Myanmar’s Upper Chindwin Basin contains some of the Indo-Burma region’s most critical biodiversity habitats, also known as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs). It is home to Critically Endangered and Endangered species and many households rely overwhelmingly on nature-based activities for income.
In 2018, SEI’s work in the Chindwin Basin identified some of the key threats to wetland habitats and ecosystem services, which included commercial mining and logging, as well as unsustainable farming and overfishing. The work showed that a high demand for land, a lack of alternative livelihood pathways and local insecurity about depleting resources have caused a rapid decline in fish catch, the loss of wetland habitats and the rapid shrinking of populations of endangered aquatic species.
In order to protect the Chindwin’s biodiversity, it is necessary to take steps that can generate environmentally-sensitive livelihoods for people in the basin, aimed at protecting the KBA and conserving local biodiversity and ecosystem services. It is critical to address the current improper land and water management practices, while also building awareness about the socio-ecological importance of healthy and functioning wetland ecosystems.
This fact sheet outlines a project which will implement a set of land and water management practices in the Upper Chindwin Basin, Myanmar, to protect and restore the Key Biodiversity Area (KBA), and secure sustainable livelihoods.
As part of the project, biodiversity and ecosystem service assessments will feed into Community Action Plans (CAP) developed alongside local stakeholders to establish sustainable agricultural, land and water management practices. These will include conservation and restoration zones, enhancing community-based natural resource management, and supporting just transitions.