WWF is supporting local communities in Myanmar to help threatened mangrove forests recover and thrive in the Ayeyarwady Delta.
Illegal logging, land expansion and unsustainable livelihoods have contributed to the loss of more than 60% of Myanmar’s mangrove forests in the last 20 years.
That’s why WWF is one of the partners supporting a pilot project with 10 villages in the Ayeyarwady Delta to restore mangrove forests and undertake mangrove-friendly aquaculture such as sustainable shrimp and mud crab farming.
This is crucial work as mangroves provide local people with fundamental sources of income from farming and fisheries, as well as protect against natural disasters such as cyclones.
SUPPORTING COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT
In all, the project is supporting communities to protect and sustainably manage just under 1,500 hectares of mangrove forest.
Training and workshops cover a range of key issues, such as mangrove restoration, sustainable mangrove-friendly aquaculture farming and sustainable natural resource governance.
All of this gives communities the knowledge and skills to manage mangrove conservation themselves, an approach that is more effective and sustainable in the long run − especially when they see the stability of their livelihood return.
Ma Aye, who runs a mud crab farm in the delta with her family, said: “I want my community to continue to understand the benefit of mangroves so that we would efficiently restore our lost mangroves and take care of the existing ones.
“Integrating our sustainable livelihood is important for our basic needs because only when we can take care of ourselves, can we also focus on taking care of our mangroves.”
For security reasons, names and identifying details have been changed or omitted in this story.