGBTIQ rights.