Myanmar Key Biodiversity Areas

Myanmar Agenda 21 Highlighted that the existing Protected Area System (PAS) was not representative and comprehensive (NCEA 1997). Particularly, there is a considerable conservation gap for marine ecosystems. A broader and more comprehensive gap analysis was recommended to develop a representative and comprehensive PAS (NCEA 1997; Myint Aung 2007).

In the 30-Year Forestry Master Plan, targets were set to have 5% expansion of PAS from 2001-02 to 2005-06 and 10% from 2007-08 to 2016-17 to fulfill the 1995 Forest Policy (MOF 2001). Myanmar is also obliged, as a signatory, to meet the objectives of the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) to expand their PAS. The identification of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) is considered to be a suitable approach to identify appropriate areas for further study and evaluation for PA status.

The KBA approach is identified as a tool to address the goal of the Program of Work on Protected Areas in the CBD “to establish and strengthen national and regional systems of protected areas integrated into a global network as a contribution to globally agreed goals” (Langhammer et al. 2007). The KBA approach requires identifying sites of global biodiversity significance in each country to determine which sites are currently not represented in protected area systems, and prioritization of conservation actions among sites. In addition, this process provides high local ownership and participation because identifying, assessing and prioritizing KBAs is conducted through a multi-stakeholder consultation. The KBA approach helps conservationists, managers and investors to make urgent conservation decisions in the face of accelerating threats and pressures. This approach also allows the application of a gap analysis framework based on additional information when received.

In the Myanmar context, KBAs fall in different land management categories such as protected areas, reserve forests, public protected forests, community-conserved forests, community forests and other resource and land use areas. Therefore, KBAs accommodate different management systems including government, private, community-led and joint management. For this process KBAs were reviewed and updated in order to identify and prioritize investment opportunities for biodiversity conservation in Myanmar.

Identifying and Updating KBAs

KBAs were initially identified and updated based on stakeholder interviews, expert consultation and a literature review. A total of 76 KBAs were originally identified by Tordoff et al. 2005 (not including marine areas which were not considered), and a further 74 KBAs were identified by the stakeholder interviews conducted from October-December 2011. Information for these 150 KBAs was collated, analyzed and the preliminary results presented at the January 2012 stakeholder workshop. During the workshop information gaps were identified and follow-up information was collected. Based on this the KBAs were then reassessed and additional information collected.
Finally, a total of 132 KBAs were identified for Myanmar.

Assessing KBAs

KBAs were prioritized based on two criteria – Species-based Vulnerability and Site-based Vulnerability. KBAs were then assessed using the following information received from stakeholders. This information was then verified through expert consultations.

  • National status (Notified Protected Area – Terrestrial (NPA-T), Proposed Protected Area – Terrestrial (PPA-T), Notified Protected Area – Aquatic (NPA-A), Proposed Protected Area – Aquatic (PPA-A), Reserve Forest (RF), Public Protected Forest (PPF), etc.)
  • International status (ASEAN Heritage Park (AHP), Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance (RAMSAR), Important Bird Area (IBA), Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE), etc.)
  • Management (Managed by Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division (NWCD), Forest Department (FD), Department of Fisheries (DoF), General Administration Department (GAD) etc.)
  • Key species of mammals, birds, reptiles, plants and fishes in each KBA and their IUCN Red List status were identified. For each Red Listed species the occurrence of species were verified using the following four conditions:
    • Confirmed Occurrence (CO)– reliable records by a reliable observer, positive identifications of calls or specimen records of known provenance, older records with insignificant threats;
    • Suspected Occurrence (SO)– uncertain records by a reliable observer, anecdotal reports from local people, historical records with significant threats or model prediction;
    • Absent (AB)– the site with insufficient habitat to support a population and exhaustive surveys have failed to record the species;
    • Unknown (UK) – the status of the species is unknown although its occurrence was confirmed previously.
  • Levels of different threats were assessed giving scores of: Very High (5), High (4), Medium (3), Low (2), Very Low (1) and Unknown (0).

