In November, IUCN ran a week-long training course on restoration for all national park managers in Myanmar, funded as part of a long-running collaboration with the Norwegian Environment Agency.
Training took place in Yin Mar Bin, at the headquarters of Alaundaw Katthapa National Park, and included a field trip into the protected area. Although Myanmar still has high natural forest cover compared with many countries in the region, conditions are changing fast and illegal logging is rampant, even in some protected areas.
The workshop, the first of its kind in the country, was highly participatory, with managers collaborating on SWOT analyses, assessment of protection area benefits, identification of restoration priorities and theories of change; over five days they developed all the elements needed in a restoration plan. The attention was focused on getting the social conditions right to allow restoration projects to be successful. The course was timely because all Myanmar’s protected areas are expected to have a restoration plan developed by early 2018.
The training was funded by the Norwegian Environment Agency (NEA) as part of the Myanmar-Norway project Conservation of Biodiversity and Improved Management of Protected Areas in Myanmar 2015-2018, and held at the Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park HQ in Yin Mar Bin, Sagaing Region. This was the sixth NEA-funded training course on protected area management. A seventh training course, on protected area management effectiveness, is scheduled for May 2018.