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Sustainable Community Based Mangrove Management in Wunbaik Forest Reserve


Integrated Mangrove Management Plan (IMMP)

Wunbaik Reserved Mangrove Forest, Rakhine State


Integrated Mangrove Management Plan for Wunbaik Reserved Forest

Forest Department, Myanmar assisted by FAO project on Sustainable Community-based Mangrove Management in Wunbaik Forest Reserve (TCP/MYA/3204) Dr. Oswin Stanley,1 and Dr. Jeremy Broadhead.2

Yangon, December 2011

1 2

FAO lead consultant for project TCP/MYA/3204 (; Forestry Officer, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand (;

In recent years the value of mangroves has become more fully realised following many decades during which the global rate of mangrove clearance far exceeded that in terrestrial forests. The high productivity of mangroves and their contribution to local livelihoods, coastal protection, biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation and marine fisheries all suggest that conservation and sustainable management efforts will be richly rewarded. In particular, improved management can offer significant benefits to villagers living in and around mangroves, and allocation of rights and responsibilities to local levels can also support sustainable mangrove management. WunbaikReservedForest is almost unique in Myanmar in terms of the size and health of its mangrove resources. Indeed, in the whole of Southeast Asia there are few mangrove areas of such magnificence. Despite years of degradation, WunbaikReservedForest remains in a condition from which restoration and rehabilitation is still feasible without the need for extensive remedial activity. Technical and institutional support can bring about changes that will benefit both current and future generations while with the advent of climate change financing, mangrove restoration can also potentially bring in funding for village development and sustainable natural resource management. This publication brings together the results of two years of experience from the FAO supported project on Sustainable Community-based Mangrove Management in Wunbaik Forest Reserve (TCP/MYA/3204). Through discussions, consultations, surveys and studies, a set of guidelines are provided to support development of future interventions to improve the management of the natural resources in the Wunbaik area. Information on background and management issues is also provided to familiarise the reader the status of the WunbaikReservedForest. FAO has been honoured to work at the behest of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar on this Integrated Mangrove Management Plan and will continue to provide support in natural resource management as required, including in relation to implementation of this plan and plans for other mangrove areas elsewhere in Myanmar.

Aye Myint Maung Director General Forest Department

Bui Thi Lan FAO Representative Myanmar

Foreword ..................................................................................................................................... i Acknowledgements................................................................................................................... iv Summary .................................................................................................................................... v 1 Background ......................................................................................................................... 1 1.1 Mangrove forests in Myanmar .................................................................................. 1 1.2 The Wunbaik Reserved Forest ................................................................................... 1 1.3 Flora and fauna in the Wunbaik area ........................................................................ 4 1.4 Socio-economic situation of communities in the Wunbaik area............................... 5 1.5 Policy, legislative and management framework for reserved forests ....................... 8 1.5.1 Policy and legislative framework ........................................................................... 8 1.5.2 Management framework ..................................................................................... 12 1.6 Objective of the Integrated Mangrove Management Plan ..................................... 12 1.7 Management plan consultation process ................................................................. 12 2 Management issues .......................................................................................................... 15 2.1 Wood extraction ...................................................................................................... 15 2.2 Bark peeling ............................................................................................................. 16 2.3 Agriculture encroachment ....................................................................................... 17 2.4 Aquaculture encroachment ..................................................................................... 18 2.5 Non-wood forest products ...................................................................................... 18 2.5.1 Fisheries resources............................................................................................... 18 2.5.2 Crab fisheries ....................................................................................................... 19 2.6 Loss of biodiversity .................................................................................................. 19 3 Guidelines for the management of Wunbaik Reserved Forest ........................................ 21 3.1 Agree on a policy for future management of Wunbaik Reserved Forest ................ 21 3.2 Address legislative contradictions ........................................................................... 25 3.3 Develop a Wunbaik User Register ........................................................................... 25 3.4 Support sustainable production of woodfuel and bark ........................................... 25 3.5 Management of encroached areas .......................................................................... 26 3.6 Fisheries resource management.............................................................................. 27 3.7 Crab trapping and management .............................................................................. 29 3.8 Biodiversity conservation......................................................................................... 30 3.9 Livelihood support ................................................................................................... 30 3.9.1 Production of energy efficient stoves .................................................................. 31 3.9.2 Establishment of private/community forest plantations .................................... 31 3.9.3 Bamboo plantation establishment and manufacture of bamboo products ....... 31 3.9.4 Nursery establishment ......................................................................................... 32 3.9.5 Tree grafting......................................................................................................... 32 3.9.6 Production of Nypa thatch ................................................................................... 32 3.9.7 Double rack gardening ......................................................................................... 32 3.9.8 Cage culture of crabs ........................................................................................... 33 3.9.9 Honey production ................................................................................................ 33 Annex 1. Townships and village tracts within 10 kilometers of Wunbaik Reserved Forest .... 35 Annex 2. Feedback from participants of the Workshop on the Integrated Mangrove Management Plan, Yambye, 9th December 2011. .................................................................. 36 iii

Our sincere appreciation and gratitude isexpressed to the Western Commander, Brigadier General U Soe Thein for permission to work in the WunbaikReservedForest, RakhineState. We also express our heartfelt thanks to U Win Tun, Union Minister, Ministry of Environment Conservation and Forestry and U Hla Maung Tin, State Chief Minister, Government of Rakhine State. We would like to express our great appreciation to U Aye Myint Maung, Director General, Forest Department; U Sann Lwin, Director General, Planning and Statistics Department; Dr. Nyi Nyi Kyaw, Deputy Director General, Forest Department; U Zaw Win, Director, Planning and Statistics Division; U Kyaw Soe Khine, Director, Forest Department, Rakhine State; U Win Myint, Assistant Director, Forest Department, KyaukPhyu District; and other senior officers for cooperation and suggestions during project implementation. We would also like to thank the National Project Coordinators assigned to the project by the Forest Department, including U Hla Maung Thein, Director, Environment Division, Planning and Statistics Department; U Aung Khin, Director, Dry Zone Greening Department; and U Myo Htun, Director, Watershed Management Division, FD. We express our special thanks to officers from line departments and agencies including Myanmar Agriculture Service, Department of Fisheries, and Settlement and Land Record Department. We would like to thank officers from the Peace and Development Councils in Rakhine State and Kyauk Phyu and Thandwe Districts, and in Kyauk Phyu, Yambye and Thandwe Townships. For solid support during different stages of project implementation, our thanks are due to Dr Shin Imai, ex-FAO Representative in Myanmar and Ms. Bui Thi Lan, FAO Representative in Myanmar. Thanks are also due to Dr. Maung Maung Than, consultant for the Mangrove and Environmental Rehabilitation Network (MERN), Dr. Martin Tsamenyi, Professor of Law and Director, Wollongong University, Australia for reviewing the management plan manuscript and to Dr. San Tha Tun, Assistant Professor at Pathein University, for translating the document into Burmese.


This Integrated Mangrove Management Plan was prepared with support from the FAO project Sustainable Community-based Mangrove Management in Wunbaik Forest Reserve (TCP/MYA/3204). The plan covers the Wunbaik Reserved Forest in Yambye Township, Kyauk Phyu District, Rakhine State and is aimed at supporting the sustainable management of the forest and fisheries resources of the Reserved Forest for the benefit of local communities and future generations. The reserved forest covers 22 928 hectares and was established in 1930 for the production of fuelwood to supply salt factories and inland steam vessels. The reserve contains magnificent waterways, tall mangroves and a huge variety of flora and fauna that have provided subsistence benefits to local villagers for generations. The mangroves are extraordinarily productive and are valuable not only for the forest products they produce but also for the benefits they provide in terms of fisheries production and in protecting local populations from storms and cyclones. Mangroves also sequester and store large amounts of carbon and are therefore of great value in climate change mitigation. The project aimed to provide technical inputs to support the sustainable management of the Wunbaik Reserved Forest, such as training, demonstrations, village support activities, and publications on technical issues. With support from the Forest and Fisheries Departments, the project undertook baseline surveys of forest and fisheries resources and an appraisal of the socio-economic situation in villages surrounding the Wunbaik Reserved Forest. Training was provided in home gardening techniques, nursery establishment, mangrove awareness, production of energy efficient stoves and many other areas. Publications on the vegetation and fisheries resources of the reserve were completed along with The Atlas and guidelines for mangrove management in Wunbaik reserved mangrove forest. With respect to the status of the Wunbaik Reserved Forest, over the past 20 years forest cover in the reserve has fallen to 71% as a result of encroachment for agriculture and aquaculture. Much of the remaining area is degraded as a result of wood cutting and bark collection. Surrounding areas and towns across Rakhine and further afield are heavily dependent on fuelwood and charcoal from Wunbaik owing to lack of alternative energy sources. If cutting continues at present rates, Wunbaik Reserved Mangrove forest will follow the fate of many other reserved forests in Myanmar and it is likely that within a decade the whole area will be cleared. This is particularly likely given the new oil and gas developments in the area. The projects demonstration of Ecological Mangrove Restoration did, however, show extremely encouraging results within a short space of time and as such there is an excellent chance than mangrove resources in Wunbaik can recover if given the chance. Fisheries resources in the area have also declined as a result of overfishing and reduction in the extent of waterways within the mangrove forest. Fishing at river mouths on both tides, use of small fishing net mesh sizes and lack of observance of an off-season during the breeding period have had the most severe effects. Crab fisheries are also becoming depleted as a result of the capture of small crabs and brooders, primarily to supply commercial demand from China. Although agriculture and aquaculture developments in Wunbaik and current cutting and fishing activities provide income and subsistence needs for local people, businessmen and v

