WWF-Myanmar in 2016

Media Round Up


Three Myanmar students won conservation related scholarship

Three Myanmar students won scholarship awarded by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) for pursuing their post graduate degree courses in abroad.

"It is very important to build capacity among Myanmar citizens for conserving world class biodiversity in the country," said William J. Possiel, Interim Country Director, WWF-Myanmar.

Further details in Burmese at: http://www.7daydaily.com/story/57319

© WWF-Myanmar / Zarni Phyo


Earth Hour call to switch off the lights in Myanmar

The WWF is to host its first ever Earth Hour event in Myanmar on March 19, shining a light on the future of renewable energy in the country.

Earth Hour is marked around the world by activists, governments and citizens who turn off the electricity for an hour to remind people of the need to cut the use of fossil fuels and protect the environment.

Further details at: http://www.mizzima.com/news-international/earth-hour-call-switch-lights-myanmar

First Earth Hour event will be organised in Myanmar

The first ever Earth Hour event in Myanmar will be organised by WWF on March 19 to promote renewable energy in the country.

During the event, WWF will screen a short film about its works on promoting renewable energy for Myanmar's power sector.

Further details in Burmese at: http://www.7daydaily.com/story/60042

A meteorologist became an ambassador for WWF

Well-known Myanmar meteorologist Dr. Tun Lwin was appointed as an ambassador for promoting WWF’s works in Myanmar.

"WWF’s vision is to utilise 100% renewable energy for electricity production in Myanmar. They appointed me as an ambassador to promote their vision among Myanmar people" said Dr Tun Lwin.

Further details in Burmese at: http://www.7daydaily.com/story/60822

© WWF-Myanmar / Zarni Phyo


'Human. Nature.' captures links between wildlife and livelihoods

The city-folk of Rangoon are in for a visual treat this week as a new photo exhibition, Human. Nature., opens at Myanmar Deitta gallery. Produced in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the show features works by award-winning photographer Minzayar, who ventured into southeastern Burma’s wilderness to capture the links between nature and livelihoods.

Further details at: http://www.dvb.no/news/wildlife-livelihoods/66210

Photo exhibition captures Myanmar’s remarkable – and threatened – landscapes

An exhibition of photographs showcasing Myanmar’s relationship with nature, and the threats facing some of its most extraordinary landscapes, will be displayed at Myanmar Deitta in Yangon from May 20 to June 3.

Further details in Burmese as they didn’t publish English version of this article online at: http://myanmar.mmtimes.com/index.php/timeout/19271-2016-05-25-07-39-29.html

© WWF-Sweden / Ola Jennersten


Conservation ministry takes aim at Mong La wildlife trade

Authorities plan to shut down a notorious market where exotic animal parts are sold openly, an official said yesterday, as Southeast Asia struggles to stem a billion-dollar wildlife trade fueled by Chinese demand.

"We are planning to close the market. But without [cooperation from] local people and local police, we won't be successful," U Kyaw San Naing, the director of Myanmar’s conservation ministry, told AFP.

WWF-Myanmar yesterday welcomed the news that steps were being taken to shutter Mong La.

“It is an important step toward addressing the illegal wildlife trade in Myanmar and the Golden Triangle, and WWF will continue to work with the Myanmar government and other conservation organisations to ensure that further steps are taken to tackle wildlife crime,” said country director Christy Williams.

Further details at: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/20731-conservation-ministry-takes-aim-at-mong-la-wildlife-trade.html

WWF praises govt bid to end Mong La’s wildlife trade

The news followed President Htin Kyaw’s proclamation on Sunday, World Environment Day, that eradicating illicit animal trafficking would be a priority for the new National League for Democracy (NLD) administration, in line with the theme of this year’s UN-sponsored global commemoration.

“The Myanmar government deserves credit for shining a spotlight on the illegal wildlife trade in Myanmar and the Golden Triangle,” said Dr Christy Williams, the WWF country director for Burma, in a statement on Wednesday.

