Thor Heyerdahl was a founding member of WIF. He contributed greatly to the sated aims and objectives of WIF in support of Sustainable Development and served as WIF´s first Vice-President. WIF assisted in organizing his expedition to Maldives with approval of the Maldivian President. WIF was actively engaged in operating a media centre with training and projects in several atolls.
The mangrove forest in this 1800 acres was destroyed due to charcoal burning and prawn farming when Pathein University requested WIF for help to restore its bio diversity. In this region of Myanmar, only 16% of the original mangrove forest is left.
Today the park area is brought back to its original health with 2,5 million trees (newly planted and rescued). 2,3 million tons of CO2 has been documented in the ground to be preserved with new plants on the surface. It is estimated that the total mitigation and protection of stored carbon amounts to over 4 million tons of CO2 during 20 years growth period.
The success has lead to requests from 5 nearby communities for assistance to restore mangrove forests in their areas, amounting to over 6,000 acres. Preparatory work started in September 2016.
Another area of 8,000 acres has been handed over to WIF by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation for restoration. The project started in 2016 with planting of 200,000 trees.
Myeik University has requested support for restoration of a destroyed mangrove forest close to the university. Close to 100,000 people will directly and indirectly benefit from these initiatives, with creation of over 300 jobs in the season. God news is that the initial project has created interest by coastal communities for expansion of Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park in several new villages from 2017.
To know more- www.wif.care/heyerdahl-climate-parks