other agents, the area is not being sustainably or productively managed. Due to the nature of mangrove soils, the productivity of agriculture and aquaculture in encroached areas in Wunbaik also falls after a few years and ends in abandonment of land and the need to move to new areas. Villagers in the area are well aware of natural resource degradation in and around the reserve and an institutional lead is necessary to improve management and productivity. In particular, rights and responsibilities need to be allocated to responsive local interests with a firm commitment to the sustainable management of the resources. Support from line departments in terms of oversight, awareness raising and capacity building is also necessary. For this to take place, jurisdictional uncertainties need first to be addressed particularly in relation to the relative roles of forest and fisheries departments. Aside from institutional issues, a range of technical measures are necessary to improve resource management in the area. In particular, demand for forest and fisheries resources should be brought into line with regenerative capacity of the Wunbaik ecosystems. Adjustments need to be made to current use patterns to capitalise on the natural productive capacity of the forest and fisheries resources. Such measures include banning encroachment, implementing a rotational wood cutting system, and prohibiting fishing during the breeding season and catching of small crabs. At present, forest and fisheries resources have been degraded to below optimum production levels and improved management will support both sustainability and increased production. While measures are necessary to improve the institutional and technical efficiency of management, support should is also necessary for alternative livelihood activities for villagers in the surrounding areas. Improvement in local incomes will function to reduce pressure on the mangrove and fisheries resources and improve production of ecosystem services from the reserve including storm protection, carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation. To finance implementation of the management plan, a range of options exist. Given recent interest in REDD+3 in Myanmar and the considerable potential of mangroves to absorb and store carbon, related financing may prove the most relevant if mangrove restoration is expanded in Wunbaik beyond the pilot scale implemented by the project. Otherwise, the reserve also provides significant support for food security and local livelihoods and associated funding sources could be accessed. Revenues from close-by oil and gas drilling activities could also be diverted to conserve mangrove resources and offset emissions, if only in a small way. Wunbaik remains one of the most productive and healthy mangrove areas in Myanmar and in Southeast Asia as a whole and the Government of Myanmar has shown foresight in supporting the development of this plan to sustainably manage the Reserved Forest for the benefit of current and future generations. Continued support will ensure that this unique area remains productive in economic, social and environmental terms to current and future generations.

REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation "plus" conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.)


1 Background
1.1 Mangrove forests in Myanmar
Forests in Myanmar cover 31 773 000 hectares and occupy 48 percent of the total land area. Between 1990 and 2010 the forest area was reduced by 19 percent or 7 445 000 hectares, equivalent to a rate of 372 250 hectaresor 1 percent per annum. Myanmar is endowed with 1930 kilometres of coastline along the Bay of Bengal. Mangrove forests in Myanmar cover 438 000 hectares. Mangroves are located primarily in three regions of Myanmar: Ayeyarwady Delta, Rakhine State and Tanintharyi Division. Ayeyarwady Delta once contained the largest mangrove formation of Myanmar but now only a small area of degraded mangroves, of approximately 13 700 hectares in size, remains in Meinmahla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary. The main causes of mangrove loss include land conversion for agriculture and aquaculture development, tree cutting for timber and fuelwood and wood extraction for commercial charcoal manufacture. Residential developments have also reduced the area of mangrove forests. In Rakhine State, bordering the Andaman Sea, some large areas of mangrove remain although the Wunbaik Reserved Forest is the only mangrove forest within the permanent forest estate and the final area in which mangroves might be conserved. Tanintharyi mangroves situated in the southern region of Myanmar have been less affected than those in Ayeyarwady and Rakhine State and are considered to have larger and less degraded mangrove formations. Mangroves are one of the most productive ecosystems in Southeast Asia and provide vital support for rural livelihoods in Myanmar. Mangroves occur at the land sea interface and possess special adaptations enabling them to endure the physical and chemical conditions associated with the marine environment. Mangroves protect coastlines against storms and cyclones, provide wood and non-wood forest products, support coastal fisheries and sequester and store large amounts of carbon. Mangrove ecosystems provide important breeding, feeding and sheltering grounds for a large range of marine species including commercially important fisheries resources. Despite their importance in these many areas, successive government land conversion programs and associated agriculture and aquaculture policies have resulted in a massive destruction of mangroves in Myanmar. Given the considerable value of mangroves and the growing international support for mangrove conservation, efforts by the Government of Myanmar to protect these areas, both through project TCP/MYA/3204 and other means, are both timely and appropriate.

1.2 The Wunbaik Reserved Forest

Wunbaik Reserved Forest lies between 19o 08 10 and 19o 23 40 North and 93o 54 3594o 02 10 East in Yambye Township, Kyauk Phyu District, Rakhine State. A total of 22 928 hectares (56 633 acres) were declared as Reserved Forest on December 15, 1930 by the British colonial administration. The original objective of the Reserved Forest was to supply fuelwood to salt factories and inland steam vessels. An adjacent area of 4 081 acres was declared as Mingyaung Public Protected Forest by the Ministry of Forestry on 16 June, 2009. The topography of Wunbaik Reserved Forest is almost flat except on the western adjacent island of Kathaung Taung Kyun where a small hill rises. In the same area coral reefs are found within the reserved forest boundary. Inland from Wunbaik the land is hilly and undulating with many water bodies. 1

Broadly the climate in the area can be divided into summer, monsoon and winter seasons. The area experiences torrential rains and humidity levels of up to 94% during the monsoon season from May until October. Average annual rainfall recorded for 2011 amounted to 5 362 mm and a maximum temperature of 34.5C was recorded. Following the monsoon season, colder weather comes between November and February. In 2011, January and February were the coldest months with minimum temperatures of around 15-16C. Wunbaik Reserved Forest is a major source of timber, fuelwood and wood for charcoal. Fuelwood is predominantly used for household use and brick baking while charcoal is produced commercially for sale to urban centres in Rakhine State and further afield. Bark is also collected in Wunbaik for use in the dying industry in Myanmar. Wunbaik Mangroves form a natural coastal bio-shield, sheltering Yambye and protecting inland areas from cyclones and storms generated in the Bay of Bengal. As the mangrove shield has been removed, inland areas and habitation have become more susceptible to storm damage and flooding. The Wunbaik Mangrove Reserved Forest is endowed with many deep and shallow creeks, large rivers, mudflats and sandy, muddy and rocky bottoms. The fertile river mouths open into the Bay of Bengal and provide paths for seasonal migration of both anadromous and catadromous transient fish populations. Over the past two decades, the natural resources in Wunbaik Reserved Forest have been severely degraded as wood collection and land conversion has taken place. Analysis of satellite imagery shows that the total area encroached for paddy and shrimp farming in 1990 was 2.7 percent (see Table 1.1). This increased to 15 percent in 2000, 20 percent in 2009 and 25 percent in 2011. Similarly the area of degraded forest has risen to 17 percent in 2011, leaving only 54 percent of the total area with relatively intact mangrove forest as shown inFigure 1.1. Even within the intact forest areas, the average diameter size of trees has been considerably reduced and the majority of mangroves present are considered secondary vegetation. These areas remain in a vulnerable state and open to further encroachment and degradation.
Table 1.1 Land use change in Wunbaik Reserved Forest Area by land use, 1990-2011 (acres) Land use change 1990 2000 2009 2011 1990-2000 2000-2009 2009-2011 1990-2011 Water 3 010 3 796 3 518 2105 786 -277 -1 413 -905 Mangroves 43 628 35 250 31 326 30 670 -8 379 -3 923 -657 -12 958 Degraded 8 487 8 778 10 533 9 673 291 1 755 -860 1 186 mangroves Agriculture 858 7 196 8 190 12 314 6 337 995 4 124 11 456 Scrub jungle 0 81 0 0 81 -81 0 0 Road 0 219 135 238 219 -84 103 238 Swamp 0 174 24 0 174 -150 -24 0 Aquaculture 650 1 141 2 907 1 633 491 1 765 -1 274 983 TOTAL 56 633 56 633 56 633 56 633

Figure 1.1. Forest cover in Wunbaik Reserved Forest in 2011.

The Forest Department has yet to develop infrastructure facilities, a patrolling system or effective law enforcement to discourage excess extraction of wood and encroachment into the reserve for paddy and shrimp farming. Besides deforestation for land conversion, most mangrove degradation in the reserve is the result of commercial cutting perpetrated by actors from outside the area utilizing cheap labour provided by the local communities. Activity is not routinely recorded and formal monitoring is absent. Population densities of fisheries resources in coastal areas are related to the health and extent of mangrove waters available for fish populations to feed, breed and shelter. Due to construction of bunds in the Wunbaik reserve, the total area covered by water has been reduced by 30 percent since 1990 (see Table 1.1). As a consequence, fisheries productivity has been lost both within the waters of the reserved forest and in the estuarine and neretic waters outside the reserve boundary. The practice of fishing at river mouths in Wunbaik on both tides, use of fishing nets with small mesh sizes, sieving of small crabs, and unrestrained year round mud crab harvesting has increased pressure on the fishery resources. A considerable decline in fish and crab sizes and the sizes of their population, both within and outside the reserved area, has been recorded. The universally small size of the fish recorded during the study, demonstrates clearly the extent of degradation of the fishery resources and the threat to survival of fish populations. It is the policy of the Government to conserve mangrove forests for coastal protection, preservation of fisheries resources and for long-term livelihood support of populations within and outside the area. Government efforts to conserve dwindling mangrove forests are necessary both within Rakhine state and throughout the rest of the country. In particular, alternative energy resources need to be provided to alleviate pressure on mangroves resulting from the cutting of fuelwood and of wood for charcoal manufacture. Law enforcement efforts also need to be strengthened to prevent further land encroachment. Improvements in the management and protection are particularly important in view of the new infrastructure developments taking place in the Wunbaik area. The government has constructed a new 20 mile long east-west geo-textile road running from Kyauk Phyu to Ma-e. The road connects with the Kyauk Phyu-Yangon highway and occupies 0.35 percent (81 ha) of the total mangrove areas in Wunbaik. Bridges across Wunbaik water ways and creeks within the mangroves are well designed and do not disrupt the tidal flows appreciable. Concerns that completion of the Kyauk Phyu-Ma-e road in 2006 would lead to massive encroachment have been a major impetus behind renewed efforts to conserve the Wunbaik Reserved Forest.