“The trade in wildlife devastates endangered populations and destabilises economic development and security. WWF will work with the Myanmar government and other conservation organisations to ensure that further steps are taken to tackle illegal wildlife crime.”

Nick Cox, WWF’s conservation manager for Burma, told DVB the organisation’s assistance would include “supporting market surveys, researching trade routes, raising awareness about wildlife laws, supporting gathering information for law enforcement, training law enforcement agencies, and reviewing policies and legislation for possible improvements.”

Further details at: http://www.dvb.no/news/wwf-praises-govt-bid-end-wildlife-trade-mong-la/66927

© WWF-Myanmar / Minzayar


Policy and Framework for Green Economy to Finalise before End of This Year

Policy and strategic framework to create a green economy infrastructure based on Myanmar's current economic outlook will be finalised before the end of this year.

Since December 2015, green economic policies and strategic framework had been drafted and will be finalised in November, Director General of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, U Kyaw San Naing, said.

WWF-Myanmar urged related governmental departments to organise and coordinate foreign direct investment to have as little negative environmental impact as possible, Green Economy Project Officer of WWF-Myanmar, U Sai Nay Wun Myint, told Myanmar Business Today.

"Policy and strategic framework is essential. No specific policy and framework creates difficulties for the government to handle the environmental impact," he said.

Further details at: http://www.mmbiztoday.com/articles/policy-and-framework-green-economy-finalise-end-year

Nature under threat

A monk who campaigns to save forests features in an exhibition hosted by WWF to coincide with a report on the benefits of preserving Myanmar’s rich diversity of flora and fauna.

“We have to love Mother Nature and appreciate how it benefits us human beings, especially now that nature is under threat,” said U Pyinnyar Wuntha, as he strolled through the dense forest near the Dhamma Rakhita Monastery where he lives in Tanintharyi Region.

Pyinnyar Wuntha is one of the people featured in a photo exhibition called “Human. Nature.” hosted by WWF, to highlight the importance of Myanmar’s natural resources.

The exhibition was held in Yangon from May 20 to June 3 to promote the launch of a WWF report called “Natural Connections: How natural capital benefits Myanmar’s people and economy”. As its title suggests, the exhibition aimed to highlight the benefits created by the country’s natural resources.

Further details at: http://frontiermyanmar.net/en/nature-under-threat

Wild elephant census to be conducted amid fears of rising human-elephant confrontations

In response to reports of human-elephant conflict across Myanmar, the forestry department held a workshop with international conservation groups on July 8 to review an action plan.

The groups agreed on the need to conduct an elephant population assessment, to investigate the community-specific drivers of conflict, to raise awareness, and to educate communities and authorities about human-elephant conflict (HEC).

“With increasing habitat loss and rising levels of HEC, elephant conservation in Myanmar is a challenge no one group can address alone,” said Nick Cox, conservation program manager with WWF-Myanmar.

Further details at: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/21374-wild-elephant-census-to-be-conducted-amid-fears-of-rising-human-elephant-confrontations.html

Conservation organisations to address human-elephant conflicts in Myanmar

A project to address human-elephant conflicts in Myanmar will be implemented with four main activities, namely elephant census, observing key forces for the conflicts, raising awareness on human-elephant conflicts and educating local communities.

“Human-elephant conflicts happen more frequently in Myanmar because of losing habitats. This is a challenge which cannot be addressed without collaborating efforts,” said Nick Cox, Conservation Programme Manager of WWF-Myanmar.

Further details in Burmese at: http://www.7daydaily.com/story/69791 


WWF funds education fellowships

An international environmental advocacy group is to give tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to allow Myanmar students to pursue their studies. World Wide Fund for Nature Myanmar will present the Education for Nature fellowship awards next March.

U Win Maung Aye, one of the successful PhD applicants, said, "Students who live in developing countries like Myanmar can't easily afford to go abroad to study. This program will provide an opportunity for further study. I’m very glad that WWF is allowing students in developing countries to help maintain their countries’ natural resources."

