Gov’t strategy to combat climate change

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A mangrove forest in Bogale, Ayeyawady Region, whose ecosystem protects a vast range of aquatic life.

Vice President U Myint Swe said yesterday that in order to effectively combat the effects of climate change, a two-step approach involving conservation as well as conservation of natural resources on land and in the sea will be needed.
The Vice President made his comments as part of his opening address at the 1st meeting of central committee for the administration and management of natural resources in coastal areas (national level) held at Ingyin Hall of the forestry department in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday morning.
“In launching preventive work against the problem of climate change, it will be necessary not only to build the infrastructure but also to conserve the natural infrastructure — mangrove forests, coastal forests and coral reefs.
Present at the meeting were U Ohn Win, Union Minister, Dr Le Le Maw, Chief Minister of Taninthayi Region Cabinet, U Win Thein, Chief Minister of Bago Region Cabinet, Ministers from Yangon Region, Mon State, Rakhine State and Ayeyarwady Region Cabinets, permanent secretaries who are central committee members, departmental heads, invited guests and responsible officials.
U Myint Swe pointed out the extensive natural resources in Myanmar that must be carefully managed and maintained so that future generations can enjoy their benefits.
“Today’s meeting is the one held for the first time so as to implement practically on the ground, responsibilities of the central committee formed to lay down policies and mediate the tasks between the Ministries of the Union and Cabinets of the Regions and States, in managing for coastal resources to survive in the long run and to effectively utilise them. Myanmar is a country rich in natural resources, especially waters, land, forests, and coastal resources. Renewable fresh water resources per capita of a Myanmar citizen is two times of that of United States, 15 times of that of People’s Republic of China and 10 times of that of India. As for land resources, Myanmar stands as the 25th largest country in order of the world, as regards the possession of growing land. Concerning forest resources, 43 per cent of the land area of the country is covered with forest,” he said
The conservation effort for such abundant natural resources must be achieved in harmony with the economic development that is simultaneously occurring in the country, the Vice President said.
“To develop the country, up to the level of keeping abreast of global countries, our country is striving strenuously at present. Meanwhile, we are building the foundations that can bring about the economic development which is in harmony with the environment. Depending upon the abundant natural resources of Myanmar, if we can bring about the tasks of making basic food sufficient for the people, reducing the poverty and strengthening natural ecosystems, it will be helpful to the sustainable development of the country. The Myanmar coastal region stretches up to 2,832 kilometer, abounding with important natural ecosystems in the environs of Indian Ocean. In the coastal regions in Myanmar, ecosystems of mangrove forests, ecosystem of coral reefs and ecosystem of marine grass can be found. These ecosystems serve in many ways such as marine products and environmental services. Coastal ecosystems are the regions in which variety of marine creatures including fish and prawns reside. Besides this, it protects marine creatures from the dangers of strong storms and tsunamis, as well as from the dangers of erosion of riverbanks in the delta area and, from protecting salty water from entering the land and underground fresh water resources. Hence, systematic management of the coastal areas will be helpful to the development of the socio-economic life of the people and protection from natural disasters.”
U Myint Swe pointed out the delicate balance that must be maintained among the myriad ecosystems, because the failure or degradation of one will lead to the collapse of others.
“The ecosystem of the mangrove forests is of great importance for marine creatures and environment. If the mangrove forest is destroyed, (other) ecosystems will be destroyed. Under the current situation, natural resources of the coastal area in Myanmar are deteriorating for many reasons. With the increasing population, excessive production of resources for short term benefits, lack of knowledge on the value of the socio economy and weakness in management are the causes of the deterioration of coastal region’s resources. During the past decades, mangrove forests, coral reefs and marine grasslands have been destroyed, according to the study. With climate change, the sea level is rising, and natural disasters are taking place. This makes the coastal resources deteriorate. Due to the rising sea level, housing areas and growing lands will be ruined. Four regions and two states are situated in coastal areas in Myanmar, where over 20 million people reside. So, it is necessary to deal emphatically with climate change. For the Myanmar coastal area to survive, long preliminary plans had been made to employ the system of multi-management,” said Vice-President.
Afterward, responsible clarified respectively in detail. Following the discussions made by central members, further plans to be carried out had been laid down.

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