MJIEL Vol 11 Issue 1 2014 - Article 4

Certifying the Safety, Humanitarian & Environmental Needs in Natural Resources Exploration and Extractions:
A Myanmar & Sierra Leone Case Study

Jeneba H. Barrie

ABSTRACT: Myanmar and Sierra Leone both suffer from what is known as the natural resource curse – they are rich in natural resources, yet their economies do not show a positive correlation. Furthermore, both countries are economically among the poorest in the world. This Paper takes a closer look at the governments of both countries and also examines both countries’ natural resources – Oil and Gas in Myanmar and Diamonds in Sierra Leone. There have been continued human rights abuses and environmental degradation connected to the irresponsible exploration and extraction of these natural resources. Furthermore, the faltering governance of both countries (institutional concerns) and the corporate irresponsibility demonstrated in Myanmar has coupled to exacerbate this curse. There have been numerous international laws, statutes, treaties and certification aimed at resolving this phenomenon. These attempts, however, have not been effective in helping alleviate the natural resources curse, or reign in on the devastating effects of natural resources extractions. Therefore, developing a comprehensive Certification System – that focuses on both the environmental and humanitarian aspects of natural resources extractions and explorations – would aid in alleviating the symptoms of the natural resource curse is imperative.

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