Towards innovative, conflict-sensitive and human rights-based approaches to forest monitoring

The Governments of Myanmar and Finland today launched a trailblazing project designed to allow for monitoring of forests in a manner that is sensitive to local conflicts and protects human rights.

The five-year project will be led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) thanks to a EUR 8 million endowment from the Government of Finland, a consistent partner in the promotion of environmental sustainability.

The project is innovative in taking a conflict sensitive and human rights-based approach to forest monitoring. This has global relevance as it will provide insights into how to bolster sustainable forests in other fragile countries affected by conflicts that are frequently exacerbated by disputes over tenure and access to natural resources.

“Actions to monitor and measure Myanmar’s forests have great potential to deliver benefits for multiple purposes. In Myanmar there are many conflicts or mixed governance land areas, which pose particular challenges in working and engaging ethnic peoples and stakeholders in the measurement of forests,” said Xiaojie Fan, FAO Representative to the country. “While performing the technical tasks of forest inventories, this new project will ensure that the socio-political and cultural context is explicitly addressed through appropriate conflict sensitive and Rights based approaches.”

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