In Myanmar, we currently implement activities through two local non-government organizations. In western Myanmar, at the ongoing Rakhine Yoma Range program site and the proposed Kyauk Pan Taung and Natmataung program sites of Chin state, we implement through Friends of Wildlife (FOW). In eastern Myanmar’s Karen state, at the Khe Shor Ter landscape site, we carry out activities through the Thailand-based Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN).
Friends of Wildlife (FoW)
Friends of Wildlife was established in 2007 by ex-staff of the Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division of the Forest Department (Myanmar). It is a non-profit, non-political, and non-religious, non-government organization that focuses on wildlife conservation.
Friends of Wildlife was officially recognized by the Myanmar Ministry of Home Affairs in March 2012, with organization registration number 1968. Friends of Wildlife is a member of IUCN, and its mission is to work with government, national and international non-government organizations, local communities, and universities to protect Myanmar’s highly threatened wildlife and its habitat, particularly those species that are endemic to, and can only be protected in Myanmar.
Friends of Wildlife aims to achieve its mission through interventions that include livelihood diversification, environmental education, community participation, research and surveying species for conservation, and public outreach.
Karen Environmental and Social Action Network (KESAN)
KESAN is a community based organisation with a central office in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It implements project activities on the Thai Burma border and in Karen and Kachin states in Myanmar.
For the past eight years KESAN has been working towards improving rural livelihood security using an approach that empowers and educates communities and institutions to sustain existing indigenous knowledge and practices to use and manage forest resources for the long term benefit of the community. KESAN also plays a leading role in addressing environmental and development concerns in environmental law and policy formulation in preparation for the post transition period in Myanmar.
KESAN networks with local, regional and international organisations towards increased recognition of local and indigenous peoples rights to use and manage their natural resources for sustainable development. KESAN’s vision is that Karen indigenous people in Myanmar live peacefully in a healthy environment and actively participate in maintaining ecological balance and livelihood security.