As Myanmar moves toward increased democratization and a more liberalized economy, the opportunities for development and business abound. Information is now flowing out of the once isolated country, tourists and commerce are streaming in and western countries are re-establishing their relations with the country, which is a signatory to the UNCCD since 1997 and launched its National Action Programme (NAP) to Combat Desertification in 2005.
In light of the recent political shifts, the Global Mechanism (GM) visited the country from 21 to 25 April 2012 to discuss financing for sustainable land and forest management (SLFM), meeting with the Minister of the Environment; officials from Myanmar’s ministries of Agriculture, Livestock and Transport; international organizations; NGOs and donor entities in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw.
The meetings led to a better understanding of the issues related to financing for SLFM, based upon which, an agreement was reached about the nature of future collaboration. The GM will support the enhancement of capacity amongst government officials and other stakeholders on SLFM and climate change financing, the development of at least one donor-ready project in the most degraded areas, the facilitation of a sub-regional knowledge exchange between Viet Nam and Myanmar and an assessment of current financial flows to identify gaps and potential financing sources.
“With some initial investments we hope to plant the seed for further resource mobilization in Myanmar”, said Camilla Nordheim-Larsen, GM’s Programme Coordinator for Asia and Pacific, adding that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon recently noted that Myanmar receives substantially less development assistance per capita than its neighbouring countries as he called for investments from the international community.
As part of its overall goal of improving livelihoods and communities in Myanmar, the GM will partner with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), who will provide technical expertise on forest issues, and with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), who has been engaged in the country since 1994.
At the centre of the country formerly known as Burma lies an area known as the ‘dry zone’, which is home to about one-third of the total population. This area is facing severe land degradation, deforestation, drought and food insecurity. A land endowed with natural resources and 47 per cent forest cover, Myanmar ranks as one of the poorest countries in the world.
For more information:
Ms Camilla Nordheim-Larsen, Programme Coordinator, Asia and Pacific
Tel. +39 06 5459 2061
c.nordheim-larsen (at) global-mechanism.org