1.3 Flora and fauna in the Wunbaik area

The Wunbaik Reserved Forest is endowed with a high level of biodiversity. Seventy flowering plants species have been identified inside the reserved forest boundary including thirty four mangrove species and thirty six salt tolerant mangrove associates. Sixty two species of fin fish, five species of crustacean and five species of mollusc have been recorded. Including both migrants and residents, 104 bird species were recorded in Wunbaik during the project period. Thirty-seven shore birds were recorded and parakeets and doves are abundant in the reserved forest, especially around the paddy fields. Destruction of mangroves and hunting of arboreal and shore birds continues, however, at a high rate. Bird 4

shooting during the hunting season also disrupts roosting, and many birds that are shot are not collected by hunters. The population of amphibians and reptiles in the Wunbaik area is considerable. Snakes are common and prominent species include Naja naja (Cobra), Naja hannah, (King Cobra), Elaphe radiata (copperhead rat snake), Bungarus fasciatus (banded krait) and Boa constrictor (boa snake). Threats to snake populations include hunting and sale of meat in local markets and increasing local consumption. Other amphibians and reptiles include Varanus spp (monitor lizard), which is common in open mangrove areas and there are also many species of geckos, skinks, crested lizards, toads and frogs. In recent years, Batagur baska (river terrapin) has become a rare species and Crocodylus porosus (Crocodile) are extinct in the reserved area and in Rakhine state as a result of hunting for skin and meat and associated trade. Mammals including Otters (Lutra lutra and Lutra spp) are common around the River Kadet and crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis) were observed near Nganapyagyi River and the mouth of River Dipataik. The Indian flying fox (Pteropus giganteus), short-nosed or common fruit bat (Cynopterus brachyotis) and bamboo bats (Tylonycteris pachypus and Tylonycteris robustula) occur in a range of habitats from terrestrial primary and secondary forests to mangroves and cultivated areas. Wild dog (Cuon apinus), sambar (Cervus unicolor), hog deer (Cervus porcinus), mouse deer (Tragulus javanicus), barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), buck deer (Cervinae capreolinae), wild boar (Sus scrofa), fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus), jungle cat (Felis chaus) and wild cat (Felis silvestris) are now rare in the reserve. Elephants (Elephas maximus), tiger (Panthera tigris) and leopard (Panthera pardus) were once common in the mangroves of Rakhine State but are now extinct.

1.4 Socio-economic situation of communities in the Wunbaik area

The total population of Kyauk Phyu District, in which Wunbaik Reserved Forest is situation, is 500 142 as shown in Table 1.2. Four townships are located within Kyauk Phyu District: Kyauk Phyu, Yambye, Manaung and Ann. Neighbouring Wunbaik mangroves are 30 712 households in Kyauk Phyu Township with a total population of 195 420, and 21 256 households in Yambye Township with a population of 100 769 (Table 1.2). The population of Kyauk Phyu Township grew from 185 550 in 2005; whereas, the population of Yambye township declined from 139 850 in 2005. The overall population of Kyauk Phyu District has declined in recent years due to migration from Rakhine State to Yangon and other areas. The developments in the new capital city, Nay Pyi Taw, have also attracted a considerable number of migrants. The overall rural population in Kyauk Phyu District exceeds the rural population.
Table 1.2 Population of Kyauk Phyu District in 2010-11.

Township Number of households Total population % female % urban Kyauk Phyu 30 712 195 420 52 16 Yambye 21 256 100 769 53 10 Manaung 14 015 99 230 52 7 Ann 22 056 104 723 50 6 District Total 88 039 500 142 52 11 Source: District Peace and Development Council, Kyauk Phyu. 5

Townships and village tracts within 10 kilometres of Wunbaik Reserved Forest are listed in Annex 1. The total population of 21 936 resident in the 32 villages within 10 kilometres of Wunbaik constitute the main users of Wunbaik Reserved Forest. Table 1.3 provides information on Wunbaik Reserved Forest resource users in Yambye Township, Kyauk Phyu District. Elders in the villages are well respected and generally guide decision making at the village level. The villages are also connected to a well defined institutional framework which includes village, village tract, township, district and division level authorities of Forest and Fisheries Departments and Peace and Development Councils. Local branches of ministerial departments are also present in the area. Around 35 to 40 percent of villagers are poor with daily household income around 1 000 Kyats (US$ 1.3). A middle income group earn from 2 000 to 3 000 Kyats (US$ 2.6 to US$ 3.9). Middlemen are based in the villages trading timber, charcoal wood, fishery products and others. Based on the Participatory Rural Appraisal carried out in villages around Wunbaik, the main livelihood in the area is paddy cultivation. Others livelihood activities include: cutting and trading wood for timber, fuelwood and wood for charcoal; Manufacture and trading of charcoal; collection of mangrove bark; fishing and crabbing; local plantation establishment and cultivation of home gardens; small-scale trading of goods such as cloth, tools, etc. running telephone communication centres, video shows, tea and food shops, trishaw & motorcycle taxis, boats for rent, etc. Although agricultural land surrounds villages in the area, paddy cultivation is largely practiced in converted mangrove areas as shifting or kari cultivation. Villagers in 15 to 20 family groups jointly develop karis by building embankments to block tidal flows. Each is named and at times villages join together to create new karis. Karis are usually 200 - 300 acres in size and groups share out the land based on efforts in developing the area. In most villages in the Wunbaik area, including Arawcheing, Yantheshe, Yanthigyi, Letpan, and Chipyutaung, between 70 to 100 percent of farmers work on kari land. Many villagers also work as casual labourers for supplementary income outside the farming season. The project focused attention on two villages adjacent to Wunbaik reserved forest, Letpan and Yantheshe in Yambye Township, and Hlaing Kaung settlement within the Mingyaung Protected Forest. Hlaing Kaung settlement was formed following construction of the road across the Wunbaik Reserved Forest in 1994. The residents were all originally from Sitpyar Village, Yambye Township.

Table 1.3 Wunbaik Reserved Forest resource users in Yambye Township, Kyauk Phyu District.
Village tract Village subdivision Letpan Awa Letpan Anyar Awa Taung Chaungnal Yantheshe Yantheshe Phetkyat Yanthitgyi Sitpyar Pyinwun Marutshein TOTAL 1598 1479 10959 2511 1700 2676 365 285 415 309 335 350 2480 27 20 525 217.35 200 10334 175 150 15 5125 2100 150 15 27 20 525 151 1000 6615 1900 1752 48 250 3689 30 30 2315 5 20 165 175 150 995 Population Households Household with Kari in WBRF 63 75 Kari Area (acres) 923.26 1618 Farmers working kari 63 75 People depending WBRF 1000 380 240 280 1800 1700 64 50 1800 1750 1 50 1 Shrimp pond area (acres) Farmers working shrimp pond River Mouth Fishing 156 30 48 57 1150 950 1000 48 57 1300 850 5 20 Crab Trapping (HH) Bark Peeling (HH) Charcoal burning (HH) Shrimp catching ( HH ) 30 30 48 57


220 201

1.5 Policy, legislative and management framework for reserved forests

1.5.1 Policy and legislative framework
The early Myanmar Kings recognized the value of forest resources and managed them in a traditional way for sustainability. It is remarkable that King Alaungpaya (1752-60) declared teak as a royal tree. The countrys systematic management of its teak bearing forests began in 1856 with the establishment of the Myanmar Forest Department. Since that time, various pieces of policy and legislation has been issued to regulate the management of Myanmars forest resources as shown in Table 1.4.
Table 1.4 Policy and legislation concerning management and conservation of natural resources in Myanmar

Law/Act Burma Forest Act Burma Wildlife Protection Act Forest Law Protection of Wildlife and Wild Plant and Conservation of Natural Areas Law Forest Rules Forest Policy Community Forestry Rules

Year 1902 1927, 1936 1992 1994, 2002 1994 1995 1995

With respect to forest law and laws that affect forestry, there has been a long history of development in Myanmar. The first forest law in Myanmar was the 1902 Burma Forest Act, which was enacted during the British colonial administration. This law was subsequently amended in 1906, 1912, 1926, 1938 and 1941. The 1902 Forest Act was supplemented by the 1936 Burma Wildlife Protection Act (amended in 1954), which made provision for the establishment of wildlife sanctuaries on any government-owned land or on private land with the consent of the land owners. The 1936 Burma Wildlife Protection Act prohibited all hunting, fishing and wilful disturbance to any animal in wildlife sanctuaries. The Act also required licenses for similar activities in reserved forests. The major short-comings of these earlier forest and wildlife conservation laws were that they did not have nation-wide application and they did not specifically include measures for habitat protection. The current forest law in Myanmar is the Forest Law 1992 which was enacted on 3rd November 1992. This law explicitly repealed the Forest Act 1902 (as amended). The 1992 Forest Law articulates a balanced approach of sustainable forestry through the utilization of forest resources to develop the economy by contributing towards the food, clothing and shelter needs of the public as well as the fuel requirement of the country, whilst emphasizing environmental conservation. Under the Forest Law 1992, conservation of forests is to be carried out simultaneously with the establishment of forest plantation and in accordance with international agreements. Recognizing the rapid socio-economic changes occurring in Myanmar, a review of the Forest Law 1992 has been undertaken and a revised law was considered in the October 2011 second session of parliament. It is expected that the new forest law will be enacted in the third session of parliament in 2012. 8

The broad objectives of the Forest Law 1992 as stated in Section 3 of the Law as are follows: to implement the forestry policy of the Government; to implement the environmental conservation policy of the Government; to promote public co-operation in implementing the forestry policy and the environmental conservation policy of the Government; to develop the economy of the State, to contribute towards the food, clothing and shelter needs of the public and to sustain the perpetual enjoyment of benefits through conservation and protection of forests; to work in accordance with international agreements relating to conservation of forests and the environment; to prevent the dangers of destruction of forest and biodiversity, outbreak of fires, infestation of insects and occurrence of plant disease; to carry out simultaneously conservation of natural forests and establishment of forest plantations; to contribute towards the fuel requirements of the country.

