Partnership Development

FREDA has been engaged in a wide range of activities like socio-economic survey for rural development, planning and demonstration for community participation in reforestation and forest conservation especially in areas dominated by slash-and-burn agriculture, promotion of sustainable forest management, introduction of appropriate methodology for improved land use systems for rural community development, implementation of integrated watershed management activities for natural disaster preparedness and sustainable land use, restoration of degraded mangrove ecosystem in the delta of Myanmar, wildlife conservation with special focus on tiger, leopard and elephant, introduction of renewable energy resources including various types of gasifiers for village electrification, wildlife products trade survey, support to scholars in environmental science at M.Sc. and Ph.D levels in partnership with donors and universities concerned, and relief and rehabilitation works in natural disaster affected areas, and responsible eco-tourism.

The projects and programs are primarily implemented with the co-operation of the international NGOs-local NGOs-and UN agencies. FREDA has been actively engaged in some activities with the collaboration of the Japan Overseas Forestry Consultants Association (JOFCA), Japan Wildlife Research Centre (JWRC), Nagao Natural Environmental Foundation (NEF) of Japan, Action for Mangrove Reforestation (ACTMANG) of Japan,David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) of UK, Gesellschaft zur Forderung konkreter Entwicklung-sprojekte e.V (GFE) of Germany, Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe (DKH) of Germany, Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst (EED) of Germany, Bread for the World (Bftw) of Germany, Global Environment Centre (GEC of Malaysia), Myanmar Environmental Rehabilitation Network (MERN),Total SA and Yadanar Consortium, Integrated Community Development Project ICDP/ UNDP, the Embassies of USA,UK, Japan and Germany in Myanmar.

Participation in Sustainable Forest Management

In order to conserve the natural forests effectively within the context of economic, social and environmental dimensions, FREDA has cooperated with the forestry authorities in the formulation of a set of national Criteria and Indicators (C&I) for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) in Myanmar. It has also contributed in the development of national initiatives to promote field assessment activities essential in the process of forest management certification. As a gesture of cooperation, FREDA has participated in all forms of meetings, seminars and workshops related to the implementation of SFM. It has presented some technical papers in the area of sustainable forest management and timber certification as follows:

  1. National criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management (SFM)
  2. A brief review on timber certification and labeling for SFM
  3. Some salient points for timber certification process
  4. Review of Myanmar forest management system in the context of FSC principles and criteria
  5. Field Assessment Handbook for monitoring SFM at the forest management unit level
  6. Analytical evaluation of the C& I Project activities in relation to forestry in Myanmar

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.

Community Development

Recognizing the need to adopt integrated approach for sustainable development of rural community and natural environment conservation, promotion of improved land use in hilly regions subjected to shifting cultivation has been initiated by FREDA with the co-operation of JOFCA in 1998.
The objectives include reforestation of barren steep slopes in the form of community forests, introduction of appropriate agro-forestry technology, growing of leguminous plants for fodder and fruit trees for sustainable income generation.

Participatory approach was thus achieved and the project has been a success in Peyintaung village tract of Kalaw Township in Southern Shan State. It is expected that increased productivity would lead to the sustainable development ofthe rural community and the practice of shifting cultivation would be reduced in the target areas of the project.

A similar programme was also implemented in Peinnepin village tract of Kalaw Township by FREDA to promote the establishment of orange and tea orchards for income generation. FREDA also introduced various kinds of fruit trees for crop diversification on the same area so that in case of main crop faith us due to climate change, the newly introduced fruit trees can save the communities from disaster. The programme was supported by GFE and DKH of Germany on two different occasions.

Human Resource Development

In partnership with NEF, FREDA has been supporting the outstanding scholars of local universities leading to M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in various fields related to environmental science such as Botany, Biology, Ecology, Forestry and Zoology starting from 1998. 

FREDA has also awarded scholarships to outstanding undergraduate forestry students of every class studying at the University of Forestry Yezin and stipends to promising high school graduates who are financially handicapped to study forestry at the University. Support is also given to the outstanding students of the Myanmar Forest School at Pyin Oo Lwin every year. 

Support to students in the academic field of environmental science is one of the avenues that FREDA is promoting for increased awareness, motivation and experience of the younger generation, contributing towards effective conservation of the natural environment in Myanmar.