Burma’s Resource Curse The case for revenue transparency - A briefing by Arakan Oil Watch | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
March 2012
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ISBN / Resource ID: 

Burma is rich in natural resources. Exports of natural gas
alone amount to approximately US$2.5 billion in annual
revenues, and these are expected to increase by 60% as
three additional production blocks come on line as early as
next year. Yet despite this enormous wealth, Burma is one
of the poorest countries in the world.
A lack of transparency around revenues from the sale of oil,
gas and other natural resources, a lack of an accountable
system to manage revenues, and a lack of equitable benefit
sharing of resource revenues are perpetuating a resource
curse in Burma.
It is a country crippled by corruption, censured for major
human rights violations, and continuing to suffer from a
decades-old civil war between the ruling government
and ethnic peoples. The country’s major businesses are
controlled by military companies and cronies. Projects
which extract and export natural resources have directly
led to human rights abuses such as forced labor, land
confiscation, rape and displacement, as well as severe
environmental degradation. The revenues from these
projects have in turn helped prop up authoritarian rule and
enrich top military generals.
There is therefore an urgent need for Burma to manage
oil and gas revenues with a greater transparency and
accountability as well as to reform its military-dominated
economy to ensure that the benefits of the country’s
resources are shared more equitably among its people and
for the country’s sustainable development.
in the oil and gas sector

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Arakan Oil Watch (AOW) is an independent non-governmental community based organization. AOW aims to protect and promote human rights and environmental abuses that result from multinational oil and gas companies in Arakan State and other parts of Burma.

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