To achieve its objectives, Section 4 of the Forest Law allows the Minister responsible for forestry, with the approval of the Government, to declare different categories of reserved forest, including watershed or catchment protection reserved forest. Outside reserve forests, Section 5 of the Forest Law empowers the Minister, with the approval of the Government, to declare any forest land as protected public forest, for a number of purposes including protection of water and soil; conservation of mangrove forests; conservation of the environment and bio-diversity; and conservation for sustainable production. The Forest Law 1992 classifies forests in Myanmar under three categories: (i) reserved forests; (ii) protected public forest; and (iii) un-classed forests. All the three categories of forests belong to the State. The only forest areas not under State ownership are community forests leased to local people through long-term permits provided by the Government. Reserved forests are classified under five categories under the Forest Law 1992 as follows: (i) commercial reserved forest; (ii) local supply reserved forest; (iii) watershed or catchment protection reserved forest; (iv) environment and bio-diversity conservation reserved forest; and (v) other categories of reserved forest. Under the Forest Law, the Minister may, with the approval of the Government, declare as protected public forest areas outside reserved forests for the purpose of conserving mangrove forests. Forestry areas which are not reserved are available for exploitation of forestry products for commercial purposes, subject to the grant of permit. Under the Forest Law, the Minister 9

may, with the approval of the Government, declare different categories of reserved forest, including watershed or catchment protection reserved forest, environment and bio-diversity conservation reserved forest; and other categories of reserved forest. Under the Forest Law, mangrove forests are protected public forests, pursuant to Section 5 of the Law. Protected public forests are situated outside reserved forests where the Minister may specify limits on land. Beyond this, the distinction between reserved forest and protected public forest is not clear in the Forest Law. Section 40 of the Forest Lawlists a number of offences including: (i) trespassing and encroaching in a reserved forest; (ii) causing damage to a water-course, poisoning the water, using chemicals or explosives in the water in a reserved forest; and (iii) catching animals, hunting or fishing in a reserved forest, felling, cutting, girdling, marking, lopping, tapping, or injuring by fire or otherwise any tree in a reserved forest. The penalty for these offences are, on conviction, a maximum fine of kyats 5000 (in present day value) or imprisonment for a maximum term of 6 months or both a fine and imprisonment. It is the responsibility of the Forest Department to implement the Forest Law. This is done through the forestry policy and the plans of the Government relating to conservation of water, soil, biodiversity and environment. The Director-General of the Forest Department is tasked to develop the necessary policies and draw up plans relating to the forest sector and plans relating to forest administration to carry out the forest and conservation work of the Department. The Forest Policy (1995) outlines the basic policy framework to support the management and conservation of forests and their biodiversity. The policy was formulated in line with the Forestry Principles adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The policy places emphasis on: protection of soil, water, wildlife and biodiversity; sustainability of forest resources to ensure perpetual supply of both tangible and intangible benefits; supply of basic needs of the people for fuel, shelter, food and recreation; harnessing the full economic potential of forest resources in a socially and environmentally friendly manner; participation of stakeholders in the conservation and utilization of forest resources; increasing public awareness of the vital role of forests in the well-being and social economic development of the nation.

The Forest Rules (1994) provide a framework to protect biodiversity whilst the Community Forest Rules (1995) are aimed at promoting public participation of forest conservation. The Forest Law1992 is supplemented by the Protection of Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas Law1994. The objectives of this law include: to implement the Government policy for wildlife protection; to implement the Government policy for natural area conservation;


to carry out in accordance with the International Conventions acceded by the State in respect of the protection and conservation of wildlife, ecosystems and migratory birds; to protect endangered species of wildlife and their natural habitats.

Section 2 of the Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas Law defines wildlife as the wild animals and wild plants in their natural habitats. Wild animal is defined to mean naturally bred animals, birds, insects, aquatic animals and their spawns, larvae, frys and seeds in their natural habitats; and wild plant is defined to mean trees, shrubs, climbers, bamboos, canes, orchids, fungus, aquatic plants and their seeds growing in their natural habitats. Under the Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas Law, protection is afforded to wildlife through the declaration of several categories of natural areas, including: scientific reserve; national park; marine national park; nature reserve; wildlife sanctuary; geo-physically significant reserve; and other nature reserve determined by the Minister. To achieve these objectives the Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas Law established a multi-agency committee, comprising the Minister responsible for forestry as Chairman, representatives from the relevant Government Departments and Government organizations, and relevant luminaries and experts as necessary. Although the Forest Law contains adequate prohibitions against illegal activities, the effectiveness of the law has been challenged and illegal felling and encroachments continue to occur as a result of reasons including increase in poverty, lack of law enforcement, and increased economic activities in the reserve forests. Another issue affecting the implementation and enforcement of the Forest law is the contradictions between it and the Freshwater Fisheries Law. A considerably amount of forest area in Myanmar is mangrove forest reserved under the Forestry Law. However, these areas are also defined as freshwater fishing areas under the Freshwater Fisheries Law. Significantly, the Freshwater Fisheries Law applies to freshwater fisheries areas defined in Section 2(e) to include all water bodies, whether permanent or seasonal, water in all areas belonging to any Government department, including brackish water and river mouths and creek mouths contiguous to the sea. The Freshwater Fisheries Law defines fish as all aquatic organisms living the whole or part of their life cycles in the water, their spawns, larvae, frys and seeds. Fish also includes aquatic plants, their seedlings and seeds (Section 2(f)). Under the Forest Law, forest produce is defined in Section 2(e) to include trees, leaves, flowers and fruits grown on or found in forest land or land at the disposal of the Government and their by-products, wild animals and insects, their parts and their by-products. Under the Freshwater Fisheries Law, the Department of Fisheries has power to permit fishing activities throughout the freshwater fisheries areas, including mangrove forests which are considered protected public forests under the Forest Law. Under the Freshwater Fisheries Law, freshwater fishing activities require a license. The Director-General has the power to determine licence fees according to the type of fishing implement. In exercising this power, the Director-General has exempted some 15 fishing implements from obtaining licenses.


1.5.2 Management framework

Until 1972, the Myanmar Forest Department systematically managed forests through Working Plans and Management Plans. Between 1972 and 1995, there was a gap in the management framework as working plans were not developed. The development of Working Plans resumed in 1995. In addition to redeveloping the Working Plans, a thirty year Master Plan (2000 to 2030) was formulated to manage forests sustainably. Under the Working Plan every district is responsible to submit a Forest Working Plan in which strategies for conservation, production and reforestation and the capacity and facility of forest department are described in detail. States and Regions that have mangrove forests are required to describe how they will sustainably manage mangrove forests in their districts. Traditionally, forest resource management in Myanmar is based on a top-down approach under which decisions are made in headquarters and administrative agencies and lower level such as townships, districts, states and regions are simply required to meet the national targets. With limited capacity, conservation of forests has been a big challenge for the Forest Department. Over time, the Forest Department came to realize that forests cannot be sustainably managed without active community participation. This resulted in the development of the Community Forest Instruction in 1995 to promote community participation in the management of forests. The Community Forest Instruction provides a thirty year land tenureship to those who participate in conservation and reforestation of forests in line with the Community Forest Instruction. This was a great incentive for local people whose livelihoods depend mainly on forests. The Community Forest Instruction promoted the establishment of Forest User Groups to implement Community Forestry. Forest User Groups are required to draw up management plans, with the assistance of the staff of the Forest Department while the Forest Department provides seed and seedlings and technology for community forest plantation. The forest products harvested from community forests can be used to support community needs and the surplus sold to outsiders. Although the Community Forest Instruction is narrow in scope, there is no doubt that it has provided an entry point for local community groups to participate in forest management.

1.6 Objective of the Integrated Mangrove Management Plan

The objective of the Integrated Mangrove Management Plan (IMMP) is to support the sustainable management of the forest and fisheries resources of the Wunbaik Reserved Forest for the benefit of local communities and future generations. The design and implementation of this Management Plan is based on the assumption that local resource users will manage the resources of Wunbaik sustainably if it is clear that it is in their interest to do so. For this to happen an enabling regulatory framework is necessary and relevant institutions must play a facilitative role.

1.7 Management plan consultation process

This management plan was developed through studies, surveys, discussions and consultations throughout the two year period of project implementation. The main meetings during which management of the Wunbaik reserved Forest and the Integrated Mangrove Management Plan (IMMP) were discussed included the following: 12

1. Project launch workshop and consultation, Sittwe, 13 December, 2009 (45 participants); 2. Interim project workshop and consultation, 7th March, 2010, Thandwe (46 participants); 3. National project workshop and consultation, 29th March, 2011, Nay Pyi Taw (39 participants); 4. Workshop on IMMP, 9 December, 2011, Yambye (79 participants); 5. Project final workshop and IMMP consultation, 15 December, 2011, Nay Pyi Taw (70 participants). Participants at the various meetings included villagers from the Wunbaik area, representatives of village, village tract, township and district level line agencies including the forest, fisheries, agriculture and land planning departments andthe Peace and Development Councils, and also representatives of local and national NGOs and national level government agencies.


2 Management issues
Over recent decades and despite Wunbaik being a reserved forest, natural resources in the area have not been conserved or managed in a sustainable way. Deforestation and degradation of forest resources has taken place in large parts of the reserve while fisheries resources have been severely depleted and levels of biodiversity reduced. In particular, wood extraction, mangrove conversion for unsustainable paddy and shrimp farming and severe overfishing have reduced the natural wealth of the area and left large tracts of land barren. These impacts have severely reduced economic returns and production of ecological services from the mangrove forest. Degradation of Wunbaiks natural resources has resulted in a reduced supply of large logs, a need for greater fishing effort and increased exposure of local populations and assets to storms and cyclones. Paddy and shrimp farming in the area, although benefitting farmers, business men and other agents in terms of food production and income generation, has resulted in land degradation and reduction in water quality in the channelssurrounding the Wunbaik reserve. The need for farming families to relocate to the Wunbaik area during the cropping season has also meant that children miss six months of schooling per year and families have to live without medical facilities and other services. Community meetings, field surveys, forest inventory and multi-temporal analysis of RS-GIS images between 1990 and 2011 reveal that the prime reasons for forest and fisheries degradation in the Wunbaik area are as follows: I. Selective felling of mangrove trees for collection and trading of wood for charcoal, fuelwood and bark; II. Hydrological disruption through construction of embankments, clear felling of mangroves and subsequent for unsustainable paddy and shrimp farming; III. Unsustainable fishing practices such as trapping juvenile crabs and gravid fish and crabs, using fishing nets with very small mesh sizes, and fence net fishing on river mouths; and IV. Hunting and trapping of wild animals for subsistence and commercial purposes. The following sections outline these and associated issues.

