14 Jan 2021 - Source: Myanmar Times

Myanmar's Forest Department will receive aid from the World Bank to carry out the Forest Restoration, Development and Investment Project (FREDIP) in five regions and Nay Pyi Taw.

The World Bank will extend a loan of about US$120 million at the lowest interest rate for the project that is slated to run from July 2021 to June 2027, according to the Forest Department.

FREDIP hopes to promote sustainable forest management and use it to improve the lives of the communities surrounding it. The project recognises the important role of forests for rural settlements and Myanmar's economy. Forests are also linked to the image of peace and all-inclusiveness in the country, the department said.

The project will be carried out in 10 conservation areas and approximately 100 townships that are practicing community forestry in Ayeyarwady, Bago, Magway, Mandalay and Sagaing regions, and Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory.

FREDIP will also establish a fund to support community forestry activities and the livelihoods of those involved. Small loans will also be extended to the private sector to promote sustainable commercial plantations, as well as the creation of good working conditions.

Protecting the environment creates ecotourism opportunities, infrastructure and assistance to locals, which in turn lead to higher income, said the department.

The project also looks to curb illegal logging activities in the hopes of improving forest conditions, developing value chains and yielding more taxes for the government, they added.

The department is seeking input and feedback from stakeholders for the project's Environmental and Social Management Framework, Environmental and Social Management Commitment Plan and the Social Assessment and Stakeholder Engagement Plan. - Translated