Mangrove Restoration and Reforestation

Type of project: Forestation

In Compensate's portfolio since: 1/2021

Country: Myanmar

Carbon credits bought: 2 394

Equivalent to: 57 456 trees sequestering carbon dioxide all year round

Blue carbon, restoring degraded lands, creating employment, research

Project duration: 20 years (2015 - 2035)

Blue Carbon with mangroves

Mangroves are the only forest that grows in salt water and sequesters up to five times more CO2 than a rainforest. The carbon captured in the oceans remains stored in the form of sediments from mangroves, salt marshes and seagrasses for millenia.

By acting as filters, mangroves clean runoff and sediments, protect coral reefs and seagrass meadows. In addition, mangrove forests increase sea food stocks e.g. fish resources by up to 50% contributing to food security and climate change adaptation. Mangroves provide a natural protection for lives and properties in vulnerable coastal communities from tsunamis, cyclones and other extreme weather. Despite their vital role, mangrove forests are disappearing three times faster than rainforests. The project has already planted more than 12 million mangrove trees, and has the ambitious goal of planting in total of 1,000,000,000 trees by restoring 250,000 ha between 2021-2027.

As an international NGO and a  non-profit, Worldview International Foundation, returns 67% of carbon credit revenues back to tree-planting and monitoring activities, whereas 25% go for sustainable development activities and 8% for covering administrative costs.

Creating new equal income opportunities

The land in the project area is degraded due to charcoal production as a result of lack of alternative income sources. Majority of the population in the communities is landless and 62% are below UN´s poverty index earning an average of 60-70 USD per month. The project has successfully increased family income by 100% between 2015-2020 through introducing alternative livelihoods and providing support e.g. processing plants for cashew & coconut oil, cooling for fish which significantly increases people’s income. 

In order to ensure the sustainable development and natural resource management of the project area, the project has offered employment with above the average wages to any villager who needs a job, including former charcoal producers. In return, locals agree to protect the mangroves and to participate in the alternative livelihood activities proposed by the project developer. This mutual agreement and the associated benefits for locals ensures that the mangrove trees planted by the project will not be cut for charcoal production.

The project employs over 300 locals from low-income families for the reforestation and restoration activities. All staff members are trained in mangrove forest management and nursery techniques, natural resource management and community forestry activities. In addition, all field planting operations are supervised by Technical and Field Assistants.

The new income opportunities retain youth in the village, who previously have quit school in order to move to neighbouring districts for employment. While the project promotes an equal working opportunity both for men and women, emphasis is made on women projects, as well as expansion of scholarships for university studies to girls from poor families. In addition to directly employing people in tree planting, the project has implemented the following activities to secure local livelihood improvement:

  • Purchasing an ice manufacturing plant to assist fishermen in preserving catches for better market prices (40% of catches are lost due to lack of proper pre-harvest facilities), seaweed production, oyster culture and other aquaculture projects.

  • Production of nypa mangrove palm sap as natural sweetener with conservation of nypa mangrove palms.

  • Establishing processing plants for virgin coconut oil production and cashew nuts providing 50 additional jobs, as well as expanding the first production centre of coloured textiles with natural mangrove colours.

  • Establishing a production of bee honey from 4 of the mangrove species providing livelihood for women bee honey production co-operatives.

  • Conducting research to explore identification of important food species and introduction of salt resistant food crops.

Sustainable development activities are implemented across 50 villages with projects focusing on women and children development. So far the project has distributed 2 700 solar lamps to school going children, including rain coats, school bags and books, provided 1 200 wood saving stoves to families, equipped 12 schools with computers and training, including copy machines. In addition, there are ongoing training programs on various skills, revolving investment fund for cottage industry and aqua culture projects. The project has also supported the construction of community flood walls, securing fresh water supplies in the dry season, and repairing broken floors and roofs of school buildings.

Biodiversity and climate change adaptation

The project protects biodiversity, endemic endangered orchids, wildlife and coral reefs in adaptation to climate change. Illegal deforestation is prevented through regular monitoring in the project area by using boats, drones, satellite observation as well as regular scientific monitoring and research by Pathein University‟s Marine Science Department. Illegal activities are reported to the project office and immediate measures for offenders are taken with the support of the forest department officials. 

Mangroves contribute to climate change adaptation by improving the conditions of the coastal ecosystem and reducing the natural disaster risk from tsunamis. Not only mangroves accumulate and compact produced organic matter in the mid to long term, but also their strong root system decreases water erosion potential while it promotes soil sedimentation in intertidal areas. 

Mangrove restoration improves biodiversity by increasing fish resources by up to 50%.  In addition to restoring mangroves, the project protects endangered flora and fauna with emphasis on seagrass meadows, coral reefs and blue carbon and the protection of endangered dugongs and elephants. Seagrass meadows are protected by halting sea pollution incl. sewage and plastic waste causing land erosion. The project monitors soil conditions, the nutrients uptake by the land and water quality.

Building scientific knowledge

Worldview International Foundation has over 130 professional staff at the Administrative Unit, Field Units and in Pathein University Park with backgrounds in forestry, marine science, economic and social science, remote sensing & GIS. The project records mangrove ecosystems and forest species, edible plants, medicinal plants, birds, mammals, and fish species. As part of the project is also established the first mangrove gene bank with 64 species which are followed with long-term research.

The project has established a special unit in cooperation with Pathein University for following up the marine sanctuary in protection of sea grass, coral reefs, dugongs, sea turtles and other endangered species. These research and monitoring activities are coordinated together with the Regional Government, Ministry of Fisheries, Fishing community and the navy as the law enforcement entity.

Access project documents in Verra registry

Watch a video from the project

The project contributes to 16 out of the 17 SDGs. It has already planted more than 12 million mangrove trees, and has the ambitious goal of planting in total of 1,000,000,000 trees by restoring 250,000 ha between 2021-2027.

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