HOME

NEWS

CHARITIES

VOLUNTEER

ACTION CENTER

ADD CHARITY

CONTACT

SUPPORT

World Environment Community Health Animals Celebrity Submit A Site Find A Charity
China-backed dam project may threaten Myanmar wildlife sanctuary

voanews.com

38 days ago   Article ID# 4092045
Original URL

 

World Wide Fund for Nature

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA (voanews.com) - Environmental activists say plans for a large dam threaten wildlife sanctuaries in Myanmar’s northern Karen state.

China would finance the proposed Hatgyi dam on Southeast Asia’s Salween River. The Sinohydro company of China and Thailand’s Electricity Generating Authority are building the dam.

The Salween is the longest river in Southeast Asia that does not have a major dam. Now, developers want to build seven dams on the main part of the river.

Saw Paul Sein Twa is the executive director of the Karen Environmental and Social Action Network, or KESAN. He says the proposed dam project should be stopped. He says his group needs to study the wildlife in the area.

“The dam will flood the area where we have found so many species -- including tigers -- that we need to really preserve. We need to do more research and survey to find out their status,” he said.

-Species under threat-

Researchers wrote about the sanctuary last month in the Oryx Journal. They studied the area over a period of five years. They found that many tigers, leopards, Asian black bears and elephants live in the wildlife sanctuary area.

The researchers said the Karen people need help in their effort to protect, in their words, “one of Southeast Asia’s last intact rich and diverse ecosystems.”

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says at least 17 of the 31 species found in the area are threatened or in danger of disappearing.

Groups including the World Wide Fund for Nature, zoological associations from Scotland and Europe and Australia’s Wildlife Asia have supported the five-year study.

Clare Campbell is the director of Wildlife Asia. She said protecting the area from threats like development and poaching requires international help. She told VOA that “threats are emerging all the time.”

Teams of local Karen people help guard the area. A program to protect the sanctuary against poaching led to the creation of the groups.

Campbell said the anti-poaching teams want to expand the areas they protect.

-Political factors-

The government of Myanmar has reached cease-fire agreements with several ethnic armies, including the Karen one. And more developers are entering the country, following government reforms and increased political calm.

But the reduction in conflict has led to an increase in attacks on animals. Since 2012, Myanmar has reported an increase in yearly elephant poaching. Officials blame the increase on the demand for animal parts. Demand is especially high in China.

Conservationists fear that China’s growing influence in Myanmar may cause the Karen leadership to stop supporting the sanctuary.

During recent cease-fire talks, a top Karen rebel visited China. He was the first such leader to do so.

Saw Paul says some experts are worried that the Karen leadership may end their support for the sanctuary, especially since China is backing the dam project.

VOA was unable to talk with Karen officials.

In an effort to stop the government from supporting the Hatgyi dam, the Karen have launched the Karen Wildlife Conservation Initiative, or KWCI.

The KWCI brings together the Karen Forestry Department, KESAN and Wildlife Asia. The group has named an area -- including the place where the dam is to be built -- a Karen cultural and community reserve and wildlife sanctuary.

Copyright 2017 voanews.com   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 38 days ago   Article ID# 4092045

World Wide Fund for Nature    Visit Website

More News

Brazil moves to cut Amazon conservation units by 1.2 million hectares

9 days ago From mongabay.com 

MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ...

Save the rhino from (Liam) Fox: Andy Murray and Anna Friel spearhead campaign to protect endangered species wildlife fund after Brexit

10 days ago From dailymail.co.uk 

LONDON, U K - ...

Illegal shipment of rhinoceros horns seized by Malaysian officials

17 days ago From uk.blastingnews.com 

LONDON, U K - ...

Three arrested for trafficking 159 ivory tusks

46 days ago From panda.org 

GLAND, SWITZERLAND - ...

New bill aims to cut protection to 1M hectares of Brazilian rainforest

49 days ago From mongabay.com 

MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA - ...

Go to page:   1    2  3  4  5  6  7  Next >> 

View All Actions >>

Climate
Oceans
Deforestation
Pollution
Wildlife
<< Return To Environment News

Action Center

CO2 levels just reached 410 ppm – the highest in millions of years

Action: Climate Change

Remember when carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere hit a terrifying 400 parts per million (ppm)? That’s number’s old ...

Save Florida's pine rocklands

Action: Wildlife Conservation

Pine rockland forests, which provide habitat for rare and imperiled species, are increasingly scarce in South Florida outside ...

Status of forests is 'dire' as world marks 2017 Earth Day

Action: Stop Deforestation

They cover a third of the world’s landmass, help to regulate the atmosphere, and offer shelter, sustenance and survival to mi ...

Nearly 40 million people live in UK areas with illegal air pollution

Action: Stop Pollution

Nearly 40 million people in the UK are living in areas where illegal levels of air pollution from diesel vehicles risk damagi ...

Plans to drill for oil near newly discovered Amazon Reef alarm scientists

Action: Save Our Oceans

This time last year, scientists announced the discovery of a reef system at the mouth of the Amazon River that they said is q ...

View All Actions >>

 

 

Charities

News

Follow Us

Support

Find A Charity

Action Center

World

Community

Facebook

Twitter Support

Contact

Volunteer

Add A Site

Environment

Animals

Google+

Privacy Policy

Copyright

 

 

Health

Celebrity

Terms of Service

Copyright © The Charity Vault All rights reserved.