Saving nature amid civil conflict and military rule


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RULED by a military junta, Myanmar, previously known as Burma1 is a paradox in more ways than one. The largest country in mainland South East Asia, it is also one of the most reclusive in the world.2 Often referred to as ‘The Golden Land’, the country has plunged from being one of the richest economies in Asia during the first half of the 20th century to becoming one of the poorest countries in the world.3

A largely rural, and densely forested country,4 Myanmar is the world’s largest exporter of teak and a principal source of precious metals such as jade, pearls, rubies and sapphires. A lush, fertile country, once the largest exporter of rice, is currently faced with high levels of malnutrition and scarcity.5 Despite being endowed with rich natural resources, extremely fertile soil6 and important offshore oil and gas deposits, economic prosperity for the common people has remained elusive.7 It remains one of the poorest countries in the region with a per capita Gross National Income (2004) of US$ 220 compared to richer neighbours such as Thailand (US$2490) or India (US$620).8


A plethora of historical and contemporary factors have contributed to the current state of affairs. For instance, there is much written about peasant resistance to colonial British policies and impacts of those policies on agricultural productivity and economic development.9 Colonial rulers usually ignored the customary use of the land and opportunistically acquired land. Colonial legacies continued to influence economic policies post-independence. The most significant land problems in Myanmar remain those associated with landlessness, rural poverty and inequality of access to resources.10


The military junta that assumed power in 1988 elicited widespread international condemnation and crippling economic sanctions. Military-run enterprises control key industries and foreign investment is selective and generally very limited.11 The government’s five year plan for 2006-2010 calls for average GDP growth rates of 10%, to be achieved through higher agricultural production, new gas fields, and increases in hydro-power generation. However, the Asian Development Bank reports continued inflation and suggests few indications of macroeconomic stability.12

Within the context of continuing poverty, grim economic prospects and widespread international censure, this essay raises an issue that could be viewed by some as potentially irrelevant – that of biodiversity conservation. Is there opportunity for a constructive dialogue on nature conservation in Myanmar at this time? International attention focused largely on pressing socio-political, economic, and humanitarian issues, scarcely recognizes the country’s unique biodiversity and the significant potential for conservation. But, high species diversity and endemism, together with vast intact landscapes, make Myanmar one of the most important South East Asian mainland countries for biodiversity conservation.13 The following sections will tease out some of the main factors that influence the need for serious consideration, the issue of nature conservation in Myanmar.


Myanmar is among the most biologically diverse countries in mainland South East Asia mainly due to the very wide variation in latitude, altitude and climate within the country. Largely on account of its distinctive biogeography, the country is endowed with globally significant ecosystems widely recognized as high priorities for conservation.

Myanmar also contains one of the largest expanses of contiguous natural forests14 remaining in the region.15 Parts of Myanmar especially regions in the extreme north and south of the country appear to be vast areas with very low human influence.16 Many of these relatively intact areas are in remote, rugged terrain in physically inaccessible areas or under the control of insurgent armies.


Many globally endangered species of flora and fauna occur in Myanmar and recent surveys have led to the discovery of several new species.17 The world’s smallest deer and perhaps one of the most primitive, known as the leaf deer by local hunters was discovered during an expedition to North Myanmar in 1997. The species when discovered was new to science. In addition, geographical range extensions have been recorded for species such as the bumblebee bat (the smallest mammal in the world)18 and the black muntjac.19 As recently as 2003, a survey rediscovered the critically endangered Gurney’s Pitta and established that the world’s largest population of the species occurred in the Tanintharyi region of southern Myanmar.20

Although Myanmar exports millions of dollars worth of rattan cane each year, little is known about the collection and trade of this important forest resource. Results from a recent study of rattans in the Hukaung Valley Tiger Reserve in northern Myanmar recorded seven new species for Myanmar and two species new to science. The current pattern of rattan exploitation is largely uncontrolled and will eventually lead to resource depletion unless some form of management is implemented.21


Prevailing political and economic conditions together with colonial legacies of natural resource extraction have been responsible for the unsustainable exploitation of natural resources.22 The export of valuable commercial teak, precious metals and natural gas has helped earn precious hard currency while being responsible for significant degradation of natural resources through deforestation and mining. Thus, while Myanmar continues to be a regional stronghold for closed canopy forests, several areas have been experiencing serious deforestation.23 The countrywide annual net deforestation rate of 0.2% corresponds to the global average, yet there is much cause for concern. There are three main processes of forest clearing that are occurring: broad-scale conversion and degradation of forests,24 unplanned and unrestricted rural agricultural expansion through shifting cultivation,25 and conversion to commercial oil palm plantations, especially in southern Myanmar threatening a major biodiversity hotspot.26