2.1 Wood extraction

The original purpose of the Wunbaik Forest Reserve was to supply fuelwood to steamers used for transportation along the coast during the British colonial period. The reserve was sustainably managed using a coupe system and, as a result, deforestation and forest degradation were absent. Increased demand for fuelwood, along with population growth and ineffective monitoring and law enforcement has resulted in an alarming rate of deforestation between 1990 and 2011. Another key factor promoting the degradation of the forests in Wunbaik is the lack of alternative energy sources to meet local needs. According to interviews with individuals from Letpan and Yantheshe villages and Hlaing Kaung settlement, trees in the reserved forests are cut mainly by outsiders from Sittwe, the


capital city of Rakhine State, for woodfuel4 production. Interview respondents reported regularly seeing large boats in the area of the reserve collecting wood with the help of labourers from surrounding villages. The intensity of activity only falls during the monsoon season as a result of stormy seas. Fuelwood and charcoal manufactured from mangrove wood collected inside Wunbaik Reserved Forest is exported to Sittwe, Minbya, Pauktaw and Ponna Kyun townships where demand is very high owing to the lack of alternative energy supplies. As a result of overexploitation, most of the Wunbaik Reserved Forest is now classed as secondary forest. The productivity of the mangroves and the quantity and quality of forest products available to meet the needs of the local population has fallen. The Forest Working Plan of Kyauk Phyu District shows that based on revenue collection, total fuelwood production in 2010 was approximately 1 359 600 cubic metres, although the actual figure may be considerably higher. The results of a study conducted in Ayeyarwady show that a five-six member household consumes around 3.9 m3 of fuelwood per year. Based on this figure, it is estimated that consumption of fuelwood by 88 039 households in Kyauk Phyu Districtis approximately 388 619 cubic metres. The remaining production (970 981 cubic metres) is almost certainly sent to Sittwe and Thandwe Districts, where large proportions of the population depend on woodfuel from Wunbaik for their energy needs, and used for brick baking. It is not known how much wood can be sustainable harvested from the WunbaikReserved Forest on an annual basis but with 40 343 hectares of forest remaining, extraction of 1 359 600 cubic metres per year to supply Kyauk Phyu District would suggest that a growth rate of 34 cubic metres per hectare per year would be necessary to avoid resource degradation (Table 1.1). It is very unlikely that the growth rate of the forest would reach this level and the reasons for deforestation and degradation in Wunbaik are eminently clear. The Forest Working Plan also estimated that production of charcoal in Kyauk Phyu District in 2010 was approximately 627 000 cubic tons - roughly equivalent to 886 568 cubic metres of wood. Most of this is likely to have come from Wunbaik although there are other minor sources in the area. According to local knowledge, approximately 42 000 trees of around 30 feet in height are cut per kiln per annum to produce 22.5 tons of charcoal. This degrades approximately 104 acres of mangroves (42hectares). The number of registered and unregistered charcoal kilns around Wunbaik and the capacity of each is, however, unknown.

2.2 Bark peeling

Bark peeling from mangrove trees, especially Rhizophora sp. in the WunbaikReserved Forest is common. In general, merchants from Taungok bring a mother craft with support canoes and workers for a period of one month. A number of narrow creeks on the eastern side of Wunbaik Reserved Forest are used as hideouts. Villagers also come in small canoes to peel bark to sell to the merchants. Trees of around 30 feet in height, and girth of 25 to 30 cm (i.e. the larger existing trees) are targeted and peeled with axes by a group of three or four. One tree provides 50 kg of bark and boats carry around 16 tonnes in total equivalent to 320 trees. Bark is mostly destined for Mandalay for use in the dyeing industry.

Woodfuel refers to fuelwood and wood for charcoal


2.3 Agriculture encroachment

Conversion of mangroves to agriculture began between 1979 and 1985 during which time the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Japanese Government provided funding for conversion of mangrove areas for paddy cultivation through construction of earthen bunds to block tidal flows. The period of most intensive conversion of mangroves took place between 1990 and 2000, resulting in an increase of paddy land from 858 to 7 196 acres. Between 2000 and 2011, another 5 118 acres were converted; over 80% of this between 2009 and 2011 (see Table 1.1). Kari construction resulted in the blocking of channels inside the reserved forest and death of mangroves, later to be cleared and used for fuel. Hydrological disruption in mangrove forest areas continues to destroy large areas of mangroves in Wunbaik and in Rakhine State. Within Wunbaik, rice is harvested only once per year. During the early years of cultivation, paddy yield amounts to around1.68 tonnes per acre (4.2 tonnes per hectare). However, yieldsfall year on year due to soil acidification of intrusion of saline water. At present, yields per acre are mostly around0.84 tonnes per year (2.1 tonnes per hectare), a level which can only support subsistence farming. In contrast, productive inland areas suitable for paddy cultivation produce yields of three to four tonnes per hectares. In addition to low yields, converted areas generally have to be abandoned after three years due to soil acidification and compaction.During the cultivation period, it should also be noted that theapplication of fertilizers and pesticides kill and harm juvenile fish populations and other aquatic biota in surrounding waters. Farmers do not pay direct rent to the Forest Department for illegal use of the reserved forest but, depending on production, provide gifts to local authorities. Farmers may also sell rice in advance at below the eventual market rate although most farmers in Wunbaik are relatively wealthy and income from Wunbaik is additional to that from other farmed areas. A few farmers may be forced by circumstance to borrow money at high rates of interest from money lenders to finance livelihood activities although Wunbaik farmers generally dont take loans for farming. From a legal point of view, it is clear that development of agriculture inside the reserved forest amounts to breaking the law (see Section 1.5). However, there is reluctance to enforce the law due to (a) national and divisional level agricultural expansion targets; (b) availability of revenue from agricultural production; and (c) fear of complaints from farmers moved out of the reserved forest.Interviews with farmers with active paddy area inside WunbaikReserved Forest, also reveal that they have little knowledge of alternative livelihood options outside of paddy cultivation. From a socio-economic perspective the issue is complex. It is clear that poverty has beena root cause of illegal encroachment. Encroachment into reserved forests is common throughout Myanmar, especially within reserved forests which are closed to human settlement. The problem needs to be addressed through a comprehensive land use policies at the national level and local levels. To reverse the situation, alternative agricultural land, an adequate compensation scheme and support for alternative livelihoods would be required. Allocation of rights over mangrove products from the reserve would also be valuable in providing incentives for local people to support an Integrated Mangrove Management Plan.


2.4 Aquaculture encroachment

As a result of the increasing demand from neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, India and China, semi-extensive shrimp culture in cleared mangrove areas has increased in popularity across Myanmar. In Wunbaik, mangrove conversion for shrimp farming was initiated by the Department of Fisheries in 1980 as part of a Stateshrimp farming expansion plan. As such, conversion of the mangroves to aquaculture has contributed to Rakhine States target of 7 000 acres for shrimp pond expansion. Production problems have, however, questioned the profitability of such a target. Moreover, as Wunbaik is a reserved forest, any form of encroachment, including for aquaculture development isprohibited (see Section 1.5). The Forest Department has responsibility to prohibit illegal activities but law enforcement has generally been weak. As of 2009, a total of 2 907 acres of Wunbaik Reserved Forest had been converted to shrimp ponds. By 2011, however, only 1 633 acres remained in a converted state and only 900 acres were still productive (see Table 1.1). Ponds were found to be unprofitable due to poor sluice construction, inadequate drainage, water acidification and disease outbreak. Successive areas amounting to 1 274 acres, or 56 percent of the original total,havetherefore been abandoned. Around 800 hectares have been converted to low productivity paddy while the remaining areas are completely abandoned. These areas nonetheless continue to obstruct natural hydrology and limit the health of adjacent mangrove formations. Shrimp pond encroachers are mostly wealthy investors from outside the area who stand to derive considerable profits from shrimp ponds, especially during the early years after establishment. The pattern of encroachment is ad hoc and no formal registration process appears to be in place, presumably because of the illegal nature of activities.

2.5 Non-wood forest products

Under the Forest Law, forest produce is defined in Section 2(e) to include: trees, leaves, flowers and fruits grown on or found in forest land or land at the disposal of the Government and their by-products, wild animals and insects, their parts and their by-products. This definition includesfisheries resources in mangroves forests which are also dealt with under the Freshwater Fisheries Law (see Section 1.5). Under Chapter 6 of the Forest Law, extraction of all forest produce requires a permit from the Forest Department. The only exceptions are where the extraction is for domestic, agricultural or piscatorial use, or is not on a commercial scale. If extraction of forest produce is on a commercial scale, the permit is obtained through competitive bidding, except where extraction and sales are carried out by a State-owned enterprise. Under such circumstances, the Minister is empowered by the Government to undertake the extraction of forest produce. Permits obtained through competitive bidding are also not required where minor forest produce is permitted to be extracted on a commercial scale.

2.5.1 Fisheries resources

Capture fisheries in and around Wunbaik provide a key livelihood activity forvillagers living in thearea. Equipment used includes trammel nets, fence nets, stow net and gill nets. Degradation of the mangroves and overfishing have, however, severely reducedthe 18

productivity of the fishery resources. The aquatic resources survey conducted by the project showed that fish and shellfishpresent in rivers within the Wunbaik Reserved Forestare undersized and that population sizes are much diminished in comparison with previous years. The main causes of fisheries depletion include capture of brooders and migrating fish and river mouth fishing. Application of agricultural fertilizers and pesticides, including copper sulphate,in agricultural areas in Wunbaik also kills juvenile fish and other aquatic biota. Use of explosives, poisons and electricity for fishing purposes has further negative effects. Overall, however, the capture of brooders at creek mouths on both tides has probably had the most negative effects onlocal fish populations. Fishing is carried out for about two weeks per month, particularly during the two sets of spring tides for three days before and after the new and full moons. Canoes of between 20 and 27 foot are generally used and daily catches average 8-10 kg for a small canoe and 1017 kg for large ones. Preferred fish species include seabass, mugil, catfishes, threadfins, snappers, eels, groupers and shrimp. In 2011, the going price per kilogram was around $8 250 Kyats (~$11). Although subsistence fishing within Wunbaik is not deemed to be a significant problem, the Forest Department should monitor illegal commercial fishing in collaboration with Fishery Department and local authorities.

