Environmental Stewardship Is Our Responsibility

The vulnerabilities of many farming communities are increasingly complex as Myanmar undergoes unprecedented political, social, and environmental changes. Designing effective development interventions can be challenging. Myanmar environmental policies and practices must be quickly improved to meet the challenges of environmental degradation.
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Our Environmental Projects

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“Hoya House”: Our Training Center in Bagan

Organic Agriculture and Job Skills Training "Hoya House" is the name of our Bagan training center and organic garden. It's our “green hub” in the local community, acting as a training center to support local women, youth and agricultural workers to grow organic produce in challenging environments. The goal of ...
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Most Myanmar villages are agriculture economies dependent upon the land and waterways for their livelihoods. These communities of smallholder subsistence farmers have developed adaptive methods and practices to cope with the alternating heavy rains of monsoon season and drought of dry seasons. Recently, annual droughts and flooding have become more challenging due to more extreme weather as a result of climate change. Families struggle to grow enough of their crops to provide a basic income. More than 44 percent of households in the dry zone had problems meeting food needs in 2014 despite being part of a major agricultural region, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Support Environmental Protection in Myanmar We take a systematic, design-focused approach to these challenges by literally turning trash into a valuable resource as compost for organic farming or source material for recycled or “upcycled” handicrafts made in our local village workshops.

Myanmar is the world’s second most vulnerable country to climate change, according to the Global Climate Risk Index from research group Germanwatch. Myanmar’s dry zone covers 13 percent of the country. It is home to around 10 million people, a majority of whom are engaged in livelihoods based on rain-fed agriculture. More than 44 percent of households in the dry zone had problems meeting food needs in 2014 despite being part of a major agricultural region, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Rain-Fed Agriculture Plagued by Year-Round Water Shortages

Myanmar environment: Map of Myanmar dry zone
Map of Myanmar dry zone

Myanmar’s Dry Zone comprises the central regions of Mandalay, Magway, and Lower Sagaing, which cover 13 percent of the country. It suffers from year-round water shortages and is characterized by limited rainfall. It is home to around 10 million people, a majority of whom are engaged in livelihoods based on rain-fed agriculture. Myanmar is the world’s second most vulnerable country to climate change, according to the Global Climate Risk Index from research group Germanwatch. Studies have shown the onset of the monsoon is becoming more variable, increasing the risk of drought.

 

 

Subsistence Farmers Trapped in a Cycle of Debt

dry zone agricultural debt cycle
The continuously reinforcing cycle of debt facing agricultural communities in the Dry Zone;
a result of exposure to several interlinked types of pressures (shocks and stresses). Source: MerciCorps

Most Myanmar villages are agriculture economies dependent upon the land and waterways for their livelihoods. These communities of smallholder subsistence farmers have developed adaptive methods and practices to cope with the alternating heavy rains of monsoon season and drought of dry seasons. Recently, annual droughts and flooding have become more challenging due to more extreme weather as a result of climate change. Families struggle to grow enough of their crops to provide a basic income. More than 44 percent of households in the dry zone had problems meeting food needs in 2014 despite being part of a major agricultural region, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Hybrid Structure Model

SEEDS hybrid structure model

Marginalized communities and entrepreneurs have lost confidence in public institutions through insidious corruption and economic exploitation, limiting their ability to receive funding from international donors due to lack of formal institutional structure, accountability, and oversight. New institutions, business networks, and supply chains must be developed to support enterprises and activities that generate higher economic value through processing and services than the over-reliance on low-value commodity production typical of developing countries.

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