Source: The Myanmar Times

Date: 19 January, 2018


The Forest Department is planning to revive 200 acres of depleted mangrove forests over 1500 acres of abandoned prawn-breeding wetlands in the Ayeyarwady Delta region, said Forest Department Director Nyi Nyi Kyaw.

The project, called Integrated Planning and Practices for Mangrove Management Associated with Agriculture and Aquaculture in Myanmar, will be implemented in partnership with Queensland University in Australia and APFNet.

It would last for three years and cost US$547,070 (K736.90 million).

"Mangrove forests, fish and prawns depend on one another," he said at an international workshop in the project in Yangon.

"Mangrove forests not only help people's welfare but also protect from climate changes, so we need mangrove forests.

This project will simultaneously carry out both protection of mangrove forests and local development," he added.

The project aims to improve the capacity for reestablishment and management of mangrove forests in the area and develop agriculture and aquaculture related professions which are connected to the area.

"We will utilise the best methods in the Asia-Pacific Region."

Fish and prawn-breeding lakes were made by clearing mangrove forests in Ayeyarwady Region.

The forest department had taken back more than 500 acres of abandoned fish and prawn-breeding areas as production decreased.

Myanmar is one of the countries that have the highest mangrove forest area. The Ayeyarwady Region, Rakhine State and Tanintharyi Region have the largest mangrove forests in the country.

Mangrove forests are being depleted because these are converted into fish and prawn-breeding lakes and farmland. They are also used for charcoal production.

Fish and prawns are dependent on mangrove forests, thus, the depletion of mangrove forests leads to the decline of fish and prawn production.

Also, if mangrove forests are removed excessively, salt water will seep into farmland and destroy it.

"Versatile methods, including public cooperation, will be used for mangrove forest management and coastal profession development," 

by Catherine Lovelock of Queensland University.