Prioritizing KBAs

Under the ideal situation, KBAs are prioritized using complete information of the following three criteria – Irreplaceability, Species-based Vulnerability and Site-based Vulnerability. As information is always limited in reality, information on key species population of all KBAs – irreplaceability – is not available for the Myanmar context. Therefore, KBAs were prioritized based on the available information of two criteria – Species-based Vulnerability and Site-based Vulnerability. Consequently, the priorities of KBAs can be subjected to reassessment in a gap analysis framework when additional information is received.

KBAs were prioritized based on the following steps.

  • Species-based Vulnerability or species scores were given as; Critically Endangered (CR) = 4, Endangered (EN) = 3, Vulnerable (VU) = 2, Near Threatened/ Least Concern (NT/LC) = 1 and Unknown/ No Information (UK) = 0
  • Site-based Vulnerability or threat scores were given as: Very High = 5, High = 4, Medium = 3, Low = 2, Very Low = 1 and Unknown/ No Information (UK) = 0
  • Site score is calculated by multiplying “species score” by “threat score”
  • KBA priorities are assigned as High (site score range 13-20), Medium (site score range 6-12.9), Low (site score range 1-5.9) and Data deficient (site score is 0) as shown in below:

Status of 132 Key Biodiversity Areas

National Status of KBAs #KBAs
Notified Protected Area – Terrestrial 32
Proposed Protected Area – Terrestrial 6
Notified Protected Area – Aquatic 3
Reserve Forest 20
Other Land Management Category 71
Total 132
International Status of KBAs #KBAs
ASEAN Heritage Park 6
RAMSAR Site 1
Important Bird Area 53
Alliance for Zero Extinction Site 3
Total 63
Management Status of KBAs #KBAs
Nature & Wildlife Conservation Division 21
Forest Department 37
Department of Fisheries 21
General Administration Department 7
Yangon City Development Committee 2
Other types of management 44
Total 132
Priority level of KBAs #KBAs
High Priority KBAs 42
Medium Priority KBAs 56
Low Priority KBAs 1
Data deficient KBAs 33
Total 132

Key Biodiversity Areas in Myanmar

Click on the key biodiversity area table names to learn more about each of them.

