Rakhine coast un­der­go­ing joint wildlife as­sess­ment

The Myanmar Times - - News - KYI KYI SWAY news­room@mm­times.com

A PE­TRO­LEUM com­pany and an NGO are team­ing up to sur­vey sea grasses, seabirds and coral reefs along the Rakhine coast­line.

The Mawdin Coast Ma­rine Sur­vey, which be­gan in De­cem­ber 2015 and will be com­pleted in Novem­ber, is a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Fauna & Flora In­ter­na­tional (FFI) and Wood­side En­ergy Ltd.

The sur­vey is the first step to­ward pre­serv­ing the coast­line from Gwa town­ship in Rakhine State to Mawdin in the Aye­yarwady delta. FFI of­fi­cials say they have a plan to ex­tend the sur­vey area along the coast but they de­clined to give fur­ther de­tails.

Wood­side is the fi­nan­cial backer, with FFI pro­vid­ing tech­nol­ogy, fa­cil­i­ties and sur­vey­ors, said FFI ma­rine co­or­di­na­tor U Zau Lunn. It will also of­fer train­ing to Pathein Uni­ver­sity stu­dents.

“We’ve found the coral reefs are still very good … I re­ally didn’t ex­pect it,” said U Zau Lunn.

The coral reefs are mostly dam­aged by the fish­eries in­dus­try, he said.

“Habi­tats like coral reefs are very im­por­tant for ma­rine species,” he said, “and if you want to keep the species, just keep the habi­tats.”

Daw Cherry Aung, head of the Ma­rine Science Depart­ment at Pathein Uni­ver­sity, said they plan to col­lab­o­rate with FFI in sur­vey­ing the ma­rine bio­di­ver­sity of the coast but that will not hap­pen un­til Oc­to­ber.

“FFI has been lead­ing sur­vey train­ings about coral reefs, seabirds, sea grasses and div­ing since late 2015,” she said. “Pathein Uni­ver­sity has not yet done any sur­veys with FFI.”

Wood­side is Aus­tralian’s sec­ond-largest oil and pe­tro­leum firm. In Myan­mar, it op­er­ates two blocks solo and an­other four jointly with other com­pa­nies.

Photo: Sup­plied

Dump trucks park at Nga­pali Beach, Rakhine State, where devel­op­ment has sparked en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.