Project lists

Integrated forest ecosystem management planning and demonstration project in Greater Mekong Subregion (Myanmar)
29 Dec 2020     
Project title: Integrated forest ecosystem management planning and demonstration project in Greater Mekong Subregion (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
Duration: October 2019–October 2024
Target economy: Myanmar
Location: Paung Laung Reserved Forest, Pin Laung Township, Shan State and Forest Research Institute Compound, Yezin, Nay Pyi Taw 
Objectives:
  1. Conserve and improve forest germplasm resources though construction of arboretum in Forest Research Institute (FRI);
  2. Demonstrate integrated watershed management practices in Paung Luang watershed;
  3. Enhance capacity and knowledge of local community, local government and staff to sustain management activities after project completion.
Expected outputs:
  1. Construction plan for FRI Arboretum;
  1. Construction of forest germplasm resources and breeding nursery;
  2. Establishment of 9 ha native forest ecological conservation zone;
  3. Establishment of 16 ha thematic gardens (plantation and exhibition zone);
  4. Construction of accessory facilities for arboretum;
  5. Integrated watershed management plan;
  6. Demonstration of integrated watershed management practices;
  7. Integrated forest management technology and a technical handbook;
  8. Training course for project stakeholders;
  9. International exchange on sustainable forest management.
 
 

Introduction

Myanmar is one of the economies with the highest forest cover in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Forests are influenced by the tropical and sub-tropical monsoon mountainous climate, and are home to a variety of rare fauna and flora. They are also critical sources of commercial timber and non-timber forest products, which support the livelihoods of the people of Myanmar.

 
Since 1995, the Myanmar Government is committed to the sustainable development of forest resources for environmental and economic purposes. Ecological balance, environmental stability and the sustainable contribution of the forestry sector to socioeconomic development is the objective. However, overexploitation of forests for charcoal production, shifting cultivation, and encroachment has compromised this goal and led to the loss of forest genetic resources, severely threatening 80 species, now included on 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 as well.
 
The APFNet-funded project “Integrated forest ecosystem management planning and demonstration project in Greater Mekong Subregion (Myanmar)” will conserve forest genetic resources ex situ through the establishment of an arboretum, while also conserving species in situ by rehabilitating forest ecosystem services using integrated watershed forest management in the Paung Luang watershed.
 
Conservation of forest genetic resources

 

 
This project will establish Myanmar’s first arboretum inside the Forest Research Institute (FRI) in Yezin, Nay Pyi Taw, central Myanmar, building upon an existing medicinal garden and secondary natural forest. The collection will conserve endemic and endangered plant species and help improve forest genetic resources. In addition, the arboretum will be a centre for education on forestry and environmental awareness, serving as a demonstration site for different forest landscapes.
 
The arboretum will be divided into two zones, a natural conservation zone (based on the existing secondary natural forest) and a thematic garden. The 9-ha natural conservation zone will enhance natural forest succession by promoting natural regeneration and enrichment planting of key native species to improve species composition and density. The seedlings are sourced from an upgraded nursery in the FRI compound. The 16-ha thematic garden is subdivided into multiple smaller zones: an aquatic garden; medicinal plants and bamboo; precious trees; economic species; rare and endangered trees; and ornamental trees.
 
The arboretum will use modern construction and management methods including the construction of a road system, an irrigation system and a tree identification system (with labeling and barcoding), and the establishment of a forest-fire control line. The development will demonstrate best management practices on how to conserve plant species and ecosystems.
 
Integrated watershed management of Paung Laung
Located near the Lain Li River, the Paung Laung watershed is one of the important watersheds in Myanmar. Due to overexploitation for forest products and shifting cultivation, the area has some of the highest forest loss in Myanmar, leading to serious land degradation, soil erosion, low water quality and poverty. The creation of an integrated watershed management plan that provides new livelihood alternatives for the community while also increasing environmental stability is needed.
 
The project will prepare the plan using a participatory approach, in which villagers and stakeholders discuss possible strategies and solutions to conserve and promote the sustainable management of the watershed. To enhance social benefits, the project will provide alternative livelihood opportunities for local communities, in particular, for those who practice shifting cultivation at stream banks and adjacent areas. Up to 36 ha of intercropping systems on former shifting cultivation land will be established using locally preferred timber tree species, fruit trees and bamboo. The bamboo will 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 food consumption as well as an income by selling fruit at the market. Given the existing abundant market supply of fresh fruit, the project will also provide food processing machines and training to preserve the fruit, creating new products and new market opportunities.
 
Together, rehabilitation and livelihood improvement activities will reduce soil erosion and deforestation and forest degradation while ensuring that no one gets left behind.