15 JUN 2020 - Source: Global New Light of Myanmar - Taking advantage of the ongoing monsoon rain in the country, volunteers and forest departments in regions and states are planning to plan saplings in the respective regions.
Local forest departments distribute saplings to schools, colleges, governmental departments and civil society organizations every monsoon.
Monsoon tree plantation campaigns reports are also seen in media these days promoting social forestry in the country.
It is worth noting that over 50,000 saplings would be provided to the people this monsoon by the Forest Department in Minbu Region, which is located in our country's dry zone, in efforts to bring the maximum area of the region under forest cover—a basic requirement to overcome environmental degradation.
The Dry Zone, an area comprising 58 townships in Mandalay, Magway and Sagaing, is home to around 10 million people, who mostly rely on rain-fed agriculture. It suffers from year-round water shortages due to the climate change.
The record temperature of 47.5C recorded in Chauk township in Magway on 8 May, the highest in the country in 52 years, and the above normal temperatures across the country, has put us on alert to prepare for combating drought, rather than dealing with its aftermath.
Last year, the number of villages facing a water shortage rose from the expected number, to reach nearly 400 nationwide.
According to the Global Climate Risk Index 2020, Myanmar has had the highest weather-related losses in the past two decades, alongside Puerto Rico and Haiti.
Weather experts have warned that the central dry zone of Myanmar suffers a significant climate variability due to droughts and floods, resulting in the destruction of crops and increased vulnerability for farm households.
The situation has alerted us to pay attention to the forests which play an important role in supporting and maintaining ecological systems and cycles. They also regulate water flows and protect the soil. Today is the time for us to speed up our plantation process, and the government could not achieve the task alone.
We would like to urge CSOs, volunteers and the people to plant maximum saplings to enhance forests and trees which would help to solve the problems of environment due to the climate change and deforestation. Please bear in mind, if we fail to preserve our environment, it might someday kills us.