Karen Community Eastern Hoolock Gibbon Conservation Project
Karen communities in Myanmar are protective of gibbon and have established local organizations to engage in Gibbon conservation. PRCF supports those organizations and the Karen communities in Lar Carpenteri Gibbon conservation through mapping conservation priority areas and documenting their cultural traditions regarding Gibbons.
Gibbon habitat mapping
PRCF Myanmar has researched high priority areas for gibbon conservation and provided maps for local communities to use in their community action planning. These maps utilize information gathered from research and guide communities in conserving and restoring gibbon habitat.
We have provided maps to all 10 Karen communities with which we work. Each of these communities is currently in the process of creating action plans for conservation and forest restoration efforts.
Documenting cultural traditions
Karen communities have rich oral traditions and folklore about natural resources, forests, Gibbons, and their conservation. When we discovered these communities were concerned about these cultural values being lost, we began documenting the traditions to provide back to the communities.
We have documented cultural traditions of Karen communities and provided them with the resulting publications in their native language. Additionally, we have supported school essay and artwork competitions representing these cultural traditions.
Rakhine Yoma Elephant Wildlife Sanctuary Project
PRCF Myanmar has established community-based conservation initiatives in the Rakhine Yoma Wildlife Sanctuary to protect Western Hoolock Gibbon and Asian elephants. We support eight local villages in and near the wildlife sanctuary in establishing self-help groups, resource-use planning, increasing conservation and awareness, and launching a small grant program.
PRCF has helped local communities establish self-help groups in order to engage in conservation activities. These groups engage communities in conservation efforts that they can both plan and implement themselves, with guidance and support from PRCF along the way. By establishing self-help groups, PRCF empowers local communities to lead conservation efforts that protect endangered wildlife and support community sustainability.
We support the community self-help groups in resource-use planning by providing critical information and training, as well as facilitating the planning process. Resource-use plans are strategies and action plans to use the local natural resources sustainably in order to protect endangered wildlife and meet community needs. When local communities engage in the resource-planning process it increases the chances the plans will be successfully implemented.
Conservation education and awareness
PRCF Myanmar engages in conservation education and awareness to increase community knowledge of Hoolock gibbons, their habitats, and their needs. These activities involve collaboration with local schools to involve schoolchildren in creatively increasing community conservation awareness. These schools host artwork competitions focused on gibbon conservation that engage children in learning about gibbons, while providing adults an opportunity to view the conservation artwork.
Small grant program
We work with the established self-help groups to develop a savings and loans program that provide small grants to local villagers engaged in conservation efforts. These grants have been used to pilot sustainable agroforestry systems that improve local agriculture.
Gibbon and Asian Elephant
Pauk Sa Chin Gibbon Conservation Project
We work in the Pauk Sa Chin Landscape to support community-based conservation of globally endangered western hoolock gibbon. PRCF assists local communities in identifying and removing threats to gibbon through establishing and supporting village conservation groups and researching western hoolock gibbon.
Village conservation groups
PRCF Myanmar helps establish village conservation groups to engage locals in preserving wildlife and habitats near their communities. We have established six village conservation groups in and near the Pauk Sa Landscape.
Through these village conservation groups, we facilitate village conservation agreements, the development of village land use plans, creation of a community forestry licensing process, distribution of small village development grants, and community conservation awareness projects. Each of these activities supports community infrastructure for sustainable conservation efforts that will continue long after the PRCF project ends.
In order to better understand the conservation status and needs of western hoolock gibbon, PRCF Myanmar engages in gibbon population surveys and habitat mapping.Gibbon population surveys and group mapping of the Pauk Sa Landscape indicate there are at least five distinct groups of western hoolock gibbon living in the area.
Gibbon habitat mapping is conducted through field surveys, interviews with communities, and review of satellite images. These habitat maps support village conservation groups in prioritizing conservation areas and targeting conservation actions.