By Swe Win
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| April 25, 2018
An exchange visit was organized for 17 Myanmar government officials, community members, and WCS field staff to visit Cambodia, and learn from their experience with community-based approaches to conservation. Two back-to-back visits saw Department of Agriculture officials and community members visit the Ibis Rice field site, a grassland conservation area and flooded forest, and the SRP pilot site, where they met directly with farmers and officials implementing a conservation agriculture pilot project.
A mixed team from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and Department of Fisheries then visited community-based conservation initiatives, including at the Mekong Dolphin site in Kratie, as well as community tourism in Tmat Boey. The team were also amazed by the stunning water-bird colonies at the Prek Toal Biosphere reserve.
We are also considering a sustainable-agricultue approach to our work in the Ayeyarwady Delta in Myanmar, learning the lessons from the Mekong, and led a visit by 11 Myanmar government officials, community members, and WCS field staff to visit Cambodia, where they met directly with farmers and officials implementing the SRP pilot, and learned from their experiences.
The return visit of Cambodians to Myanmar occurred in February 2018. A Ministry of Environment official, two WCS staff, and the Sustainable Rice Platform coordinator visited three key sites in Myanmar, sharing their experiences with conservation agricuture, as well as learning about the Ecotourism approaches being taken in Myanmar, and also Wetland and grassland management. It was very exciting for both sides to have this return visit, and it has catalysed major progress on several community conservation programs in both countries.