Myanmar’s dry dipterocarp forests are degrading and disappearing rapidly, yet little information exists on the ecosystem’s current extent or rate of loss. As can be expected, brisk exploitation of resources for immediate economic gains is common. In addition to the continuing loss of habitat, indiscriminate overexploitation of wild animal and plant resources for subsistence and commercial use has depleted important wildlife populations in many accessible areas.27 Over the past century, habitat loss and prey depletion, coupled with direct exploitation for traditional medicines, have reduced tiger populations, once common enough to be considered as pests to a few hundred individuals.28 Eld’s deer is an endemic and nearly extinct species that may still occur in unknown areas of dry dipterocarp forests in Southeast Asia including Myanmar. Severe hunting pressure and rapid loss of habitat could spell doom for the Eld’s deer population in the country.29


Pressures on natural resources in Myanmar can be expected to accelerate in the near future fuelled by the growing economic relationships between Myanmar and its neighbours. Despite international sanctions, the economic giants in the region, India and China have expanded trade relationships with Myanmar for political and economic gains. China has been the country’s long-time ally and its meteoric rise in economic power can be expected to benefit the regime in Myanmar. China’s annual timber product imports from Myanmar more than tripled between 1997 and 2002.30 Although imports from Myanmar comprise just over 2% of China’s total timber product imports, the nascent increase in logging activities along the Chinese border in Myanmar has been highly concentrated in natural forests in Myanmar’s northern Kachin state, and the ecological impacts of these activities are not captured in timber product import volumes.31


Thirsty for energy to fuel its own fast growing economy and identifying lucrative opportunities for economic gains, India switched its policy toward Myanmar from antagonism to friendship. Other countries in the region such as Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore continue to trade with Myanmar for resources such as natural gas and timber providing the country with much-valued hard currency. Forests in the southern Tanintharyi division are under severe pressures for conversion to oil palm plantations.32 Large-scale and unregulated commercial exploitation can quickly deplete natural resources with negative repercussions for many local communities who may be subsistence users. Pressures on Myanmar’s natural resources, including its wild flora and fauna, can be expected to grow with increasing demand from neighbouring countries. There is thus a critical need for effective protection of natural resources for the benefit of dependent local communities and to save unique biodiversity that is in rapid decline in other parts of the region.


Protected areas widely recognized as being the cornerstones of biodiversity conservation have a long history in Myanmar.33 The Buddhist tradition of establishing sacred areas that prohibit hunting has continued since the 11th century AD with the introduction of Buddhism. Burmese kings designated ‘threat free’ forest areas (bemetaw) where all animals were protected. In 1860, King Mindon established the first documented protected area, Yadanabon Bemetaw, covering 7088 hectares in the vicinity of the Mandalay palace. Twenty years later, King Theebaw (1878-85) issued a royal decree, giving safe sanctuary to animal life in his kingdom which included all of upper Burma.34

Under the British colonial rule, game animals and birds were ‘protected’ in reserved forests but allowed to be hunted with a license. These forests were owned by the state and managed for teak and other hardwood extraction with limited access to the general public. Protected areas were generally superimposed on reserved forests and took their early roots as game sanctuaries.


Due to significant expanses of unprotected forested habitat, Myanmar has long been recognized for its potential for expansion of the protected-area system.35 In 1963, O. Milton and J. Estes extolled the opportunities for park creation in Myanmar: ‘The comparative ease with which Burma could establish a National Parks programme is likely to excite envy from more industrialized and densely populated states, where natural resources are so hard-pressed that creating and maintaining a park involves an endless contest with ill-advised commercial development. What a contrast here, where the only real problem in acquiring park lands would be choosing from among a great many equally desirable locations.’36

The statement gives the impression of abundant and uncontested opportunities for park creation in Myanmar which compared to other countries, was quite relevant at the time. However, protected areas in Myanmar despite growing in number and extent, have been historically beleaguered. Most importantly, the primacy of forestry as the predominant form of land use has historically relegated protected areas, and complex issues associated with forestry in Myanmar inevitably influence the effectiveness of protected areas for conserving biodiversity.37 Myanmar’s identity has always been inextricably entwined with its rich, timber-laden forests. Books about Myanmar written in colonial times by anthropologists, missionaries, travel writers or colonial officials invariably featured some reference to the country’s vast and dense forests.38 Lydekker wrote about big game hunting in Myanmar referring to it as a ‘rather monotonous form of sport as the forests are so vast and the game so scattered and not as accessible as in India.39


Ironically, the romanticized notion of Myanmar’s forests is in stark contrast to the reality of their political significance. From pre-colonial times to the present day, forests have been politically relevant as an integral element in nationalism, warfare and brutal resistance in addition to being a critically important resource to be exploited for economic development.40 The seemingly ‘endless’ expanses of forests have constituted the primary axis of state control and represented the roots of civil conflict.

