Jet Greevink via web
Last week, I joined the Myanmar rubber forum organized by Centre for Economic and Social Development (CESD), CARE , WWF Myanmar, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Irrigation.
I learned that, in spite of all the hardships that the Myanmar rubber market faces, there is also a great potential as the country has the ideal land and climate conditions for rubber production (KPMG). When Myanmar improves its rubber quality and increases productivity, it has the opportunity to create a sustainable rubber value chain with zero deforestation that also upholds labor rights. As mentioned by WWF Myanmar: “Myanmar could soon be equipped to produce the world’s first fully verifiable sustainable rubber”.
It is great to hear that a new market for sustainable rubber is developing because large rubber consumers in the tire industry such as Michelin and GM announced that they will be buying sustainably sourced rubber going forward. However, as of now, there is a lack of traceability in the market, which makes it harder to verify whether the rubber is indeed processed in a sustainable way. Earth observation could aid in the traceability by providing reliable and unbiased analytics on plantation performance, size and age, and help map illegal deforestation.
Let's work together to create a sustainable value chain that benefits all!