Sumernet

Empowering Civil Society and Governmental Agencies to Mainstream Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Values into Development Plans for the Chindwin River Basin, Myanmar

Empowering Civil Society and Governmental Agencies to Mainstream Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Values into Development Plans for the Chindwin River Basin, Myanmar

Funding sources: Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF)

Timeframe: 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2019 (2 years)

Project location: Chindwin River Basin, Myanmar

Project objective:

  1. Building capacity of civil society and government agencies in assessing potential impacts of development and climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem services and livelihoods
  2. Mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services values into policies and plans
  3. Raising public awareness on biodiversity conservation

Project outcomes:

  1. Potential impacts of selected development plans including mining, logging, hydropower, agriculture, navigation and transportation and climate change on biodiversity, communities and livelihoods in Chindwin Basin are quantified and demonstrated.
  2. Capacity of civil society groups and government agencies are built in valuating of biodiversity and ecosystem services and assessing potential impacts of development plans and climate change on biodiversity, communities and livelihoods.
  3. The decision-making process on government policies and plans in Chindwin Basin is positive influence through direct engagement and policy dialogue with key stakeholders in mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem services values into selected government policies and plans including MONREC’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (for areas in Chindwin Basin), the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures and biodiversity monitoring programmes of Environmental Conservation Department (ECD) and future implementation plans emerging from Chindwin RBO.
  4. Public awareness on the issues related to biodiversity conservation, ecosystem service values and sustainable development has increased through direct engagement with local and international medias.

Project Approach:

  • Firstly, civil society and government agencies target groups will be identified through stakeholder mapping considering expertise, relevant geography, potential for growth and experience in planning process. Capacity of target groups will be built by participating in knowledge exchange and training workshops. The needs and priorities of the target groups will be assessed in the beginning stage, alongside the knowledge exchange workshop. We will actively engage the target groups in the key activities along the project implementation timeline such as policy and planning analysis, field survey, baseline and impact assessment and mainstreaming results and recommendations to relevant policies and plans. This engagement will demonstrate proper assessment methodology, guidelines and tools for assessing impacts of development and climate change on biodiversity, communities and livelihoods. It will strengthen understanding and capacity along with knowledge gained from the exchange and training workshops.
  • The best-practice framework (e.g. PES and Natural capital), guidelines and tools for valuating biodiversity and ecosystem services and impacts from development and climate change will be identified by literature review and expert meetings. Data and information for the assessment will be collected from existing projects in the Chindwin Basin, existing studies from other organizations and field surveys. Three priority sites will be selected using issue-based (e.g. mining, logging, hydropower, etc.) and stakeholder consultations. Biodiversity inventory and livelihood surveys will be conducted at selected sites to support information for baseline and impact assessments of development and climate change on biodiversity, ecosystem services and livelihoods.
  • The outputs from the assessment will feed into other stakeholder consultations to discuss and debate on key findings and alternative development scenarios, needed to reduce negative impacts. Based on our achievements in building partnerships in Myanmar under current projects and establishing the Chindwin RBO, we propose to continue to use the Chindwin RBO as a main mechanism to engage all relevant stakeholders in the basin, to share information and knowledge produced by the project, providing recommendations and supporting mainstreaming biodiversity and ecosystem service values into policies and plans.
  • We will carry out policy dialogues with key government agencies to contribute and influence policies and plans. At this early stage, we aim to engage and contribute to MONREC’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (for areas in Chindwin Basin), the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedures and biodiversity monitoring programmes of Environmental Conservation Department (ECD) and future implementation plans emerging from Chindwin RBO.
  • Finally, we will continuously engage with both local and international media using key events and outreach materials including films, multimedia and news articles to disseminate the project’s findings, raise public awareness on biodiversity conservation and improve the linkages between local concerns and knowledge, science and policy.