In 2016, FFI established a formal partnership for coastal biodiversity conservation in Myanmar. The partnership collaboration focuses on providing technical and capacity building support for the marine science departments of Myanmar’s universities, in particular Pathein University, to lay the foundations for future involvement in biodiversity assessment, environmental impact assessments and monitoring.

The project also aims to develop a comprehensive baseline assessment of coastal and marine biodiversity in the nearshore area along the west coast of Ayeyarwady region, which is relevant to Woodside Energy’s oil and gas exploration licence. From initial observations, this previously undocumented coastline includes a wide diversity of coral reefs, seagrass, mudflats and mangrove habitats. Under the partnership, the next step will be to identify key biodiversity areas and their management needs, while establishing a system within the universities’ marine science departments for the long-term monitoring of ecosystem health. This project is supported by the FFI-Woodside Energy Myanmar partnership.