Environment

Why a garden? And why soil?


Planting a garden is an investment in the environment and for
the future. Good soil and plants help mitigate flooding in the
rainy season and retain water better in the dry season. Trees and
plants help offset carbon monoxide emissions from cars.
A necessary first step for any garden is good, fertile soil. The soil
in Yangon is generally sandy and poor. Adding to the challenge at U
Thant House is the amount of plastics buried in the ground. When
the house was re-discovered in 2012, the property had suffered
decades of neglect and large amounts of garbage and plastics
had piled up in the compound.


Why compost?


To lay the foundations for a beautiful garden and learning landscape, U Thant House, helped by Bokashi Myanmar, has scaled up its compost by collecting plant waste from the nearby market, speeding up the process of producing good soil with effective micro-organisms (EM).

Currently an estimated 65% of Yangon’s waste is safe organic
waste that end up in landfills mixed in with plastics and other
non-organic materials, where it risks catching fire and becomes
a potential health hazard. This is a big waste! Not only is composting good for the environment, it also makes sense from an economic perspective. Showcasing a manageable household compost at U Thant House is a way of encouraging visitors to be more conscious about waste management and take action to do their part.

GREENING OUR GARDEN - AND OUR WORLD

U Thant was an early advocate for environmental protection, the preservation of wildlife and biodiversity, and the safeguarding of Earth’s finite resources. To honor U Thant’s work on the environment we are starting work to transform the garden into an experiential learning landscape about Myanmar’s biodiversity and environmental challenges.
Our aspiration is for the garden to:


• Be a peaceful and beautiful oasis for visitors to enjoy and for Myanmar people
to take pride in.
• Serve as a mini-botanical garden with plants native to Myanmar and that incorporates
signs, artistry and programs designed to teach a range of visitors
about the country’s unique biodiversity.
• Showcase good household waste management practice with effective composting
methods and re-use of fertile soil. Visitors will be able to go on ‘Garden
Safaris’ and a ‘Green Thumbs Lab’ will introduce kids to the exciting world
of kitchen garden biology and plant nursing.
• Inspire action in people’s daily lives to safeguarding our natural resources.
To raise funds, sponsorship packages will be offered for families, schools and companies
to ‘adopt’ a tree or a section of the garde.

“As we watch the sun go down, evening after evening through the smog across the poisoned waters of our native earth, we must ask ourselves seriously whether we really wish some future universal historian on another
planet to say about us: ‘With all their genius and with all their skill, they ran out of foresight and air and food and water and ideas”, or, “They went on playing politics until their world collapsed around them”.

- U Thant (Statement to the UN General Assembly 1970).