192,800 green climate protectors for Myanmar

One of Funk's sustainability goals is to preserve nature for our children and grandchildren. That's why we've been involved in planting mangroves in Myanmar. Funk started with 140,000 trees in 2019, and 52,800 more mangroves were planted in 2020. Read here what mangroves do for climate protection and how our planting campaigns work.

Mangroves grow in coastal regions and draw greenhouse gases out of both the sea and the air. │ Photo: Worldview International Foundation

Mangroves for a better climate

One of the world’s most pressing issues is climate change. The greenhouse gases produced by humans constitute one large problem here. Once released into the atmosphere, they contribute to the rise of the Earth’s temperature. The consequences of this include the melting of the glaciers, rising sea levels and extreme weather. Some greenhouse gases, however, are absorbed by the ocean, leading to increased acidity in the water and putting countless species of marine animals at risk, such as corals.

Plants can break down greenhouse gases and convert them into oxygen. Mangroves in particular are very effective at this. These trees grow in tropical coastal regions and thrive in seawater. They not only clean the air, but also filter the sea – and make ideal habitats for fish, birds and marine mammals.  Therefore Funk has decided to support mangrove reforestation projects and to plant a total of 192,800 seedlings in 2019 and 2020.

Rebuilding mangrove forests can also prevent natural disasters. │ Photo: Worldview International Foundation

Rebuilding the forests

Both planting areas are located in the Ayeyarwady region of Myanmar. Here, with the support of Funk, a sustainably managed mangrove ecosystem is being established. The projects not only make a valuable contribution towards climate protection but also serve to reduce the risk posed by natural disasters: mangrove forests form a natural protective wall against storm surges. 

Planting mangroves is urgently needed, as the number of these trees around the world is rapidly dwindling. Mangrove forests are being cleared, for example, to create shrimp farms, rice fields or palm oil plantations. The trees are harvested for use as firewood or construction timber. Reforestation projects aim to counteract this commercial exploitation.

These seedlings will grow into an entire forest. │ Photo: Worldview International Foundation

52 hectares of fresh green

To mark the occasion of Funk’s 140th anniversary, 140,000 mangroves were planted in the soil – or rather, in the marshy ground. In 2020, 52,800 trees were added. This results in two forests measuring 52 hectares, the equivalent of around 52 football pitches.

The local community was involved in the planting – this means job creation and contributes to the security of the livelihood of the local population. Further education and infrastructure in the region are also improved through the projects. The planting in 2019, for example, was part of the project "Mangrove reforestation and sustainable livelihood", which is specifically dedicated to the reforestation of mangrove forests.

Thomas Abel, managing partner at Funk, next to the symbolic tree on the rooftop terrace.

Mangroves for Myanmar and a pine tree for Hamburg

To address the topic of climate protection closer to home, a pine tree was also planted on the rooftop terrace of the Hamburg headquarters on Funk’s birthday on 21 May 2019. A plaque informs employees and visitors about the mangroves in Myanmar. ‘We would have loved to have planted a mangrove, but it would not have been happy here,’ says Thomas Abel, Managing Partner at Funk. ‘But the pine is now cleaning our city air here in Hamburg. And most importantly, it is a symbol of how important climate protection is for us all.’

The efforts have paid off: This is what a part of the first Funk forest looked like after a year. │ Photo: Worldview International Foundation

A success for nature

The mangroves from 2019 and 2020 have kept on growing – and are already improving the surrounding ecosystem. The seedlings are well rooted and thus help to consolidate the soil. At the same time, the steady growth leads to a reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. And the animal world has also discovered the mangroves for itself: fish and other creatures are already using the new trees as safe retreats and storage places for their eggs. 

Funk's plantations are not only a success for the environment, though, but also for science. As part of the project, the first mangrove gene database in Myanmar was created, which currently contains 64 mangrove species and makes an important contribution to the preservation of biological diversity. Among other species, the Rhizophora mucronata and the Bruguiera cylindrica grow in the Funk forest.


From greenhouse to nature: how the funk forest has developed in one year

The mangroves have grown up in a greenhouse near the planting area in Myanmar. | Photo: Worldview International Foundation

140,000 trees have been waiting here to become part of a sustainably managed ecosystem. | Photo: Worldview International Foundation
The local community was involved in the planting in the northern part of the Ayeyarwady region. | Photo: Worldview International Foundation
On the banks of the river Poe Laung, the new mangrove forest also forms a natural barrier against storm waves. | Photo: Worldview International Foundation
In the swamp soil, the seedlings now develop into large mangrove trees that purify the air and filter the sea. | Photo: Worldview International Foundation
Thanks to the care of the local population, the seedlings have already grown strongly after one year. | Photo: Worldview International Foundation
From a bird's eye view, it is easy to see where the new Funk mangroves complement the existing forest. | Photo: Worldview International Foundation

New trees for the Poe Laung river bank

Journey to Myanmar

An interactive insight into the country of Myanmar, the planting campaigns of Funk and the many advantages of the mangroves: This is what the vivid story of our partner CO2OL offers. Travel Southeast Asia from the comfort of your desk!

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