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COVID-19: Implications for Living, Masterplan & Environment Sustainability at Pun Hlaing Estate

Updated: Apr 21, 2020

By Brenda Hobin

“The virus has given us a good lesson: if we reduce our impact on nature, she will return the favour with fresh air, clean water and bounteous ecosystem services,” said Marianna Muntianu, 2019 Young Champions of the Earth.

BBC reported COVID-19 brought us closer to “a decarbonised, sustainable economy that many have been advocating for decades”, it also warned “a global pandemic that is claiming people’s lives certainly shouldn’t be seen as a way of bringing about environmental change either.”

Sharing the sentiments of BBC, Ms. Inger Andersen, head of UN environment programme, confirmed while there has been “visible, positive impacts - whether through improved air quality or reduced greenhouse gas emissions,” they are “temporary, because they come on the back of tragic economic slowdown and human distress.” She further “cautioned against viewing this as a boon for the environment and instead for a profound, systemic shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet.”

As Myanmar's leading real estate and property developer, Yoma Land has always committed to develop living spaces that is relevant and conducive both for its residents and Mother Earth. Yoma Land is focussed on living spaces that has low impact on the environment. Native gardens and vegetation are planted to preserve the natural biodiversity, working towards a low carbon society, and encourage the procurement of energy saving products. Our master plans include green buildings & certification.

This fundamental guiding principles is the basis of Pun Hlaing Estate masterplan - low density living spaces which incidentally provided for the much needed space for physical distancing during the pandemic. It also encourages and promotes the preservation of exotic wildlife which was documented by resident blogger in his regular Going Wild blog posts. Birds and wildlife are often sighted around the estate as the level of disturbances such as human passage near nests, or different parameters of the reproduction is low.

Birds specialist and researcher Blandine Doligez of the Laboratory of Biometrics and Evolutionary Biology (LBBE) of the University of Lyon 1 (Euro News) said, "Studies carried out in urban areas on bird populations have already highlighted the role of the level of disturbance, such as the intensity of human passage near nests, on different parameters of the reproduction". Recent pandemic and lockdowns are encouraging animals to venture out of their "their usual bases".

While the original idea of the veggie farm was to provide a farm to table culinary experience for the residents at the estate, during pandemic and lockdown which started on the 18 April in Yangon, the farm besides providing sustenance for the estate residents, it has additionally become a leisure destination for the residents living around the estate.

Let us not take the fresh air, clean water and bounteous ecosystem services for granted. Instead, continue to incorporate low density living spaces, botanical gardens and vegetation into our masterplan.

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