2.5.2 Crab fisheries

Crab collection provides a major source offood and income for the rural poor around Wunbaik, particularly outside the paddy cultivation season. Villagers in the area consume larger crabs but collection of small mud crabs (<100 grams) and brooders for export, principally to China, has becomecommon in Rakhine State over the past ten years. Sieving for juveniles is also common. All such practices have significant negative effects on population size and threaten the sustainability of crab fisheries around Wunbaik. As a consequence of growing demand, illegal crab collection and retail centres have been established within the Wunbaik Reserved Forest. This situation is commonly known but the law is not enforced, largely as a result of the desire of the authorities to meet short term food security goals and jurisdictional uncertainties. Harvesting of small and female crabs during the breeding season isalso prohibited under the Freshwater Fisheries Law but enforcement is again very weak. Because villagers in areas surrounding Wunbaik Reserved Forest do not eat small crabs, improved law enforcement, including removal of commercial crab collection centres and enforcement of bans on catching brooders and small crabs,is likely to have positive impacts on local food security. Better law enforcement is also likely to improve the overall productivity of local crab fisheries.

2.6 Loss of biodiversity

Depletion of biodiversity is taking place at an alarming rate in the Wunbaik Reserved Forest. Major causes are habitat loss and unsustainable exploitation, both though legal and illegal methods. Although scientifically recorded data are absent, information from village elders


shows that species diversity and population sizes have been significantly reduced in recent decades. The main causes of biodiversity loss in the Wunbaik Reserved Forest are that hunting and poaching of wild animals and uncontrolled use of plant resource for numerous purposes, conversion of forest lands to other uses and weak law enforcement to control illegal trade of wildlife and their parts. In relation, on the road to Wunbaik in Taungkok, many restaurants serve wild meat and an early morning daily public market sells wild meat from cats, jungle fowl, deer, monkeys, langurs, wild boars and monitor lizards. There has been a drastic reduction in mammal populations and species diversity in the Wunbaik area and many species once known by the community are now rare or extinct due to the high levels of hunting for meat. The remaining mammal populations are also severely threatened by habitat loss. Some but not all endangered species in Wunbaik are totally or seasonally protected under the Forest Law and the Wildlife and Conservation of Natural Areas Law (1994). For example, only five of eight species of native wild cats are protected.


3 Guidelines for the management of Wunbaik Reserved Forest

Wunbaik Reserved Forest is one of the last great areas of mangroves in Myanmar and in all Southeast Asia. The area has an extremely high potential productivity in terms of both forest and fisheries resources and provides a home for a wide range of fauna and flora. The forest also provides storm and cyclone protection and exhibits high levels of carbon storage and sequestration. Through careful management, the Wunbaik Reserved Forest can become more productive in terms of wood and non-wood forest products, including fisheries resources, and ecosystem services including biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation. In conserving and improving the management of the area, local level benefits for current and future generations will also be increased. To respond to current issues and address demands in a sustainable and equitable way, much more active forms of management are required than are currently being implemented. Greater attention to sustainable management of the natural resources in the reserve area will benefit both current and future generations and will also provide a model for effective management of other mangrove areas in Myanmar and the region as a whole. To improve sustainable management of natural resources in and around the reserve, rights and responsibilities must be distributed amongst stakeholders such that incentives are provided to offset tendencies for short-term degradation. For this an enabling regulatory environment and effective law enforcement and governance are necessary. As such, the Forest, Fisheries and Land Planning Departments as key partners in managing the reserved forest must act in coordination and in partnership with the local communities. To support collaboration between agencies and communities, institutional strengthening at the local level will be particularly important. With respect to management and technical matters, education and awareness raising amongst stakeholders at all levels is essential, especially in relation to the importance of mangrove forests and the technical measures necessary to raise the efficiency with which production and conservation objectives are achieved. Alternative livelihood options and income generating activities for local communities must also be provided in addition to training on forest and fisheries resource management. The following sections address the issues summarised in Section 1.7 and provide a set of measures necessary to sustainably manage Wunbaik Reserved Forest for the production of wood and non-wood forest products and conservation of natural resource for the benefit of surrounding communities and future generations. The measures recommended have been derived from community level visits surveys and discussions, field level implementation of pilot level activities, national and local level consultations and expert input.

3.1 Agree on a policy for future management of Wunbaik Reserved Forest

A key area for discussion and consultation during the project implementation period was the issue of encroached land within the Wunbaik Reserved Forest. Table 1.1 shows that approximately 5 644 hectares (13 947 acres) of land have been encroached upon for paddy and shrimp farming. Section 1.4 outlines current legislation governing reserved forests and the lack of provision for encroached land within reserved forests. 21

In managing the reserved forest, a key decision therefore concerns the future use of areas of encroached land. According to the forest law, agricultural and aquaculture land uses should not be present within the reserve area and because of the isolation of the farmed areas and need for families to relocate during the growing season, alternative land closer to communities permanent dwellings is preferred by many farmers and stakeholders as recorded during the IMMP consultation in Yambye (see Annex 2). In the short-term, this objective may be hindered by institutional and resource constraints, especially in relation to providing necessary inputs and implementing safeguards in transferring encroached farmland to other areas. Under such circumstances, a more conservative strategy may be appropriate in which further encroachment is prohibited but current areas of agriculture and aquaculture are left in their current state. Under this option encroached areas that have become barren and are abandoned would be converted back to mangrove. Table 3.1 shows the major land use and management changes aimed at under the two options. Under option 1, compartments within the Wunbaik Reserved Forest where partially degraded and highly degraded mangroves currently exist (seeFigure 3.1) would be managed for conservation and protection purposes. Areas in which agriculture and aquaculture are currently practiced, and abandoned agriculture and aquaculture areas, would be allocated to communities for Ecological Mangrove Restoration and sustainable production of forest products. Provision of suitable and productive alternative farming land would be essential for this option to be pursued. Preliminary discussions between the project and government agencies suggested that appropriate land may be available. Under option 2, compartments where partially degraded mangroves still exist would be managed for full conservation and highly degraded areas would be allocated to communities for sustainable production of forest products. Mangroves would be restored in abandoned areas of encroached land with paddy and shrimp farming activities allowed to remain without further expansion.
Table 3.1. Key options for the future management of Wunbaik Reserved Forest

Current land use

Option 1 Restore encroached areas to full mangrove cover Full conservation Full conservation Ecological Mangrove Restoration followed by sustainable forest products production Ecological Mangrove Restoration followed by sustainable forest products production 22

Partially degraded mangroves (12 412 ha) Highly degraded mangroves (3 915 ha) Encroached areas agriculture and aquaculture (5 644 ha) Abandoned encroached areas (unknown area)

Option 2 Improve management of mangrove resources and prohibit further encroachment Full conservation Sustainable forest products production No change

Ecological Mangrove Restoration followed by sustainable forest products production

Figure 3.1. Land cover classes and compartment boundaries in Wunbaik Reserved Forest.


Both options 1 and 2 could potentially be supported by REDD+5 funding. Each option has a different potential to generate income as follows:

Option 1 has potential to generate income through (i) carbon sequestration by regrowing mangroves in all currently encroached areas, including abandoned areas, and (ii) reduced rates of CO2 emission in partially degraded and highly degraded mangroves placed under full conservation. Option 2 has potential to generate income through (i) carbon sequestration by partially degraded mangroves placed under full conservation and by regrowing mangroves in abandoned encroached areas, and (ii) reduced rates of CO2 emission from highly degraded mangroves sustainably managed for forest products production. The amounts of carbon sequestered under option 1 would be considerably higher owing to the restoration of mangroves on deforested land. It is therefore recommended that encroached areas within Wunbaik area be reclaimed and returned to their original state as mangrove forest through Ecological Mangrove Restoration (EMR) techniques demonstrated by the project.6 Under option 1, carbon sequestration from mangrove regrowth across the 5 644 hectares (13 947 acres) of encroached land would be considerable. Estimates from Broadhead (2011)7 suggest that around 1 000 - 2 000 metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent per hectare (Mt CO2e ha-1) are contained in mangrove soils and 1 000 Mt CO2e ha-1 in above ground biomass although stocks may he higher on deep soils covered with un-degraded mangroves. Taking a range of 2 000 3 000 Mt CO2e ha-1 for total ecosystem carbon storage (above and below ground) suggests that for an area of 5 644 hectares, between 11 288 547 and 16 932 821 Mt CO2e could be sequestered as encroached areas regenerate to fully grown mangrove forest. With a carbon price of $5 per tonne, the value of the carbon sequestered would be $56 442 736 - $84 664 104 and assuming the mangroves were to take 30 years to reach carbon densities of 2 000 3 000 Mt CO2e ha-1, annual income would be $1 881 425 $2 822 137 notwithstanding project set up or management and administration costs. In addition to income from carbon sequestered in encroached areas, reduced rates of emissions from mangroves sustainably managed for forest products production would add to the total potential income. Under option 2, rates of sequestration and reduction in emissions would be considerably lower being associated only with expansion of carbon stocks in degraded mangrove areas and regrowth of mangroves in abandoned areas.

REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation "plus" conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.) 6 Ecological Mangrove Restoration is a cost-effective mangrove restoration technique based on local level implementation and an understanding of the modifications to the mangrove environment that occurred and that currently prevent natural secondary succession. The technique draws upon the ability of mangrove ecosystems to naturally regenerate once hydrology is restored. 7 Available at:


REDD+ income could potentially be used to support the following activities: project set-up and administration costs; payments to farmers to undertake EMR; relocation of farmers to alternative land; technical inputs to set up productive agricultural systems and support development of alternative livelihood activities.

Remaining income could be shared between stakeholders at different levels according to an agreed benefit sharing formula. Monitoring of carbon sequestration could be achieved through a combination of high-resolution satellite imagery (~$10 000 for an image of the whole of Wunbaik Reserved Forest at 0.3m resolution) and inventory techniques. Monitoring of management and benefit distribution could be undertaken by an NGO or international organisation. Once a decision is made on the option to be adopted a detailed implementation plan including management structure, monitoring and evaluation criteria a budget and a timeframe could be developed to support implementation. Within the overall framework, guidelines provided in the following sections would form the basis of field level management and livelihood support.

3.2 Address legislative contradictions

To protect the mangrove forests in Myanmar, it will be important that the overlaps between the Freshwater Fisheries Law and the Forest Law, as outlined in Section 1.5.1, are addressed. The options for addressing them include a comprehensive and integrated national mangrove policy, legislative amendments and increased inter-agency cooperation.