Further details at: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/22603-wwf-funds-education-fellowships.html

From saving energy to environmental conservation

An initiative called “energy efficient week” was launched in No. 15, Than Taman Street of Yangon in late August. By changing energy wasting small habits in the office, they have successfully reduced 3% of their weekly electricity consumption.

The small things they have done are switching off electronic devices when they are not needed, using energy efficient devices and taking care of air conditioners which are responsible for the majority of electricity consumption. WWF has shared their success story on their Facebook page.

Further details in Burmese at: http://www.7daydaily.com/story/74867

© KWCI / WWF-Myanmar


Myanmar highlighted as a priority hub in ending tiger trade

The illicit trade in tiger skins and parts has continued unabated in Asia, with Myanmar considered a trading hub rife with unregulated markets and lax enforcement, two wildlife conservation groups said in a new report.

Despite environmental groups' efforts, there has been no decline in tiger trafficking across Asia since 2000, the report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and TRAFFIC revealed. On average, more than two tigers are seized by traffickers per week.

"Tiger trade at Mong La [on the China-Myanmar border] has increased threefold between 2006 and 2014," Nick Cox, conservation director of WWF-Myanmar, said in a statement.

“Strengthening law enforcement and closing these markets is essential if we are to keep this iconic species,” he added.

Further details at: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/22964-myanmar-highlighted-as-a-priority-hub-in-ending-tiger-trade.html

© Karen Information Centre


KNU and WWF signed an MOU for conservation

Karen National Union (KNU) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has signed an MOU on November 8 for collaboration in biodiversity conservation in KNU controlled area.

Padoh Mahn Man Man, Joint Secretary 2 of KNU and Christy Williams, Country Director of WWF-Myanmar has signed the MOU to collaborate forest and biodiversity conservation in the area.

"Our main vision is to help Karen people to be able to protect their own forests by collaborating with Karen Forest Department and bringing technical expertise from abroad," said Christy Williams.

Further details in Burmese at: http://kicnews.org/2016/11/%E1%80%9E%E1%80%98%E1%80%AC%E1%80%9D-%E1%80%95%E1%80%90%E1%80%B9%E1%80%9D%E1%80%94%E1%80%B9%E1%80%B8%E1%80%80%E1%80%BA%E1%80%84%E1%80%B9%E1%80%86%E1%80%AF%E1%80%AD%E1%80%84%E1%80%B9%E1%80%9B%E1%80%AC/

KNU Signs Forestry Memorandum with WWF

Burma's oldest ethnic armed group, the Karen National Union (KNU), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the World Wide Fund for Nature Myanmar (WWF) to protect forests in KNU-controlled territories.

“The objective is to protect and restore forests and wildlife in KNU areas,” Padoh Mahn Ba Tun, head of the KNU’s Forestry Department, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.

Employees of the KNU’s forestry department will work together with the WWF in training and conducting research.

“They [WWF] will bring academics, researchers and will provide technical and financial support to us,” said Mahn Ba Tun.

Further details at: http://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/knu-signs-forestry-memorandum-with-wwf.html

WWF coordinated for conservation projects in KNU controlled territory

WWF and KNU have signed an MOU for conservation projects in KNU controlled territory within Dawei district. Padoh Mahn Man Man, Joint Secretary 2 of KNU and Christy Williams, Country Director of WWF-Myanmar has signed the MOU to collaborate forest and biodiversity conservation in the area.

“WWF has already signed an MOU with Union Government for our conservation projects in Myanmar and legally registered as a non-government organisation in the country. This MOU was signed for more mutual understanding and collaboration between WWF and KNU,” said Ye Min Thwin, Communications Officer of WWF-Myanmar.

Further details in Burmese at: http://www.7daydaily.com/story/80497

KNU, WWF ink pact

An international conservationist group and a major ethnic armed group have signed an agreement to preserve the environment. The Karen National Union (KNU) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Myanmar signed the memorandum of understanding to protect wildlife in a zone controlled by the KNU in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on November 8.

