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Restoring mangroves with the help of drones

BioCarbon Engineering and WorldView International Foundation innovate for sustainable development in Myanmar

In partnership with Worldview International Foundation and Worldview Impact Foundation, BioCarbon Engineering has launched a project to restore and regenerate the degraded mangrove ecosystems in Myanmar in order to protect the lives of highly vulnerable communities. Mangrove forests are the vital foundation for a complex marine food web, sustaining not only fisheries but many forms of bird and other wildlife. The project has been chosen as a winner of a Bridge Builder challenge on OpenIDEO and is supported by the GHR Foundation. The first phase of the project included mapping of the areas, planting mangrove trees, meeting local communities and designing an integrated plan for ecosystem restoration.

BioCarbon Engineering in Myanmar, December 2017

BioCarbon Engineering technology enables NGO partners and local communities to design data-driven forest management systems and to dramatically speed up mangrove planting with drones.

Globally, mangroves deliver multiple benefits for the ecosystems and local communities. In Myanmar, it is estimated that 75% of the game fish and 90% of the commercial species in certain areas rely on mangrove systems as nurseries and as a source of nutrients to support the food cycle, yet only under 20% of the original mangrove cover remains.

Mangroves provide a substantial cooling effect and have the ability to mitigate up to five times more CO2 than rainforest trees. They serve as physical coastal barriers that can absorb extreme wave and storm activity and oceanic surges. After the cyclone Nargis killed hundreds of thousands coastal villagers, the government and local communities of Myanmar have realised the urgency to restore vast areas of land in order to be protected from the storms.

While millions of people depend on mangroves for their survival, the government of Myanmar and WorldView International Foundation are putting a lot of effort into ecosystem restoration. The urgency of this work, and the scale of the problem make BioCarbon's technology a great fit for the long-term partnership in planting millions of trees. Following this first phase of the project, plans are being laid out for a multi-year engagement in restoring 10,000 hectares. This is the next step in restoring 100,000 Ha of mangroves to benefit the people of Myanmar and the global climate.

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