MyanmarBiodiversity.org is a joint initiative from a network of Myanmar local and international NGOs and CSOs working on nature conservation in Myanmar.
On this platform you can find all the latest information related to nature and wildlife conservation in Myanmar directly sourced from the field. Myanmar nature is wonderful, preserving it for future generations is our daily job.
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Formerly known as Burma, this country conjures images of archetypal Asian jungle: lush forests dripping with moisture, prowled by tigers, and alive with the trumpeting of elephants.
Myanmar’s wildlife include a mix of species from north, south and southeast Asia, which find shelter in a wide range of habitats throughout the country. Snow-capped and remote Himalayan Mountains crown the north, and serve as the headwaters for some of Myanmar’s major rivers. The rivers flow through wide, central plains and down to mangrove-lined river deltas before emptying into the Bay of Bengal. Along the country’s southern tail, the coastal waters abound with coral reefs amidst more than 800 islands of the Mergui archipelago.
Biodiversity refers to the variety of life. It is seen in the number of species in an ecosystem, and is used as a measure of the health of biological systems.
A wide diversity of ecosystems is represented in Myanmar, including mixed wet evergreen, dry evergreen, deciduous, and montane forests. There are also patches of shrublands and woodlands on karst limestone outcrops and, in some coastal areas, scattered heath forests. In addition, a wide variety of distinctive, localized vegetation formations occur, including lowland floodplain swamps, mangroves, and seasonally inundated grasslands.
Specifically, Myanmar hosts 15 biodiversity corridors. These play a key role in maintaining landscape connectivity between key biodiversity areas, thus preserving ecological processes and safeguarding against the potential impacts of climate change.
Key biodiversity areas (KBAs) are specific sites of global biodiversity significance. In Myanmar 132 areas have been identified, of which several already benefit from special status of protected area. Preserving these areas from degradation is a priority for ensuring the viability of habitat and species conservation. Adequate financial support and local ownership and participation are crucial factors for ensuring the integrity of these areas and have long-term response strategies in place against increasing external threats and pressures.
Who is at Risk of Extinction
Myanmar supports one of the most diverse, yet imperiled chelonian faunas in Southeast Asia. At least 27 species of freshwater turtles and tortoises are known to occur in Myanmar, including eight endemic forms. Despite such high levels of diversity turtle populations face severe threats from rampant commercial and subsistence harvesting, and habitat destruction.
There are over 100 fish species listed as vulnerable many of them are species of sharks. Most species of shark are threatened by intensive fishing pressure for fins and meat. Heavy harvest using disruptive techniques such as electrocute and dynamite fishing are at the root of sharp declines in fisheries populations across Myanmar waters.
Myanmar diverse climate zones allows for a large number of amphibian species to flourish in the country wetlands. Although their distribution and threat level in large part has not been assessed yet, extensive phenomena of pollution and habitat degradation are supposed to place a heavy toll on these vulnerable populations.
Threats to Biodiversity
In Myanmar Primary threats identified included the commercial and subsistence exploitation and trade of natural resources including wildlife, timber, fish and non-timber forest products. Stakeholders also highlighted the expansion of the human footprint across the country.
The emergence of such threats has triggered a strong response from the local and international community. A network of qualified and motivated organizations has decided to come together to provide effective conservation solutions.
These include support to the Myanmar government in drafting effective environmental legislation and enforcing laws and regulations.
Currently, our work for nature conservation in Myanmar stretches from the far north of the Hkakaborazi National Park where we strengthen the protection of the last stronghold for biodiversity in Myanmar, to the far southern Myeik archipelago where an incredibly rich biodiversity of over 1000 species of animals, plants and marine life survive.
Likewise, we work from the western Rakhine costs for a more sustainable fishing and aquaculture, to the eastern turmoiled borders with China and Thailand, where logging and wildlife trade pose a serious threat to the conservation of ecosystems even hundreds kilometers away.
The commitment for nature conservation is growing fast in Myanmar, thanks to the initiatives of a thriving civil society and the technical support from international NGOs. Join our Conservation Alliance to showcase your activities!
Myanmar Alliance for Conservation
Every and each of us can play an important role in safeguarding wildlife and nature. However, nowadays challenges to biodiversity conservation are of such magnitude that only through concerted actions the most outstanding threats can be averted before irreversibly damaging Myanmar natural habitats. MyanmarBiodiversity.org is the online platform consolidating the experience and coordinating the activities of an Alliance for Conservation including the following organizations and associations. Click on the logo to access the blog and learn more about the partner’s activities.