Project lists

Integrated Forest Ecosystem Management Planning and Demonstration Project in Greater Mekong Sub-region (Myanmar)
25 Feb 2020     

Project title:    Integrated Forest Ecosystem Management Planning and Demonstration Project in Greater Mekong Sub-region (Myanmar)  [project ID:  2018P4- MYR]

Supervisory agency:  Forest Department

Executing agency:  Forest Research Institute 

Budget in USD (total / APFNet grant): 1,412,477/1,120,807

Kick-off date & duration: 01/2017-12/2021

Target economy: Myanmar

Site Location:  Paung Laung Reserved Forest, Pin Laung Township, Shan State and Forest Research Institute Compound, Yezin, Naypyitaw

Objectives:

To conserve and improve forest germplasm resources though construction of Arboretum in Forest Research Institute (FRI);

To demonstrate integrated watershed management practice in Paung Luang Watershed ;

To enhance the capacity and knowledge of local community, local government and staff through capacity building programs, which will make sure to sustain the management activities after the project is accomplished.

Expected outputs:

“Construction Plan of FRI Arboretum” formulated;

Forest germplasm resources introduction and breeding nursery constructed;

9ha native forest ecological conservation zone established;

16ha thematic gardens (plantation and exhibition zone) established;

Accessory facilities for arboretum constructed;

Integrated watershed management plan formulated;

Demonstration of integrated watershed management practices established;

An integrated forest management technology assembled and a technical handbook formulated;

Training course for project stakeholders;

International exchange on sustainable forest management conducted.

 

 

Introduction

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Fig. 1 Project Sites

 

Myanmar is one of the economies with the highest forest cover in the Greater Mekong Sub region. Forests are influenced by the tropical and sub-tropical monsoon mountainous climate, and are home to variety of rare fauna and flora. These are at the same time critical sources, in particular for commercial timber and non-timber forest products (NTFPs), which support the livelihoods of the people in Myanmar.

 

Since 1995, the Myanmar government has committed itself to the sustainable development of forest resources both for environmental and economic purposes by ensuring ecological balance, environmental stability and enhancing the contribution of the forestry sector to socio-economic development in a sustainable manner. However, the overexploitation of forests for livelihoods, through charcoal production, shifting cultivation, and encroachment has compromised this goal and led to the loss of forest genetic resources, in particular severely threatening 80 species, which are now included in the IUCN red list.  These species have to be protected by restoring their native habitats. However, as an additional safeguard it is equally important to not only conserve them in-situ, but establish ex-situ conservation forms as well.

 

The APFNet-funded project “Integrated Forest Ecosystem Management Planning and Demonstration Project in Greater Mekong Sub-region (Myanmar)”is going to conserve forest genetic resources ex-situ through the establishment of an arboretum, while also conserving species in-situ by rehabilitating forest ecosystem services through implementing integrated watershed forest management in the Palaung watershed area.

 

Main topic: Conservation of forest genetic resources

 

 

Fig. 2 Layout of the Arboretumimage.png

 

In order to conserve those endemic and endangered plant species, this project will establish an arboretum inside the Forest Research Institute (FRI) in Yezin, Naypyitaw, central of Myanmar. It is the first arboretum in Myanmar and will be established by upgrading the existing medicinal garden and secondary natural forest.  The purpose of the arboretum is to collect and improve forest genetic resources for sustainable management and the conservation of forest biodiversity. Moreover, this area will act as a center for education on forestry and raising environment awareness, and serve as a demonstration site for showcasing different forest landscapes.

 

As this arboretum is partially established on a secondary natural forest worth conserving as an ecosystem, it will be divided into two different zones, the natural conservation zone and the thematic garden.  

The natural conservation zone covers 9ha and will enhance natural forest succession towards its climax community by promoting natural regeneration and enrichment planting of key native species. In order to improve species composition and density, enrichment planting will provide an alternative. The seedlings are sourced from an upgraded nursery in the FRI compound.

The thematic garden with an overall area of 16ha of plantation is subdivided into several smaller zones in the following manner:

 

 

Moreover, the arboretum will be modernized with a construction of a road/trial system, an irrigation system, a tree identification system (labeling and barcoding systems), and a forest fire control line.

Finally, the development will demonstrate best management practices on how to conserve plant species and ecosystems.

 

Sub topic: Implementation of integrated watershed management

Paunglaung area is one of the important watersheds in Myanmar located near Lain Li River. Due to overexploitation for forest products and shifting cultivation by local people, the area shows some of the highest forest loss in Myanmar and has led to serious consequences such as land degradation, soil erosion, low water quality and poverty. Yet, a livelihood basis cannot just be taken away. The creation of an integrated watershed management plan that provides new livelihood alternatives while also increasing environmental stability is needed to unite all of those interests.

 

The project will formulate such a plan for the watershed. The formulation process will be based on a participatory approach, in which villagers and stakeholders discuss possible strategies and solutions to conserve and promote the sustainable management of the watershed.

In order to enhance social benefits and successfully rehabilitate the watershed on the ground the project will provide alternative livelihood opportunities to local communities, in particular those who practice shifting cultivation at stream banks and adjacent areas. 36ha of intercropping systems on former shifting cultivation land at the stream bank and adjacent areas will be demonstrated using locally preferred timber tree species, fruit trees and bamboo. The bamboo will be planted to control soil erosion and degradation at the upper side of the river bank, while fruit trees can provide immediate benefits to the local community for daily consumption as well as an income by selling them at the market. However, selling those raw products to the market is a key challenge due to an already overly abundant supply of such simple products. In order to break into new markets, the fruits will be processed to preserved products. The project will provide food processing machines as well as fruit processing training so their fruit products can be produced safely and achieve great taste.

 

Together rehabilitation and livelihood improvement activities will reduce negative impacts of soil erosion and degradation and contribute to the reduction of deforestation and forest degradation from shifting cultivation practice while ensuring that no one gets left behind.