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Kyaukphyu Port, Rakhine State, Myanmar

Myanmar is planning to build its largest port, linked to China, in the restive area of Rakhine state. Thousands will be displaced to make room for the port.


The city of Kyaukphyu, a major town in Rakhine state, in Western Myanmar, is located in a privileged area in the Bay of Bengal. Nestled between India and China, Kyaukphyu is poised to become one of the major global trade hubs in the near future. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Kyaukphyu Port, Rakhine State, Myanmar
State or province:Rakhine State
Location of conflict:Kyaukpyu city
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Ports and airport projects
Specific commodities:Transport services
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Area: 243 hectares (this is the area that the government reserved for the project in 2015. Back then, the project consisted of two deep sea ports. The government has decided to downsize the project and today the area that the port will cover is unclear) [10] [11]

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Project area:243
Level of Investment:1, 300, 000, 000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:20,000 (Deep Sea Port and related Special Economic Zone)
Start of the conflict:01/09/2013
Company names or state enterprises:CITIC Group from China
Relevant government actors:Government of Myanmar, Myanmar's Commerce Ministry
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:International Commission of Jurists (, Kyaukphyu Regional Development Association
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Other socio-economic impacts
Other socio-economic impactsConcerns over increased debt
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:The project was downsized
Development of alternatives:The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) has recommended a moratorium on all the Special Economic Zones and to suspend the land
acquisition process in Kyaukphyu
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The project is going ahead, even though it has been downsized.
Sources & Materials
Related laws and legislations - Juridical texts related to the conflict

2014 Myanmar Special Economic Zone Law
[click to view]

2015 Environmental Impact Assessment Procedure
[click to view]

Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[6] Kyaukphyu port: What happens next?, Myanmar Times, November 9, 2018
[click to view]

[2] Five things you should know about China-backed port in Myanmar, South China Morning Post, May 9, 2017
[click to view]

[7] Kyaukphyu SEZ project comes after Kyaukphyu Deep Sea Port project, October 9, 2018

[click to view]

[12] Myanmar negotiating with Chinese consortium on deep-sea port project in Rakhine state, Xinhua, July 8, 2018
[click to view]

[9] Gov’t Signs MoU with Beijing to Build China-Myanmar Economic Corridor, The Irrawaddy, September 13 2018
[click to view]

[11] Myanmar: China agrees to continue Kyaukpyu project based on results, Eleven Myanmar, Oct 5 2018
[click to view]

[5] Myanmar scales back Chinese-backed port project over debt fears, The Guardian, August 2, 2018
[click to view]

[8] Myanmar: amend Special Economic Zones Law to protect human rights – new ICJ report, February 2017
[click to view]

[10] Govt reserves land for Rakhine state SEZ, Myanmar Times, Dec 7 2015
[click to view]

[4] Exclusive: China seeks up to 85 percent stake in strategic port in Myanmar, Reuters, May 5, 2017
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Laura Villadiego, Carro de Combate, [email protected]
Last update18/08/2019
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