Inle Lake watershed area is a heritage and major tourist site with a unique eco-system. However, there is increasing environmental damage to the watershed due to overuse of chemical farming and pressure from increased tourism as Myanmar emerges from years of isolation. Farmers are in debt to the chemical companies and have few opportunities for economically and ecologically sustainable livelihoods. Youth in particular have few options with many leaving as migrant workers to Thailand or having to resort to illicit ways of earning a living.
Read more about the issues facing those who live on the lake here.
What We Are Doing
With our partners in Myanmar, local NGO Kalyana Mitta Foundation (KMF), we have been awarded a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to implement a new project at Inle Lake, Myanmar. This project is now in it’s second year, and aims to improve the livelihoods of disadvantaged youth, while protecting the environment of the area, through sound agricultural practices that increase sustainable land use and improve resilience to climate change. The project’s focus is on:
- Training youth in eco farming, eco-social enterprise
- Setting up demonstration plots for those trained in eco farming, to pass on their knowledge to farmers from their own communities
- Raising awareness within local communities on how to manage Inle Lake watershed sustainably including ‘We Love Inle Lake’ Campaign with youth groups and schools
- Disaster Risk Reduction plans in communities vulnerable to climate change
- Setting up eco-social enterprises for the youth to create sustainable livelihoods
Jane Rasbash, Consultant to the project, writes about the Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) methods used to set up the project. To find out more about the progress of the project, please take a look at the mid-term report.