Burma’s Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry and the Japan International Cooperation Agency will launch a 3,000-acre mangrove forest plantation project in the Irrawaddy Delta, state-owned media reports. The plantations in Kadonkani forest reserve would help rehabilitate mangrove forests along the Delta’s coastline and estuaries. The ministry also plans to build an unknown number cyclone shelters. Mangrove forests provide protection against coastal erosion and flooding during storms and cyclones, and form an important source of food and non-timber products for local inhabitants. The forests are rapidly disappearing, however, due to the expansion of rice paddies, salt production and fish and shrimp ponds.