Bago Region, Myanmar
Emission Reductions of First Project Instance
37,323,329 tons over 10 years
Crediting Period Start
VCS - Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ (JNR)
Expected First Verification
Bago Region, Myanmar
About the Project
In collaboration with the Korea Forest Service and the Myanmar Forest Department Terra initiated a first-of-its-kind REDD+ Program in Myanmar. The Bago Region is an administrative region in Myanmar that includes the four Districts of Bago, Pyay, Tharrawaddy and Taungoo. The forest areas included in this JNR Baseline include Reserve Forests (including community forests), Protected Public Areas and Protected Area System which are subject to unplanned deforestation and degradation due to subsistence-based activities, illegal over extraction on areas designated as plantations within the Reserve Forests and other illegal drivers. This accounts for 92% of all forests in the Bago Region. To create a pathway from project crediting to a jurisdictional nested REDD+ program in the future, the Bago Region REDD+ Program has developed a baseline that is validated under JNR and which is also used for a grouped project under the VCS project standards. The Forest Department will focus efforts on the first Project Activity Instance, the newly created North Zamari Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Forest Department seeks to protect forest resources within the North Zamari, while improving livelihoods and promoting sustainable development to communities residing around the forest. The program’s first Project Activity Instance North Zamari, is a roughly 75,000-hectare zone of highly threatened tropical upland rainforest that contains numerous threatened and endangered species, particularly the rare Asian Elephant. While the Reserve Forest was designated as an Elephant Sanctuary in 2014 increased economic development resulting from Myanmar’s recent change to democracy from military rule has exacerbated existing deforestation pressures in the region. The goal of the REDD+ Program is ultimately to reduce deforestation within the forests controlled by the Forest Department, improve local livelihoods, and provide a model for future REDD+ efforts in the country. Some of the major drivers of deforestation in the region are timber extraction, unsustainable charcoal production, illegal logging of precious hardwoods, and the slow conversion of native forest to teak plantations.
The North Zamari REDD+ Project will focus on implementing activities within the surrounding Bago and Thayarwady Districts. The project is administered locally by the Forest Research Institute (FRI), a division of Ministry of Natural Resources Environmental Conservation (MONREC), with support from the Korea Forestry Promotion Institute (KoFPI), Korea Forest Service, and Terra Global Capital. In addition to building the first REDD+ project within the country, a major goal of the collaboration is to build local capacity and develop institutional knowledge that will aid in national-level REDD+ efforts, and possibly jurisdictional-level programs.
Decades of military rule and highly centralized government decision-making have led to a legacy in the region of forced removals, unclear land tenure, and unrest. A major goal of the project is to develop community buy-in and address grievances with a formalized and dedicated stakeholder engagement and integration effort. The project will build on existing efforts by MONREC in addressing deforestation, and developing sustainable and economically feasible alternative livelihoods for local communities in each Project Activity Instance. The region highlighted by the project is highly diverse, and REDD+ efforts – through inclusive social assessments, project actions, community collaboration and ongoing monitoring– seek to build greater social equity in the Project Zone, specifically supporting minorities (Karen, Kachin), women, and economically disadvantaged populations.
The first Project Activity Instance North Zamari Reserve Forest represents 75,000 hectares of mostly intact tropical upland forest containing substantial numbers of rare and endangered species. The North Zamari forest remains as an island of biodiversity in an area experiencing massive biodiversity loss. In addition to containing habitat for the rapidly declining populations of Asian Elephant, the forest also contains a small population of leopards, sun bears, Chinese pangolins, and many rare species of turtles. The North Zamari Reserve Forest contains much of the remaining closed primary forest habitat within the previously heavily logged Pegu Range. In addition, the first Project Activity Instance contains many species listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s Red List, many of which have significant international interest and local cultural and spiritual value.
The first Project Activity Instance North Zamari Forest is highly diverse and has become a sanctuary for species across Bago Region. With a changing climate and extreme weather events, wildlife will need to have access to year-round water sources within Bago Region and especially near the First Project Activity Instance. North Zamari’s strategic location and North-South position helps species move between needed water sources and protective forests, acting as a corridor for species to adapt to climate change. In addition, North Zamari Forest was selected as the first Project Activity Instance as it protects watersheds for communities who are reliant on rice production in the nearby lowlands.