Thursday, October 23, 2014

Environmental Education and Research Center on MSN Island

Environmental Education and Research Center on MSN Island, Ayeyarwaddy Delta, Myanmar
Environmental Education and Research Centre
The Mangrove Service Network (MSN) as part of its long term ambitious plan of enhancing environmental conservation, increasing knowledge on mangroves and their environment, and promoting alternative sources of income for the
rural population of the Ayeyarwaddy Delta, has established a Mangrove Environment Education and Research Centre on a 50 acre island in Bogalay Township, with initial funding from Australian-Aid (Direct Aid Program 2012-13)"
Mangrove and forest areas are degrading at a tremendous rate due to over extraction mostly caused by lack of awareness of the rural communities. The cyclone Nargis in 2008 has shown the importance of such areas as natural buffer against the ever more frequent hazards impacting the Delta area. The importance in preserving and documenting such natural areas as well as promoting the sustainable use of natural resources by rural communities has been identified as a critical issue.Currently, MSN is utilizing the Environmental Education and Research Centre on their own island funded by the Australian Embassy. The establishment of the Environmental Education and Research Center is meant to be the first step of a long term and ambitious project aiming to enhance environmental conservation, to increase knowledge and research about Delta mangrove and forest areas, and to promote alternative sources of income for the rural delta population.

In addition, local authorities, relevant technical departments, local and national environment stakeholders are sensitized to environment conservation issues of the Delta and the actions that need to be undertaken.Outcomes of this project are that the local communities can access the education center and their awareness about environment conservation is being raised.
Student Study Tour (17-8-14)
The Mangrove Service Network implemented the first project regarding the organization of the opening workshop / environment conference at the Environmental Education and Research Center, which was addressed to local authorities, relevant technical departments, local and national environment stakeholders.
After the establishment of the Center, MSN conducted technical trainings, workshops, a student study tour trip and tree planting ceremony collaborating with government departments, INGOs and NGOs.
Additionally, MSN created the center as a space, available for environmental conservation organizations, which are studying rural development as well as other relevant research.  In the second phase of implementation, MSN started a project targeting the surrounding area of MSN Island, demonstrating environmental friendly livelihood opportunities such as integrated aquaculture ponds, a community woodlots and small-scale commercial tree plantations, which are also being funded by the Australian Embassy. At the opening ceremony of the new livelihood project approximately 25000 seedlings of two mangrove species were planted on the MSN Island.
Special Tree Planting Ceremony (22-09-14)

By: U Htay Lin, Project Coordinator, MSN/EC-NSA Project
E-mail: htalin@gmail.com

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