FAO has been collaborating with the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar for the last more than 42 years contributing to the livelihoods improvement and economic development in Myanmar leading towards achieving the Global Sustainable Development Goals. During the recent challenging situations due to the impacts of climate change coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, FAO has been providing policy advice, and sharing guidelines and best practices on ensuring food supply chains’ continuity and protection and protecting vulnerable populations’ food security and nutrition. In addition, realizing the global and national challenges, FAO has set Enhancing Resilience to climate change and Sustainable Natural Resource Management as one of our top three priorities in the Country Programming Framework from 2017 – 2023.
FAO, through a GEF funded project “Sustainable Cropland and Forest Management in Priority Agro-Ecosystems of Myanmar (SLM-GEF Project)”, jointly implemented with MoALI and MoNREC, has been building the capacity of farming and forestry stakeholders to mitigate climate change and improve land condition, by promoting policies and practices relating to climate smart agriculture (CSA), sustainable forest management and sustainable land management. The SLM-GEF Project has supported establishment and operationalization of a National Climate Smart Agriculture Center at YAU in order to coordinate development, packaging and promotion of best practices and to conduct advocacy activities related to CSA. Since its establishment, the center has been instrumental in organizing several awareness raising events, trainings, demonstrations on CSA techniques, providing library services and organizing national workshops aiming for CSA promotion in Myanmar.
A 3rd National Workshop on “Innovative Pathways to Climate Resilient Livelihoods” was virtually organised today (i.e. 22nd Jan 2020) by Yezin Agriculture University (YAU) and FAO (SLM-GEF Project) through the National CSA Center. This workshop was organized with the objective to bring researchers, development workers, academicians and policymakers to one platform to discuss and share research findings, experiences and knowledge on innovative concepts and practices on climate resilience livelihoods applicable to Myanmar context. The workshop was attended by more than 180 participants representing relevant Government Ministries/Departments, Universities, Donors, international partners, NGOs, CSOs, and FAO (Regional Center Bangkok and Country Office in Myanmar).
This workshop was jointly opened by H. E. Dr. Aung Thu, The Union Minister for MoALI; Mr. Arnold Franz, the FAOR a.i. and Dr. Nang Hseng Hom, the Rector of YAU. During the opening session, H.E. Minister highlighted the challenges caused by the climate change and the need to overcome those challenges for the sustainable development of this crucial agricultural sector by developing and implementing climate change adaptation and mitigation policies and practices. H.E. Minister further explained that the Myanmar Corporate Strategic Advisory (MCSA) strategy and Myanmar’s Agricultural Development Strategy (ADS) have been developed to promote good agricultural practices for climate smart agriculture. H.E. Minister also expressed his eager interest to listen to all the presenters of their findings and ideas for developing strategies on “innovative ways to become more resilient to climate change”.
Mr. Arnold Franz, on behalf of FAO, welcomed all the participants including H.E. Minister, MoALI and highlighted the FAO’s contributions to livelihood improvement and economic development in Myanmar. He further explained about the objectives of the workshop and congratulated the National CSA Center team and technical Support Group for successful operationalization and achievements made so far. Mr. Franz also extended heartfelt thanks and sincere appreciation to MoALI, MoNREC, other ministries and departments and all the other partners for their great supports and collaboration to FAO over the years for making FAO’s presence in Myanmar effective and meaningful.
Dr. Nang Hseng Hom, the Rector of YAU welcomed all the participants and extended her heartfelt thanks to H.E. Minister, FAO team, and all the distinguished guests and participants for their presence in the workshop. Dr. Nang expressed thanks to FAO for the supports for the establishment and operationalization of the National CSA Center and explained the objectives and activities of the CSA Center. She also explained the objectives of workshop and about the process of the selection of the papers for the workshop to ten out of 35 received against call for the papers.
A total of 10 papers related to four sub-themes of the workshop: Agriculture, forestry/agro-forestry, fishery, and microenterprise development were presented by various speakers representing YAU, Department of Agriculture Research, Environmental Conservation Department, Small Scale Industries Department, Magway University, and Monywa University and National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan. The technical session of the workshop was managed in two sessions each with five papers. Prof. Dr. Hla Than from YAU chaired the first session on agriculture related presentations and discussions. The second session was co-chaired by Dr. Thiha, the Sustainable Forest Management Specialist, and Mr. Jitendra P. Jaiswal, Climate Smart Agriculture Specialist (International) from FAO SLM-GEF project where papers were presented and discussions held mainly on forestry/agro-forestry, fishery, and microenterprise development.
During the closing session, Mr. Xavier Bouan, the Senior Technical Advisor of the SLM-GEF Project, summarized the key discussions and findings of the workshop. He informed all that more than 30 papers were received of which 10 papers of extreme relevance on innovative pathways to adapt and mitigate to climate change were selected and presented during the workshop. He thanked all the presenters participated from Nay Pyi Taw, Magway, Philippine, and Japan. Mr. Xavier closed the workshop by extending vote of thanks to the organizer, presenters, translator and all the participants for their active participation and genuine contributions.