Thor Heyerdahl was a founding member of WIF. He contributed greatly to the sated aims and objectives of WIF in support of Sustainable Development and served as WIF´s first Vice-President. WIF assisted in organizing his expedition to Maldives with approval of the Maldivian President. WIF was actively engaged in operating a media centre with training and projects in several atolls.
Thor Heyerdahl visited WIF´s Head Quarter in Sri Lanka and travelled extensively in the country to study its old civilizations.
He had a keen interest in development communication and sharing of values between rich and poor countries.
His son Bjørn was later invited to become WIF´s President. Bjørn has followed in his footsteps with commitment to action on Climate Change and livelihoods with mangrove restoration in coastal communities. Bjørn´s experience and commitment has been a great support to WIF, as well as the passion for his father´s vision and values.
Target for 2022
- Complete planting of 17 million trees
- Sustainable development to more than 50 villages
- REDD+ projects
- Biologically capturing and storing over
15 million tons CO2
History of the park
The mangrove forest in this 2200 Ha area was destroyed due to charcoal burning and prawn farming. In this region of Myanmar, only 16% of the original mangrove forest is left. The project has the highest survival rate 86% of planted trees. Restoration is successfully implemented in close cooperation with local communities and Pathein University in support of UN Paris Climate Agreement and UN Sustainable development Goals.
Today 50% of the park area is brought back to its original health with 4,5 million trees planted by 2018, with the balance 5 million to be completed in 2020. The project is registered at VCS with CO2 mitigation of 3,6 million tons during 20 years growth of the trees.
The success has lead to requests from 5 nearby communities for assistance to restore mangrove forests in 5,000 Ha areas, and 22,000 Ha in Yangon region. Total estimated CO2 mitigation 31 million tons. Around 6 million people will directly/indirectly benefit from the projects for protection of lives and properties from cyclones and other extreme weather, in addition to creation of new livelihoods and comprehensive sustainable development.
Another area of 8,000 acres has been handed over to WIF by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation for restoration. The project started in 2016 with planting of 200,000 trees.
Myeik University has requested support for restoration of a destroyed mangrove forest close to the university. Close to 100,000 people will directly and indirectly benefit from these initiatives, with creation of over 300 jobs in the season. God news is that the initial project has created interest by coastal communities for expansion of Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park in several new villages from 2017.
Worldview’s research project in Myanmar in cooperation with Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, Pathein University and Myek University, aims at a national plan for restoration of mangrove forests in all coastal areas of the country. The project is funded by Letten Foundation, Norway. Worldview is also following up mangrove projects in Gambia and other countries, as part of its global efforts in Adaptation to Climate Change.