Thus, at the time of establishment of the first wildlife sanctuary in 1918, popular resistance to forest regulation was on the rise due to loss of customary rights to timber and non-timber forest products in protected forests that had been established for public benefit. The colonial forest department sought to control forest activities in order to further diverse political, economic and ecological objectives within a context of affording higher priority to imperial interests over local concerns.41 Wildlife sanctuaries prohibited all forms of customary use by local people; however, flawed management, under-staffing, fiscal stringency, and inability to deal effectively with village needs threatened the integrity of the newly created parks.42 Sanctuaries thus failed to protect wildlife and foresters and non-foresters entered a debate about declining wildlife and protected area practices.43


By 1930, a total of six protected areas constituted approximately 531 square miles, an almost negligible 0.20% of the land area. Neither wildlife nor protected areas were a priority in the two decades following World War II which saw no increase in the protected area system. It wasn’t until the early 1980s that the government undertook a refurbishment of the protected area system given the poor status of parks and rapidly declining wildlife, through the FAO-UNDP’s Nature Conservation and National Parks Project (1981-1985). At this time, the government established the Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division and placed it within the Forest Department as the agency responsible for protected area management.

The land area covered by protected areas has grown partly due to ceasefires between the government and ethnic groups. Between 1993 and 2003, the government set aside approximately 15,000 km2 in 16 protected areas. Of special significance was the designation of Hkakaborazi National Park (3812 km2) in 2001 which set a precedent for the designation of large parks such as Hpongkhan Razi Wildlife sanctuary (2,704 km2); Tanintharyi National Park (2,072 km2) and Bumphabum Wildlife Sanctuary (1,854 km2).

In 2004, by notifying the Hukaung Valley Tiger Reserve covering a vast area of 21,802 km2, the government created the largest tiger reserve in the world, a reserve that is approximately ten times the size of either the Sunderbans (2585 km2) or Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (2840 km2) in India and comparable in size to the Western Forest Complex in Thailand (18,000 km2).


Currently, the extent of area protected, at least on paper, is close to 7% of the land area. Contrary to expectations, the growth in area protected does not translate to improved effectiveness. In a survey of 31 protected areas, Rao et al.44 showed that many protected areas lacked trained staff, infrastructure, delineated park boundaries or enforcement activities, and were besieged by threats such as hunting, mining, shifting cultivation and other forms of irreversible habitat degradation. Aung categorized 13 protected areas as ‘paper parks’ – those that were ‘legally protected’ but lacked adequate management.45

Some of these (older) parks are highly degraded and can barely justify their inclusion within the protected area system. For example, Myanmar’s oldest protected area, Pidaung Wildlife Sanctuary notified in 1913 had been set aside for very special reasons- to protect a unique mix of evergreen forest and savanna-like ecosystems with a rich array of wildlife including elephants, gaur, tigers, leopards, and bears.46 Huge declines in larger game animals were reported to have occurred in Pidaung Wildlife Sanctuary between 1936-37 and 1958-59 due to human disturbance such as encroachment by villages, timber felling, livestock grazing and poaching.


The main damage was said to have occurred during and immediately after the war and efforts towards its revival after the war unfortunately failed to take into account the full destruction and neglect of the intervening years.47 Currently, the sanctuary is an impoverished edition of its original splendor. Agricultural cultivation, permanent settlements, roads and railway lines, plantations and military camps have mostly destroyed the once beautiful open grasslands. Wildlife populations are thus seriously depleted. Protected areas, new and old are undoubtedly under siege. Identifying potential courses of remedial action is relatively straightforward: strengthening institutions, boosting financial and technical capacity, improving engagement with local communities, law enforcement to reduce illegal activities, increasing accountability, better management planning etc.48 The greatest challenge lies in effecting implementation.


With its vast, relatively intact landscapes, Myanmar offers an unusual opportunity to conserve species and habitats that are either unique and/or fast disappearing in other parts of the region. Yet, nature conservation lies inextricably entangled within a miasma of larger issues such as poverty, human rights, drugs, corruption, military authoritarianism and international censure. Beneath the ostensibly hopeless situation, there is both the scope and the need for optimism for Myanmar’s parks. Amidst the gloom of paper parks, mismanagement and weak institutional capacities, there are flickers of conservation promise.

The designation the Hukaung Valley Tiger Reserve in 2004 represented a significant step taken by the Government of Myanmar towards biodiversity conservation. New parks continue to be declared. In 2005, a 72 km long stretch of the Irrawady River was notified as protected for the endangered Irrawady dolphin) and between 2002 and 2005, more protected areas located along the Tenasserim Range in southern Myanmar were notified including the Tanintharyi National Park (2072 km2), Tanintharyi Nature Reserve (1700 km2) and the Lenya National Park (3160 km2 including an extension area). Steps are being taken towards the conservation of individual species such as tigers. (In 1998, the government initiated a project to develop a National Tiger Action Plan.)49

Given the tremendous political and economic pressures facing the country over the past couple of decades, the designation of protected areas and by logical extension, the indirect emphasis on conservation of biodiversity, presents a puzzling yet simultaneously encouraging dilemma. While some new parks have been created in areas without commercially valuable timber and/or high altitude, rugged and physically inaccessible terrain (for e.g. the Hkakaborazi National Park established in 1996) other parks have been created on lands that potentially had the option of conversion to more profitable forms of land use.