3.3 Develop a Wunbaik User Register

To provide a foundation for sustainable management of the Wunbaik Reserved Forest, a Wunbaik User Register is essential. The register would contain the following information for all users of the Wunbaik Reserved Forest including farmers, fishers, wood cutters, bark peelers, crab collectors and others: Name Address National identity card number Area farmed or area of operation Fishing gear owned

Wunbaik users would be issued with a photo identity card and a license to continue designated activities in accordance with the overall Integrated Mangrove Management Plan.

3.4 Support sustainable production of woodfuel and bark

The root cause of the overexploitation of mangrove forests in the WunbaikReserved Forest is high demand for fuelwood in Rakhine State and for charcoal, especially in urban areas 25

including Sittwe, Taungok, Mandalay, Yangon and other areas. adversely affected the forest resources in Wunbaik.

Bark peeling has also

Target felling of mangroves belonging to the genera Rhizophora, Heretiera, Xylocarpus, Avicennia, Nypa, Kandelia and Bruguiera has reduced the numbers of these trees considerably. Charcoal and brick manufacturers and bark and lumber traders target specimens of 10 metres in height and above. Currently, approximately 25 percent of the reserved forest has been encroached upon and another 20 percent is degraded through overexploitation. To ensure that mangrove resources are sustainably managed demand must be controlled. To achieve this outcome, the following actions are recommended: I. A reserve-wide five year moratorium on wood cutting and bark peeling should be imposed to allow recovery of the forest resources; II. Following the wood cutting moratorium, laws should be strictly enforced by the Forest Department to prevent wood extraction in the Wunbaik core conservation zone (see Section 1.5.1); III. Annual allowable cut should be estimated for the sustainable use zone and a coupe system reinstated following the wood cutting moratorium; IV. Establish state, private and community woodfuel plantations to help meet current wood demand; V. Bark collection should with be integrated with wood extraction such that bark is removed from felled trees rather than stripped from standing trees with the tree left to die, later to be collected for woodfuel. a. b. Regulation should be implemented to ban stripping of bark from live trees; Awareness should be raised among wood and bark collectors of new rules.

VI. Provide training in production of energy efficient stoves across Rakhine State; VII. Investigate alternative energy systems appropriate for Rakhine State such as rice husk gasification; VIII. Divert a proportion of natural gas to Rakhine State from the new Kyauk Phyu oil and gas terminals; IX. Provide alternative energy sources to urban areas including Sittwe, Taungok, Mandalay and Yangon.

3.5 Management of encroached areas

The expanse and distribution of mangroves is determined by tidal inundation. Since construction of embankments to convert wetlands for paddy and shrimp cultivation began in the 1970s, natural hydrological regimes have been significantly altered and rates of mangrove deforestation and degradation have accelerated both due to habitat destruction and associated clear felling of mangroves.


The nations food production policy, Rakhine States 1980 plan for expansion of shrimp farming in mangroves, and the governments 1998 Land Reclamation Policy have all been interpreted as justification to encroach upon the reserved forest. The Department of Agriculture and Department of Fisheries have justified encroachment on the grounds of food security, disregarding the Forest Law and laws concerning the sustainable management of natural resources for long-term subsistence of human populations. There is, however, no government policy that specifies that food production or settlement targets should be met through encroachment into reserved forest. As per the Reserve Forest Law, encroachment of reserved forest for any development activity or for human settlement is illegal. In 2011 approximately 25 % of the reserve forest had been encroached upon and converted to land uses valued at US$115-200 per annum. The area of water within the reserved area has fallen from 7 percent in 2000 to 3.7 percent in 2011 which has curtailed the productivity capacity of the mangrove and fishery resources. Inputs of fertilizer and pesticides associated with paddy and shrimp farming, including copper sulphate and other chemicals highly toxic to the environment used to control snail and crab populations, have also reduce water quality and wiped out juvenile fish populations. In addition, poorly constructed shrimp pond sluices have resulted in stagnation and putrefaction of water and acidification of soil. Due to soil acidification and compaction, paddy fields have had to be abandoned after four or five years. To control encroachment the following actions should be taken: I. Implement strict controls on expansion of encroachment and dispatch legal notifications and alerts to national departments and agencies encouraging encroachment, to local line departments in charge of natural resource management and to local communities in the Wunbaik area; II. Ban use of copper sulphate and other toxic chemicals used to control snail and crab populations, and develop plans to prohibit kari paddy and shrimp farming inside Wunbaik Reserved Forest and provide farmers with incentives to move to alternative areas as per policy decision (see Section 3.1); III. Design community based restoration plans for encroached areas; IV. Remove embankments as farmers move out and implement Ecological Mangrove Restoration in encroached areas; V. Educate and train stakeholders including local Forest Department and line agency staff to increase awareness of the need for forest protection and conservation.

3.6 Fisheries resource management

As per the reserved forest law, any biotic or abiotic goods collected within the boundary are considered as forest produce. Forest produce cannot be harvested without prior permission and fisheries resources from within the reserved area, as forest produce, also cannot be harvested without prior permission. Overfishing, capture of brooders at creek mouths on both tides, use of small mesh sizes and use of poisons, dynamite and electricity for fishing purposes has caused fish populations


within Wunbaik Reserved Forestwaters to decline significantly. To improve management of fisheries resources, the following recommendations are made: I. Strictly enforce forest laws and regulate utilization of Wunbaik Reserved Forest, including water bodies, to protect fisheries resources within the reserve and adjoining sea areas; II. Prohibit commercial fishing and implement quotas for subsistence use of fisheries resources; III. Impose a three year period of restricted entry to Wunbaik Reserved Forest as an immediate remedial measure to conserve and replenish fin and shell fish resources in the area; IV. Allocate exclusive fishing rights within the reserve to local communities for subsistence use of fisheries; V. Declare and strictly enforce Conservation Holidays in Wunbaik Reserved Forest during the fish spawning season (three months post monsoon) to allow commercial fish species that depend on mangroves to proliferate; VI. Implement a rotational Prohibited Fishing Ground of the Year (PFGY) strategy (see Box 1); VII. Specify types of fishing gear (net types and mesh sizes, etc.) and craft permitted for use inside Wunbaik Reserved Forest (only traditional craft); VIII. Include Wunbaik fishers in Wunbaik Reserved ForestUser Register (see Section 3.2) and provide licenses for authorized fishing gear and craft (Forest Department and Fisheries Department responsible); IX. Forest Department should establish a system to monitor fish catch from within the WBRF waters (currently catch within and outside the reserve is monitored and managed by Fisheries Department alone); X. Immediately enforce prohibition of destructive fishing practices within and adjacent to the Wunbaik Reserved Forest, including use of poisons, dynamite, electric fishing gear, etc.


Box 1. Implementing the Prohibited Fishing Ground of the Year plan This management model, suggested by villagers in the Wunbaik area, is aimed at maintaining fish stocks and has been practiced in Wunbaik area the past. The strategy involves prohibiting fishing in one creek per village tract per year with annual rotation of the designated creek over a five year period. The Prohibited Fishing Ground of the Year (PFGY) programme should be implemented through the following steps: Step 1: Each and every person utilizing Wunbaik Reserved Forest will register with the Forest Department, providing personal details and details of equipment owned and used in the reserve. A photo identity card will then be issued to each user (see Section 3.2). Step 2: Support will be provided for registered fishers to organize themselves into a Wunbaik used group which would liaise with the village tract Peoples Development Committee (PDC) and the Forest Department (FD). Step 3: Creeks will be identified for annual fishing prohibition and conservation and the list of creeks to be protected over the five year cycle and an associated map will be prepared by the user group with help from the village tract PDC & FD. Step 4: The list of creeks identified for annual prohibition and conservation and associated map will be submitted by each village tract PDC & FD to the township level PDC & FD which will, in turn, submit the plans to the District PDC and FD. Step 5: The District PDC & FD will develop a Five year rotational creek conservation plan for Wunbaik Reserved Forest and return the plan to township and village tract level PDC & FD. Step 6: The 5 year rotational creek conservation plan will be disseminated throughout the village tracts, e.g. by posting on village information boards and through announcements made by PDC and FD at the village level. Step 7: The village tract level PDC and FD will monitor activities in relation to the PFGY and assist in implementation and support including conflict resolution as necessary. Step 8: Early in the fifth year of plan implementation steps 1-7 will be repeated and a new list of creeks will be developed and agreed upon as prohibited fishing grounds of the year.

3.7 Crab trapping and management

In relation to crab trapping, there are four major crab collection centres and several other permanent stations inside the reserve upon which Forest Department efforts should centre. The following recommendations are made: I. Remove illegal crab collection centres and merchants operating inside Wunbaik Reserved Forest. II. Establish crab protected area within Wunbaik conservation zone; III. Enforce ban on collection, breeding and fattening of crabs for export purposes and on collection of crabs for production of soft shell crabs for commercial purposes. IV. Establish crab breeding and fattening centres outside Wunbaik Reserved Forestand support sustainable crab production to provide the local community with a source of income and to reduce pressure on, and illegal activity within, the reserve; 29

V. Enforce ban on collection of mud crab brooders and young crabs below 100 grams; VI. Limit types of craft permitted for crab catching and provide licences to crab catchers registered in the Wunbaik Users Register; VII. Strengthen law enforcement by Forest Department in collaboration with Fisheries Department and local authorities; VIII. Raise awareness on responsible crabbing practices.

3.8 Biodiversity conservation

Severe human pressure in the Wunbaik area and associated trading of animals for skin or meat has caused loss of certain species from the reserve including marsh crocodile or migyaung (Crocodylus porosus), deer (Cervidae sp.), wild boar (Sus scrofa), wild cat (Felis silvestris), crab eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis), monitor lizard (Varanus sp) and also egrets, herons, storks, spoon bills, curlews, godwits, water hens, wild peasant, doves, pigeons and raptors. In particular, marsh crocodiles have been totally eradicated from the Wunbaik area despite having been a very common species in the past. In relation to these challenges the following recommendations are made: I. Forest Department and local administration to restrict bird poaching and control local marketing of wild birds and animals. II. Develop plans for reintroduction of marsh crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) to improve the local biodiversity and revive the ecological balance in the area (Box 2). III. Raise awareness of local people in biodiversity conservation; IV. Increase law enforcement activities in the reserved forest including patrolling; V. Provide financial and technical support for conservation. Box 2. Reintroduction of marsh crocodiles to the Wunbaik area. A crocodile farm in Yangon run by the Department of Fisheries is currently becoming unprofitable due to high maintenance costs and a solution is being sought to save the crocodiles. One possibility is for the Forest Department to reintroduce the crocodiles to the waters in the Wunbaik area for the long term survival of the species. Such a plan would require further study and consultation but could become a reality with broad agreement and further assessment of feasibility.