“The KNU central committee and its forestry department signed the agreement with the WWF to bring benefits to our land,” said Pado Saw Kwal Htoo Win, KNU general secretary.

“The agreement will preserve nature and wildlife in the KNU-controlled area. It’s a first step toward understanding between the KNU and WWF,” said Ko Ye Min Thwin, WWF Myanmar communications officer.

Further details at: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/23625-knu-wwf-ink-pact.html

Drugs, money and wildlife in Myanmar's most secret state

The remote Wa region of Shan state in Myanmar's east is a place few outsiders have seen. The people who live in this unofficial, effectively autonomous state within Myanmar used to be called the Wild Wa, and as the BBC's Jonah Fisher found, drugs, money and the wildlife trade are flourishing.

On almost every street was a shop selling the parts of endangered animals.

Tiger teeth and skulls, elephant tusks and pangolin skins were all openly on sale. The women behind the counter tell us that most of their customers are Chinese and that delivery across the border can easily be arranged.

Myanmar's most famous wildlife market, Mong La, is just 100km (62 miles) away, but what is striking about Panghsan is how organised and high-end it is.

These shops are not market stalls, but supermarkets of endangered animals' parts. A previously undocumented gateway into the lucrative Chinese market.

We film the shops discreetly with our mobile phones before showing the footage to Nick Cox from the World Wildlife Fund when we return to Yangon.

"It shows that there are more markets than we were previously aware of," he says. "To see a market with such high-end stores selling highly finished products of critically endangered species show this problem isn't going anywhere.

"There is still a massive demand and people have a lot of money to spend on these products."

Further details at: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-37996473

Myanmar is an illegal wildlife trade hub in the region, WWF said

Government run local TV channel, MRTV, has picked up our press release sent out prior to the Hanoi conference and broadcast in their news section.

They have highlighted Nick’s comments, “Myanmar is a critical transit country and illegal wildlife trade hub, Illegal trade of all forms is thriving in the border region markets, tiger trade in Mong La alone has increased threefold between 2006 and 2014” and “Strengthening law enforcement and closing the markets as soon as possible is essential if Myanmar is to keep its wildlife. This is no easy task, as many of these areas are outside the control of the Union Government. WWF is here to support the government in this aim.”

Please see the video clip at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBYbAQLlCwU

Govt agrees to crack down on wildlife trade in borderlands

Myanmar was among more than 40 countries that signed on to a declaration last week in Vietnam agreeing to ramp up efforts to stem the illegal wildlife trade.

Initiatives to that end will include a collection of “market information regarding the illegal wildlife trade along Mandalay-Muse Road, the major wildlife trafficking route in Myanmar, to understand the trafficking networks”, and updates to conservation laws including increases in fines for violators.

“It is a good start but we have a long way to go before Myanmar’s wildlife and natural heritage is safe,” said the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Myanmar’s wildlife trade manager, Kristina Rodia, in a statement on November 21.

Further details at: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/23840-govt-agrees-to-crack-down-on-wildlife-trade-in-borderlands.html

A Very short summarised version of that news was also published in Burmese Edition too. http://myanmar.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/mandalay-upper-myanmar/23030-2016-11-24-05-16-54.html

Myanmar committed to participate in global effort to fight against illegal wildlife trade

World's countries including Myanmar has committed to participate in the global effort during illegal wildlife trade conference in Hanoi, Vietnam. 

“Strengthening law enforcement and closing the markets as soon as possible is essential if Myanmar is to keep its wildlife. This is no easy task, as many of these areas are outside the control of the Union Government. WWF is here to support the government in this aim." said Nick Cox, Conservation Director, WWF-Myanmar.

Further details in Burmese at: http://www.7daydaily.com/story/81677

Increasing in illegal wildlife trade threatening species to extinct

Trafficking and illegal trading of wildlife are thriving in the border areas and it was confirmed by seeing several big stores that are selling multiple species.

