Kyaw Mo Lwin
Kyaw Mo Lwin grew up in a village called Oak Nae Gyin, in the Sagaing Division found in North West Myanmar.
“My village was surrounded by forests. Sometimes, I could hear barking deer’s sound at night. I grew up with fruits and vegetables such as mushrooms and bamboo shoots from the forests. Therefore, I knew well the benefits and advantages of forests. I love nature and forests since I was young, and furthermore, I was familiar with most of the names of tree species.”
As Kyaw Mo Lwin grew this love of forests grew with him. When he matriculated secondary school, he decided he wanted to apply this love of forests and undertook a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Forestry in Nay Pyi Taw. During the course of his study, Kyaw Mo Lwin was able to closely study some of the diverse forestry regions which Myanmar contains. These included “…teak plantations in Bago Yoma (also called Home of Teak), pine forests in Shan State, dry deciduous forests in Mount Popa and Central Dry Zone, and mangrove forests in Shwe Thaung Yan beach, Ayeyarwaddy region.”
The class went on a field trip to the Mangrove forests of Ayeyarwaddy region, which was a pivotal moment for Kyaw Mo Lwin. He fell in love with what he calls the magic of Mangroves.
In the Irrawaddy region of Myanmar, the restoration of felled mangrove swamps has been underway since 2012, led by villagers in collaboration with Norwegian NGO Worldview International Foundation (WIF). Since this time they have achieved an enormous amount, reporting at the end of 2018 that they had planted 6 million trees. Not only do Mangroves protect the coastline, but they are also incredibly efficient at processing carbon. New studies conducted in 2018 found that they can sequester around four times as much carbon as rainforests, with the carbon being stored in the soil beneath the mangrove trees.
Kyaw Mo Lwin is currently undertaking a Master’s of Forestry at Hanoi University, and works as a field assistant on a Mangrove restoration project in the Irrawaddy region. In this position he assisted the team in establishing the mangrove nursery and plantation, and makes sure they select the best specimens for the salinity, topography and tide inundation of the plantation site.
When asked about the impact of climate change in Myanmar Kyaw Myo Lwin told us: “Currently Myanmar people have to face flooding and landslide due to climate change… [but] climate change is at global level. Every person around the world is responsible for climate change and it is time to take action urgently.”
The restoration of mangroves is just a small part of the enormous fight to combat climate change. Over the past few years Prospect Burma has supported more people who are interested in subjects vital for the future protection of our planet, including Environmental Engineering, Aquaculture and Ecology. Our graduates have gone on to take up key positions to protect their country, becoming pioneers in areas such as holistic ecological and ethnic preservation (Hsar Doe Doh Moo, the Salween Peace Park), protecting endangered wildlife (Khyne Oo Mar, an influential conservationist) and engaging youth in ecological projects (Bo Bo Lwin, director of a youth empowerment programme).
For now, Kyaw Mo Lwin looks forward to getting back in the field, with the greater expertise and qualifications which his Master’s degree will bring him. He told us: “I love mangroves and their magic functions, therefore I love working any place wherever mangroves survive.”