From 2019-2023, the Succow Foundation, together with FFI and local civil society groups, further developed and mainstreamed these processes: natural forest management, fuelwood cultivation of native species and agroforestry have increased forest cover on 1,647 ha of degraded forest land in the buffer zone.
As rice cultivation is key to both the ecology of the lake and the livelihood of the local people, the project has supported rice farmers in converting to organic cultivation and in certification and value chain development. More than 300 rice farmers are now practicing organic farming.
The construction of 160 small-scale small wastwater treatment plants and village waste management were also supported. The measures reduce nutrient inputs into the lake and preserve habitats for water birds such as Sarus cranes and Asian gill-billed storks.
In order to add value through international tourism, we promoted community-based ecotourism, e.g. by developing a community lodge and training courses to professionalize local ecotourism groups.
Together with village fishery committees and the fisheries authority, we developed the participatory regulation of fisheries and continue to accompany their implementation process.
Throughout the project, the focus was on the development of local civil society organizations such as community forest associations, ecotourism groups and organic farming associations to develop strong partners in the management of the biosphere reserve.
This also proved particularly important after the military coup.