MIOBC_myanmar_kba_Eng_A4_9
Name Priority Area (Km2)
Alaungdaw Kathapa NP Medium 1,433
Ayeyarwady River (Bagan Section) High 342
Ayeyarwady River (Bhamo to Shwegu Section) High 200
Ayeyarwady River (Moda Section) High 303
Ayeyarwady River (Myitkyina to Sinbo Section) High 578
Ayeyarwady River (Sinbyugyun to Minbu Section) High 540
Ayeyarwady River (Singu Section) High 75
Bumhpabum WS Medium 2,939
Bwe Pa Data deficient 152
Central Bago Yoma Medium 3,951
Central Tanintharyi Coast Medium 3,318
Chatthin WS Medium 284
Chaungmon-Wachaung Medium 516
Dawna Range Data deficient 1,264
Fen-shui-ling Valley Data deficient 146
Gyobin Data deficient 161
Hkakaborazi NP Medium 4,313
Hpa-an Medium 115
Hponkanrazi WS Medium 2,803
Htamanthi WS High 2,542
Htaung Pru Data deficient 285
Hukaung Valley WS High 6,483
Indawgyi WS High 737
Inlay Wetland WS Medium 554
Kamaing High 588
Karathuri Data deficient 238
Kawthaung District Lowlands High 414
Kennedy Peak Data deficient 108
Kyaukpantaung WS Medium 129
Kyaukphyu (Wunbike) High 2,591
Kyee-ni Inn Data deficient 37
Lampi Island Marine NP High 274
Lenya NP High 1,846
Loimwe PA Data deficient 43
Mahamyaing WS Medium 1,204
Mahanandar Kan Low 78
Mainmahla Kyun WS Medium 145
Mawlamyine High 90
Mehon (Doke-hta Wady River) Data deficient 881
Minzontaung WS Medium 17
Momeik-Mabein Medium 2,821
Moyungyi Wetland WS Medium 103
Myaleik Taung High 37
Myinmoletkhat High 8,131
Myitkyina-Nandebad-Talawgyi Data deficient 554
Myittha Lakes Data deficient 37
Nadi Kan Data deficient 37
Nam Sam Chaung (Kachin State) Medium 458
Nam San Valley (Shan State) Data deficient 2,003
Natmataung NP High 1,100
Nat-yekan Medium 160
Ngawun/ Lenya NP (Extension) High 1,851
Ngwe Taung Data deficient 733
Ninety-six Inns High 587
North Zarmayi Data deficient 99
Northern Rakhine Yoma Data deficient 1,303
Pachan Medium 608
Panlaung Pyadalin Cave WS Data deficient 349
Paunglong Catchment Area Medium 2,550
Peleik Inn Medium 37
Rakhine Yoma Elephant Range High 1,713
Saramati Taung Medium 1,065
Shwe U Daung WS High 183
Shwesettaw WS Medium 497
Tanai River High 636
Taninthayi NP Data deficient 3,663
Taninthayi NR High 1,619
Taung Kan at Sedawgyi Data deficient 37
Thaungdut Data deficient 325
Upper Mogaung Chaung Basin High 188
Uyu River Medium 844
Yemyet Inn Medium 42
Zeihmu Range Data deficient 81
Ayeyarwady River (Bhamo) High 102
Ayeyarwady River (Shwegu) High 373
Babulon Htan Medium 1,896
Burmabank Medium 2,139
Gayetgyi Island High 13
Great Coco Island High 161
Gulf of Mottama High 1,307
Hlawga Park Medium 6
Hlawga Reservior Medium 23
Hukaung Valley WS (Extension) High 11,348
Indawgyi grassland and Indaw chaung wetland Medium 258
Irrawaddy Dolphin PA High 326
Kadongalay Island Medium 10
Kadonkani Medium 647
Kahilu WS Data deficient 127
Kaladan River High 199
Kelatha WS Medium 25
Khaing Thaung Island High 14
Kyaikhtiyoe WS Medium 137
Lwoilin/ Ginga mountain Data deficient 548
Maletto Inn Medium 386
Mali Hka Area Medium 5,129
Man Chaung Medium 3
Manaung Kyun (Marine) Medium 766
Maw She Medium 222
May Hka Area High 10,090
May Yu Medium 311
Mone Chaung Medium 15
Moscos Kyun WS High 57
Mulayit WS Data deficient 214
Myebon Data deficient 793
Myeik Archipelago High 31,664
Nantha Island High 11
Ngwe Saung Medium 411
North Lenyar Data deficient 2,650
North Zarmayi Elephant PA Medium 710
Oyster Island Medium 80
Parsar PA Data deficient 117
Pauk Area Medium 195
Payagyi Medium 2
Phokyar Elephant Camp Medium 100
Pidaung WS Medium 150
Popa Mountain Park Medium 98
Pyaungbya River Medium 154
Pyin-ah-lan High 295
Pyindaye High 1,323
Shark PA Data deficient 1,706
Shark PA Data deficient 11,734
Sheinmaga Tawyagyi High 0
Shinmataung Medium 24
Taunggyi B.S Data deficient 70
Taungtaman Inn Medium 7
Thamihla Kyun (Marine) Medium 86
Thamihla Kyun WS Medium 2
Twintaung Data deficient 8
U-do Medium 5
Upper Chindwin (Kaunghein-Padumone) High 45
Yaybawmee Data deficient 3,213
Yelegale Medium 83
Total 169,756