A donation ceremony was held at the AFoCO Regional Education and Training Center (RETC) in Myanmar on 7 September to celebrate the handing over of 4,000 face masks and 50 computers to the Myanmar government. These items were generously donated by the Korea National Arboretum (KNA) and will be used in capacity building programs and activities and to enhance the safety of the working environment for people in the forestry sector of Myanmar as well as at the RETC.
The ceremony was attended by H.E. Mr. Lee Sang-hwa, Ambassador of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Mr. Soe John Shwe Ba, Managing Director of Myanmar Timber Enterprise, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC) of Myanmar.
“The fact that AFoCO RETC sits in Yangon is a reflection of the immeasurable value of the agro-forest and environmental infrastructure that Myanmar offers. Myanmar was one of the first member countries that endorsed AFoCO’s candidature for the UN observer status. AFoCO’s institutional link with the United Nations will allow this burgeoning body to reap the benefits in many aspects, including fighting against climate change and preventing deforestation. I am pleased that today’s event reminds us of the inextricable connection between the prevention of infectious diseases on the one hand and strengthening environmental conservation and climate resilience on the other,” said Ambassador Lee.
Mr. Soe added that “This donation reflects the strong interest to promote collaboration in the environment and forestry sectors among Myanmar and the ROK through AFoCO. In light of the COVID19 pandemic, the donated face masks will be very useful to the Myanmar government when carrying out disease prevention work. The computers received will not only be invaluable in MONREC’s capacity building and research programs but also contribute greatly to the operation of natural resources and environmental conservation systems.”
The AFoCO RETC, as a subsidiary organ of AFoCO, will step up to provide the necessary technical support after the dissemination of the donated items. The Myanmar government also plans to distribute the face masks and computers to regional offices across the country.