The Montane Mainland Southeast Asia (MMSEA), home to a diversity of ethnic minority groups, tropical forests and endangered and endemic species of global significance, serves as a watershed for several large rivers. However, MMSEA suffers from severe deforestation with negative impacts on ecology, hydrology and local livelihoods, resulting from inappropriate land use change under internal and external pressures. Concerted efforts are needed to reverse the current trend.
With the purpose to support the rehabilitation of degraded land in this region and contribute to restoration of ecosystem services, an APFNet-funded project entitled Sustainable Forest Rehabilitation and Management for the Conservation of Trans-boundary Ecological Security in Montane Mainland Southeast Asia – Pilot Demonstration Project of Lao PDR, Myanmar and China/Yunan was launched January 13th, in Kunming, China.
On the occasion, the executing agency United Nations University Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP) and the implementing agencies Yunnan Academy of Forestry of China (YAF), Department of Agricultural Land Management of Lao PDR (DALaM) and Forest Research Institute of Myanmar (FRI) signed the agreement to work closely at the field level.
During the inception workshop, the first meeting of Project Steering Committee was convened to finalize the project management and communication structure, progress reporting mechanism and rules of procurement and financial control. Briefed on the situations of four selected project sites and relating work plans, the members of Project Advisory Group (PAG) discussed the methodology for project implementation in the 1st project year, and concluded that the four project sites were reasonably selected.
SFR-MMSEA project, a three years project coordinated by UNU-ISP, and jointly implemented by YAF, DALaM and FRI, aims to create new knowledge and alternative options for sustainable forest rehabilitation and management in the target areas among Laos, Myanmar and Yunnan of China for safeguarding the trans-boundary ecological security in the Montane Mainland region of Southeast Asia.
Four project sites, which are Xishuangbanna and Dehong in Yunnan of China, Nawnghkio in Myanmar and Pakxeng in Lao PDR, are involved in the project. By the end of the project, it is expected that a replicable and adaptable model for community-based rehabilitation of degraded forests practices and related toolkits will be developed and demonstrated, and the capacity of different target groups in sustainable forest rehabilitation and management will be enhanced.