“Illegal wildlife trade is rampant in border areas and no longer confined to market stalls; recent footage from Panghsan showed high-end stores trading in huge quantities of endangered species. WWF would like to work with the Myanmar Government and other key stakeholders to close this and other illegal trade border markets,” said Kristina Rodina, Wildlife Trade Manager, WWF-Myanmar.

U Kyaw San Naing, Director from Minister’s Office (Environment) of MONREC, said that the government is planning to close the notorious Mong La Market according to the commitment in the Hanoi declaration.

Further details in Burmese at: http://thevoicemyanmar.com/news/3997-localnews

Infrastructure boom threatening tigers

Urbanisation and infrastructure development are posing an unprecedented and escalating threat to Asia’s tiger population, a new report by the World Wildlife Fund warns.

“Myanmar is at the heart of this analysis,” said U Win Myint, WWF-Myanmar’s government policy relations manager, “The proposed Dawei road development cuts right through the last remaining tiger territory in the Greater Mekong region.”

“Infrastructure is essential for Myanmar’s development, but we need to ensure it is sustainable and does not come at the expense of tigers and their landscape,” he added.

“Not only do Myanmar’s tigers face the threat of infrastructure, they are also caught in the centre of Asia’s illegal wildlife trade, with Myanmar being both a transit country and trading hub,” said U Paing Soe, conservation biologist with WWF Myanmar.

Further details at: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/23942-infrastructure-boom-threatening-tigers.html

Infrastructure boom could be end of the road for tigers

WWF warns that roads and infrastructure boom in tiger habitats become a thread to last wild tigers’ survival.

WWF’s recent study highlighted that the last population of wild tigers can go extinct unless Myanmar and other tiger range countries in Asia adopt sustainable ways of infrastructure planning and development.

Further details in Burmese at: http://www.7daydaily.com/story/81934

Asian infrastructure boom could be end of the road for tigers, a study says

While poaching and habitat loss are threatening tiger populations in the wild, WWF's new report says coming years' infrastructure boom in Asia will become a next big threat for tigers.

WWF warns that 11,000 km (6800 miles) of roads and railroads are planned to meet Asia's huge need in infrastructure development and historic tiger habitats in danger.

Further details in Burmese at: http://news-eleven.com/international/28399


Scientists discover over 150 new species in the Mekong

A rainbow headed snake, a tiny frog and a lizard with dragon-like horns are among more than 150 new species confirmed by scientists last year in the ecologically diverse but threatened Mekong region, researchers said yesterday.

"The Greater Mekong region is a magnet for the world's conservation scientists because of the incredible diversity of species that continue to be discovered here," Jimmy Borah, from WWF’s Greater Mekong team, said.

“They are racing against time to ensure that these newly discovered species are protected.”

Further details at: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/24286-scientists-discover-over-150-new-species-in-the-mekong.html

Environmental Minister received Country Director of WWF-Myanmar

H. E. U Ohn Win, Union Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation has received Dr. Christy Williams, Country Director of WWF-Myanmar in Union Minister’s office, Nay Pyi Taw on December 16. H. E. U Ohn Win discussed about cooperation in environmental conservation, tackling illegal wildlife trade in the country, fund raising from international donors, opportunities to learn from other countries’ experiences, technical support for managing mining and rubber plantation in Tanintharyi Region and cooperation for implementing National Tiger Action Plan.

Please see the video clip at: https://youtu.be/ec5-OfaXJWQ

160 new species discovered in Mekong region including Myanmar

WWF announced that 163 new species including a new species from Chin Hills of Myanmar has discovered in Greater Mekong region.

WWF said that new species of 9 amphibians, 11 fishes, 14 reptiles, 126 plants and 3 mammals were discovered in Greater Mekong countries, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Further details in Burmese at: http://www.7daydaily.com/story/84057