Himalayas: IKI-project supports forest protection in Myanmar

View on Himalaya mountain range

View on Himalaya mountain range. Photo: B. Balaji/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has been working for years in the four Himalayan countries of Bhutan, India, Myanmar and Nepal. In May, ICIMOD rolled out a project to Myanmar entitled Developing and using experiences in implementing REDD+ in the Himalayas, which is being funded with EUR 4.2 million by the German Federal Environment Ministry in the context of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The project is being undertaken together with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and aims to support the four countries in implementing measures for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+).

The ICIMOD and the Forest Department of the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry sealed an agreement on 16 and 17 May in the Forest Research Institute in Yezin to kick-off the project in Myanmar. U Bo Ni, Director of the Watershed Management Division in the Ministry, welcomed the cooperation. ‘This meeting demonstrates our commitment and efforts to strengthen and promote the cooperation on REDD+ in the Himalayan region,’ he said. Kai Windhorst, GIZ project manager, praised the agreement as an important milestone towards successful implementation of the project.

The REDD+ project in the Himalayas will be carried out at the federal state level in Shan State in Myanmar. As a first step, the project will conduct a gap analysis for pilot measures in Shan State and a study on the causes of deforestation. In addition, a timber market study will be prepared to chart the flows of raw timber. The Forest Research Institute will use the study to develop the training of staff in local administrative structures. This capacity building will be carried out taking into account the measurement, reporting and verification of measures and will strengthen social protection so that REDD+ projects can be implemented successfully at local level.