Published on February 3rd, 2022 | by David Marshall
Episode 135/136: Burmese Amber Pt2
Continuing our mini series on Burmese Amber, we now turn our focus to the ethics of working on this fossil material. Can possessing or working on amber from Myanmar ever be considered ethical?
In the first part of this episode, we examine the political context, work around Myanmar’s fossil exportation laws and follow the money back through the trade routes. In the second part we discuss why it’s currently unethical to study Burmese amber, what palaeontologists can do about that, and whether the situation might change in the future.
Joining us to guide us through this process are Nussaïbah Raja (Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg) and Dr Emma Dunne (University of Birmingham), authors of a soon-to-be-released study looking at exactly these issues. Both guests co-lead the Pal(a)eoScientometrics project.
UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar
In March 2017, the United Nations Human Rights Council established the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Myanmar (IIFFMM) to establish the facts and circumstances of the alleged human rights violations by military and security forces, and abuses, in Myanmar. The mandate of the IIFFMM ended in September 2019. That report can be accessed here: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/MyanmarFFM/Pages/Index.aspx.
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Recommendations for Researchers, Research Institutions, and Publishers for Myanmar Amber: