Over 1.75 million tree seedlings ready for rainy season planting in Myanmar

Mangrove forests are being rehabilitated on the country’s coast to mitigate the effects of climate change. The Myanmar Times. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NAYPYITAW, May 24, 2019, Myanmar Times. The extreme heat of this year’s dry season has prompted local governments and non-governmental organisations to grow more tree seedlings for planting during the rainy season, a senior ministry official said, reported the Myanmar Times.

More than 1.75 million seedlings are ready for planting as soon as the monsoon arrives, said U Khin Maung Yi, permanent secretary of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation.

“Nay Pyi Taw has nearly 450,000 seedlings and the regions and states have about 1.3 million seedlings,” he told a press briefing.

U Nyi Nyi Kyaw, director general of the Forest Department, said his office is satisfied with the initiative to grow more tree seedlings.

“Public participation can make our surroundings green,” he said. “It is very hot and the water has dried up this year, so we have 67.5 million seedlings for the public to plant this rainy season.”

Former Pyithu Hluttaw (Lower House) legislator U Ye Tun said those who plant the seedlings must ensure that they grow into mature trees.

“It’s good to plant trees but it shouldn’t be just for show,” he said. “They must be planted where they won’t soon get cut down. We need responsibility to make sure they grow up.”

Ko Myo Lin Aung, a youth leader in Pyinmana township, Nay Pyi Taw, who is interested in establishing a farm of perennial plants like white jute, said it is difficult to get land for his project.

“It’s OK to just grow one or two in your yard for fun, but it is really difficult to get land for a farm on tens or hundreds of acres. Although they say there is free land, it isn’t as easy as they say,” he said.

Myanmar is working towards a weather-resilient and low-carbon-emission future, said Environmental Conservation Department Director U Hla Maung Thein.

A climate-friendly project is being carried out with the United Nations Development Program and US$7.9 million (K12.16 billion) in funding in Sagaing, Mandalay and Magwe regions.

An ecosystem services improvement project is also being carried out with the Asian Development Bank and $4.5 million in funding in the same areas.

Another two projects are planned with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). “The projects are based on community forestry to alleviate climate change in rural areas. There is $5.4 million in funding, and work will begin as soon as the government permits are obtained,” said U Hla Maung Thein.

An urban climate-friendly project with funding of $2.9 million will also be carried out with UNEP.

The ministry wants to make 30 percent of the country, including forest reserves, protected areas.

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