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Further information on Myanmar amber, mining, human rights violations, and amber trade

July 22, 2020
On April 21st, 2020, SVP released a statement to members on amber containing fossil inclusions from Myanmar (“On Burmese amber and fossil repositories”) and sent a letter to the editors of scientific journals alerting them to the ethical issues surrounding fossils from Burmese amber. Here we provide additional information and draw attention to freely available resources about human rights violations and abuses in Myanmar, including those linked to the mining and trade of amber. Particularly we provide information from two international organizations on the conflict in Myanmar, and how we as a scientific community can make informed decisions on the future of trade in Myanmar amber fossil inclusions that provides uniform and unbiased assistance to local communities rather than fuelling conflict. We recognize that some amber specimens may not be linked to illegal trade and human rights abuses, but the situation in Myanmar is so complex that scientists should be aware of how the amber trade has been used in internal conflicts and understand how our interest in vertebrate fossils may inadvertently play into those conflicts unless we can be scrupulous in documenting provenance and sourcing.

More information can be found here: http://vertpaleo.org/What-is-Vertebrate-Paleontology/Amber-Resources.aspx