Myanmar has an abundance of natural resources that ranges from minerals and energy. This is a place filled with potential if things are done right. The copious amount of traditionally provided agricultural production over past decades is one of such example. However, in recent years, the increase in the population and unsustainable extraction of minerals and forest resources, over-utilization of soils and water are all coming back to undermine Myanmar’s economy and social wellbeing.
This is also when Myanmar’s UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) come in to intercept and try to prevent things from getting worse. One of their main projects named “Environment, Climate Change & Disaster Risk Reduction” is a group that manages disaster risk, natural resources and alternative sustainable energies. Rural energy and environmental conservation, for example, are among their eight top priorities of the government.
The UNDP aims to help Myanmar build capacities and implement policies for disaster risk reduction and environmental governance. Two of their most recent story features their effort to recruit Naga Youth to join forces to protect forest of Myanmar. An estimated 47% of Myanmar’s land mass is covered with forest and ethnic communities occupy 0.19% of this area. These communities, which are located in remote areas, are trying their best to prevent deforestation and other related issues.
On the other hand, UNDP is also trying to make it easy for Myanmar’s villages to access to safe and clean source of water. Currently, UNDP’s project supported 57 villages in Plaetwa Townships and water sanitation and hygiene were improved for 2,140 households. With more supports, their scope will expand and cover most of Myanmar’s rural areas.