3.9 Livelihood support

Without local people livelihood support, conservation of the Wunbaik Reserved Forest will not be possible as pressures on the resources would remain unabated. Poverty is one of the main drivers of conversion of forest to other land uses and creating alternative livelihoods that provide alternative sources of income and subsistence is essential. Following project implementation in Wunbaik and adjacent villages, the activities detailed in the following sections were determined to be appropriate to the local context.


3.9.1 Production of energy efficient stoves

Production and utilization of energy efficient stoves proved a popular activity among project villages due to the savings in fuelwood use and, for village level stove manufacturers, income from sale of stoves. The stove production group in Letpan Village produced and sold around 2000 stoves to surrounding villages. The sale price per stove varied between around $1.25 and $3 per unit. Production of the stoves is simple and requires very low inputs. Provision of further training in the Wunbaik area would facilitate expanded production and stoves could be exported to the Sittwe area to support income generation and reduced demand for fuelwood from the reserved forest. A market assessment would be useful in determining the potential scale of production and needs for capacity building at the local level.

3.9.2 Establishment of private/community forest plantations

Development of community forest plantations has been supported by the Forest Department since 1995. Community forest plantations can yield income within five years through pruning and thinning operations for the production of fuelwood and wood for charcoal. Fuelwood and charcoal demands are high in the Sittwe area and elsewhere in Rakhine State and if farmers can be persuaded to plant trees for wood production, there will be less impetus to enter the reserved forest. At the time of selection thinning, which usually takes place after 7- 8 years, poles and posts can be harvested for sale for the construction of houses in rural area. Depending on the species planted, final felling can take place after 10 to 20 years. Small scantlings can be manufactured from the logs harvested from plantations. Compared to agriculture, income from forestry is initially low and support in the form of credit may therefore be necessary in the early years before returns are realized. Fast-growing mangrove species like Sonneratia apetala, Avicennia officinalis, A. alba, A. marina, Excoecariaagallocha, Bruguiera spp., and Rhizophora spp. are suitable for mangrove plantation from which income can be generated within a short period. Non mangrove species such as Acacia spp:, Euclayptus spp: Melaleuca spp: and Casuarina equisetifolia can be established in coastal areas for terrestrial plantations and are similarly fast growing.

3.9.3 Bamboo plantation establishment and manufacture of bamboo products

Bamboo planting has practiced on a small scale in rural areas of Myanmar for many years. Bamboo has many traditional uses including house construction and manufacture of furniture and household utensils. Demand for bamboo is currently increasing in Kyauk Phyu District. Suitable bamboo species for the area include Dendrocalamus brandisii (Wabo), D. hamiltonii (Wabo myet san gye), D. longispathus (Wanet), Oxytenanthera nigrociliata (Waya) and Bambusa polymorpha (Kyathaung). Capacity building would be of use in supporting production of good quality bamboo handicrafts and support in accessing markets would improve income generating capacity.


3.9.4 Nursery establishment

Establishment of nurseries for the production of seedlings of commercially important tree species was demonstrated and piloted under the project and shows good potential for income generation. Teak nursery establishment and management were a particular focus given the high demand for teak (Tectona grandis) seedlings in Yambye, Kyauk Phyu and other areas surrounding Wunbaik. The project also provided necessary seeds of Mezali (Cassia siamea), Bawzagaing (Leucaena leucocephala), Pyinkado/Ironwood (Xylia xylocarpa), and Gmelina arboreaand a variety of fruit trees including mango, jack fruit, rambutan, lime, betel nut, coconut, banana and pomelo. In recent years, rubber has become popular in Yambye and Kyauk Phyu and raising rubber seedlings presents potential for income generation.

3.9.5 Tree grafting

Grafting is a horticultural technique whereby tissues from one plant are inserted into those of another so that the two sets of vascular tissues join together. Grafting is often used for non-woody and vegetable plants. The main advantage of grafting is for producing improved varieties using disease-resistant rootstocks. The project provided village level training onTree Grafting and Hybridization Technique and supported establishment of fruit tree nurseries to generate income. A total of 400 grafted fruit trees were delivered to two project villages, Letpan and Yamtheshe. These trees will provide materials for future grafting and villagers showed great willingness to grow the trees in their compounds and sow them in village nurseries. In addition, villagers can produce seedlings using techniques which were learned from the training. Mango, lime, guava, jack fruit, rambutan and pomelo are high potential species for grafting and income generation.

3.9.6 Production of Nypa thatch

People living in mangrove areas depend on Nypa for wall and roof construction. Nypa thatch production is a key industry that provides job opportunities for both men and women. Nypa can be harvested from natural source but is now increasingly being harvested from plantations due to the decline in natural forest stocks. Nypa plantations are usually found along river banks and are harvested once or twice per year. The harvesting period is usually from February to April in the Wunbaik area. Nypa production is supportive of bothe income generation and mangrove conservation and Nypa plantations also provide protection from erosion in riverine and coastal areas.

3.9.7 Double rack gardening

Double rack gardening is suitable for villagers who have limited land to grow vegetables for household consumption. Vegetables are a very important component of nutritional inputs and provide an important part of a healthy diet. The main advantages of the racks are that they are portable and support production in a very small area, they also provide freedom from termite and ant attack, being above ground level. A double rack garden of a reasonable size can contribute significantly to the nutritional needs of family members with little investment.


The double rack garden is constructed using bamboo which is available in the Wunbaik area. The garden consists of four bamboo poles which support two bamboo racks. The rack has dimensions of around 6 feet by 3 feet and stands 4.5 feet high. The space between the two racks is around 2 feet and the lower rack stands some 2 feet from the ground. Each rack is covered in a 6 inches depth of a 3:1:1 combination of soil, dry cow dung and rice husk ash. Vegetable seeds are grown on both layers of the rack. During the project period, rack home garden demonstrations were given in Letpan and Yantheshe villages and support was provided to sow seasonal vegetables such as chili, coriander, mustard, roselle and eggplant. Subsequent visits to the villages showed that the racks were a success with many families growing healthy and succulent vegetables for home consumption.

3.9.8 Cage culture of crabs

Culture and fattening of mud crab in mangrove areas provides a way to produce food without damaging the environment and returns can be quickly made. The use of net enclosures in mangroves or tidal zones offers a better alternative to pond culture and avoids clear-cutting of mangroves to make way for ponds. Raising crabs in cages to export to markets in China has great potential for income generation given high demand in the Wunbaik area. The crabs are kept in cages, artificially fed and harvested when they reach a marketable size. The cages can be built with locally available materials such as wood and bamboo. This practice has been used for over a decade in Ayeyarwady delta.

3.9.9 Honey production

Honey is often collected from bee hives in Wunbaik. The amount of honey harvested has, however, been falling due to forest loss. Honey is mostly used by local households with surplus sold to outsiders. The price of one litre of Aegiceros corniculatum honey is around US$ 3 - 4 in local villages but higher in urban markets. Honey collection takes place from after the monsoon until cold weather begins. Species including Apis dorsata, Apis florea and Apis indica play a major role in honey production. According to the Forest Working Plan for Kyauk Phyu district, a total of 91 kg of honey were collected in 2008-09 financial year and villagers have shown interest in bee keeping as an income generating activity. To facilitate expansion of bee keeping, materials and technical support are necessary. Technical assistance is available from the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries as well as NGOs and private service providers.


Annex 1. Townships and village tracts within 10 kilometers of Wunbaik Reserved Forest
Township KyaukPyu YamBye Village Tract Name Villages Population Awa Taung Awa Taung 545 Kala Bon Kala Bon 546 NgaNyoGaing 504 Yan Thit Gyi Yan Thit Gyi Awa 535 Sit Pyar 1169 Yan Thit Gyi Anyar 637 Yan Thit Che Yan Thit Che 1649 MaYutChaing MaYutChaing 453 MaYutChaing Ale 456 Letpan Letpan Anyar 888 Letpan Awa 972 Chaung Ne 844 Pyin She 729 Thin Baw Seik Kyet Tha Ye 600 Htain Pyin 604 Aung Se Tha 583 Gyi Pyu Taung 500 Ann Gyi Pyu Taung Kan gyun gyi 450 Kyauk kyi bauk 207 Kin che ywa thit 641 Pyin wan 1127 Ma-e 2005 Taung Goke Ma-e Myaung daung 156 Kok pe 93 Chet pauk 1026 Kha maung dwin 314 We ywa 399 Yan de 897 Bu Shwe Maw Thein chaung byin 609 Aung seik pyin 619 Kyauk we 681 In daing gyi 498


Annex 2. Feedback from participants of the Workshop on the Integrated Mangrove Management Plan, Yambye, 9th December 2011.
Seventy nine participants attended the IMMP consultation meeting in Yambye on 9 th December 2011. At the meeting, details of the guidelines and options included in this report were presented. Participants included 40 members of communities living in and around Wunbaik, representatives of village, village tract, township and district level line agencies including the forest, fisheries, agriculture and land planning departments and the Peace and Development Councils,and also representatives from the Special Police Squad, the Immigration Department, the local police department and three local NGOs. At the end of the meeting blank sheets were given out for the return of comments. The comments were classified as shown in the table. Suggestion Reallocate paddy farming in Wunbaik to an alternative area Provide compensation to quit paddy farming in Wunbaik reserved forest Paddy farming to continue in Wunbaik Provide alternative livelihood options Provide improved technology for paddy farming Provide alternative energy options/woodfuel/natural oil & gas Allocate prohibited fishing grounds on rotational basis and special mangrove conservation area Community-based management (CBNRM) Strict law enforcement by Forest Department Better coordination among line departments Education, Training and Awareness on mangrove ecosystems & status of degradation due to paddy farming, urgent need for mangrove conservation for long term food security at grass root level and administration level Media coverage/communication mechanism/local resource centre No. of participants suggesting 19 4 5 16 7 17 18 3 16 8 14