Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland will support a forestry inventory project throughout Myanmar, including conflicted territories on 16 June 2020, according to an announcement from the ministry. The statement said:
Myanmar is launching a forest inventory project, which will be carried out also in conflict areas. Finland will allocate EUR 3.45 million in development cooperation appropriations to support the project in the first two years of its implementation.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) together with the Myanmar National Forest Inventory are responsible for the implementation of the forest inventory.
The aim is to carry out a forest inventory in all regions of the country, also in areas that are not controlled by the central government. The project is innovative in that it addresses special questions affecting the conflict-ridden areas and defends the realisation of human rights.
The project’s experiences of conflict sensitive and human rights-based approach to forest monitoring in the administration and use of forest resources may have global relevance. Illegal logging in conflict-affected areas often takes the livelihood from local people and forms a central part of the war economy. Sustainable forest management can play a role in the promotion of village communities’ rights and in reducing disputes related to forest resources.
Information about the size of the forest cover and the species in them is needed, for example when decisions are made concerning the protection of forests and the sustainable use of forests. Forests are particularly important for Myanmar in adaptation to climate change, because the country is very vulnerable to extreme weather phenomena that are increasing due to climate change.
“It is very important to ensure that the forest inventory will benefit all, also ethnic minorities. It is vital that human rights and the conflict-related dimension of natural resources are taken into account in the project. Other important aspects are the use of open data and building trust between local communities and the authorities,” says Riikka Laatu, Finland’s Ambassador to Myanmar.