Myanmar is believed to be experiencing one of the highest rates of mangrove loss in the world. When a company bought land containing a mangrove forest in the  country’s Tanintharyi region, with plans to convert it into prawn farms, the local community fought back.

Mangroves in Bon Taung village, Myanmar

Mangroves in Bon Taung village, Myanmar, by Green Network Tanitharyi Region (GNTR)

The villagers had previously been unable to stop the purchase of an initial tranche of land, but when the company returned in an attempt to buy another 283 hectares of mangrove, locals were prepared; they had received a Securing Community Forest certificate, which served as a bulwark against further deforestation.

A local non-profit organization, Green Network Tanintharyi Region (GNTR) has so far helped 20 villages receive certification. This year, the group received a boost from the UN-REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) programme, which has allowed it to undertake coastal forest protection work.

Find out more about the work of GNTR and UN-REDD in Myanmar here.