Natural Environment Conservation
(a) Mangrove Reforestation
Community plantations were established with mangrove species in some parts of Pyindaye reserved forest, Ayeyarwady delta where natural mangrove forests were depleted due to encroachment by some farmers for rice cultivation.
Since the farmers have to abandon their rice fields after some years due to intrusion of salt water and acid sulphate from below, the only approach to address the issue is to restore the mangrove forests by the community under the Community Forestry Instructions (CFI) of the forestry authorities.
Extension activities for increased awareness, technology transfer and material support were undertaken by FREDA with the co-operation of ACTMANG of Japan, DKH and EED of Germany and the participation of local community under the Mangrove Reforestation Project.
(b) Wildlife Protection
Sensing the need to strengthen protection measures for sustainable conservation of wildlife and rare flora in the Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park (AKNP) which covers about 160,000 ha of dense forests, a collaborative programme entitled “Shin Than Yay” (Surviving Together) was launched jointly by DSWF, Wild Aid of USA, FREDA and Forest Department (FD) of Myanmar in 1997.
The programme has been a success as evidenced from the trap-camera photos of diverse wild life in the Park and reduction of poaching. The sustainability of the programme is needed to curb encroachments, poaching and undesirable wild life products trade .
FREDA, in partnership with JWRC, has also set up a Visitors’ Centre at Shwesettaw wildlife sanctuary in central Myanmar. It comprises a well furnished guest house and a village level training hall. It aims to welcome scientists and students interested in the dry zone ecosystem and habitat of Eld’s deer (Cervus eldithamin) which is rare and endemic to Myanmar.
(c) Watershed Management
Considering that the effective protection and restoration of the natural ecosystems with the participation of local community is essential along the Ayeyarwady river basin, a watershed management project was implemented in the upper, central and lower watershed units of the Ayeyarwady drainage. The main objective is to implement such activities like sustainable management of the natural forests at the village level, promotion of agro-forestry and introduction of slope agriculture land technology and other infrastructure development measures against Tsunamis, cyclones, landslides, floods and droughts.