A dried up water pond in Koungnyo village in Nyaung U township, Mandalay Region. Photo: UNDP. (Photo grabbed from Mizzima website.)

From Mizzima

Communities in Myanmar’s Dry Zone are benefitting from various activities ranging from climate resistant farming and livestock practices to soil and water conservation to help them better adapt to the impact of climate change, according to a statement from the UNDP.

The activities are being implemented as part of a project “Addressing Climate Change Risks on Water Resources and Food Security in the Dry Zone of Myanmar”. The project aims to benefit more than 250,000 people living in five townships - Shwebo and Monywa in Sagaing Region, Myingyan and Nyaung Oo in Mandalay Region, and Chauk in Magway Region.

The USD 7.9 million, four-year project, the first in Myanmar to receive funding from the Adaptation Fund, is being implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC), and specifically the Dry Zone Greening Department based in Mandalay. The project started in 2015 and will conclude in 2019.

Through the project, freshwater is made available to communities during the dry season and skills and tools for climate-resilient agricultural and livestock practices and climate risk information are provided.

Last week, UNDP Country Director, Peter Batchelor and the Director General of MONREC’s Dry Zone Greening Department U Htay Aung visited some villages in Shwebo township in Sagaing Region and met with communities who are beneficiaries of the project. Some farmers are rearing climate resistant goats, pigs and poultry, while others are planting specially developed climate resistant pulses and other crops. As part of the field visit, they also had the opportunity to see a field where scientists from the Yezin Agricultural University and local farmers are selecting a rice variety best suited to the current local climatic conditions.

During his visit, Mr. Batchelor also met with the Chief Minister of Magway, HE Dr Aung Moe Nyo; the Chief Minister of Sagaing, HE Dr Myint Naing; and the Chief Minister of Mandalay, Dr Zaw Myint Maung. During his meetings, he briefed them on the progress of the project, and assured them of UNDP’s commitment to improving the livelihoods, and building resilience, of communities living in Myanmar’s Dry Zone.

Keywords: climate change, agriculture, climate resilience, water conservation, UNDP, Myanmar