Given that park creation is only the first, though crucial step in the expansion of the protected area system, appropriate management is critical to avoid the dangerous phenomenon of creation of ‘paper parks’ – parks that exist on record but lack the necessary infrastructure and management capacity to reduce threats and effectively conserve biodiversity. Thus, there is much work that needs to be done towards nature conservation in Myanmar and given the multitudinous factors that compete in priority for attention, making any progress will require a miraculous assembly of events. Charting the way forward without condoning the dismal political and economic situation is a difficult task, yet a critical one to realize a conservation opportunity that will fade quickly with time.


First, many (though not all) of the issues facing parks in Myanmar today (mismanagement, lack of funds, enforcement, accountability etc.) are relatively common to many parks in developing tropical countries.50 While the political situation undeniably adds a complex dimension to these issues, it is not impossible to design effective strategies to protected area problems in Myanmar. There is genuine interest, dedication and eagerness for conservation by diligent park staff and relevant government officers. Identifying the right scale and effective mechanisms for implementation will nonetheless constitute a tough challenge.


Second, engagement by international conservation NGOs and donors is critical for implementation of solutions. There are a number of individuals and international NGOs involved in on-the-ground conservation activities despite scathing international criticism.51 Although the scale of engagement is nowhere near what is needed, their activities, in partnership with national agencies and groups have generated valuable data, triggered positive actions and created new opportunities for more effective park management. Collaborative efforts by international institutions such as the Smithsonian Institution, the Harrison Institute and NGOs such as the Wildlife Conservation Society, BirdLife International have led to the discovery of new species for the country, established range extensions of certain species and led to the expansion of the protected area system.

Park management in Myanmar is fraught with enormous challenges from basic staffing issues to more complex threats arising from pressures on natural resources and law enforcement challenges. Yet, there has been small, yet discernible progress in park management in a few parks that is indisputably associated with external assistance. Thus, a significant increase in external financial and technical support through targeted engagement could help salvage some parks.

Third, greater involvement of and collaboration with civil society in planning and implementation of park conservation measures will be necessary for functioning parks. In a survey of community attitudes towards three parks, the majority of respondents had positive attitudes. Conservation benefits were the most frequently mentioned positive perceptions of all three areas, particularly forest and wildlife conservation and improved climate.52

At a time when there is seemingly unprecedented financial support for conservation internationally, Myanmar is placed in a unique position. It contains some of the largest remaining expanses of natural forest in the Asia Pacific region with high potential for the creation of large protected areas, an option that is almost foreclosed for many of its more densely populated neighbours. Yet, severe economic and political sanctions mean that the country is ineligible to receive the necessary international support for conservation.


Biodiversity conservation is rarely a priority even in highly democratized societies and hence it seems almost ludicrous to press forward with a conservation agenda within a depressing context of intense civil conflict, a feeble economy, unsavoury politics and cramped civil liberties. Yet, acknowledging the obstacles is perhaps a first step in defining the way forward. Existing conditions could change either for the better or for the worse, and hence it is perhaps unwise to allow current uncertainties to shackle progress in conservation thinking and action. Within the context of challenges facing biodiversity conservation in other countries, Myanmar offers too great a conservation opportunity to miss; failing to capitalize on it would seem to be an unfortunate act of shortsightedness when contemplated on in the future.



1. D. I. Steinberg, Burma: The State of Myanmar. Georgetown University Press, USA, 2001.

2. Ibid.

3. S. McCarthy, ‘Ten Years of Chaos in Burma: Foreign Investment and Economic Liberalization Under the SLORC-SPDC, 1988 to 1998’, Pacific Affairs 73(2), 2000, 233-262; M. Maung, ‘Burma’s Economic Performance Under Military Rule: An Assessment’, Asian Survey 37(6), 1997, 503-524; Human Development Report 2006, Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis. United Nations Development Program, 2006.

4. According to FAO estimates, Myanmar has a forest cover of 49% compared to its less forested neighbours (India 22.8% and Thailand 28.4%). Food and Agriculture Organization, State of the World’s Forests. Rome, Italy, 2007.

5. C.J. Robertson, ‘The Rice Export From Burma, Siam and French Indo-China’, Pacific Affairs 9, 1936, 243-253; I. Okamoto, Transformation of the Rice Marketing System and Myanmar’s Transition to a Market Economy. Discussion Paper No. 43, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan, 2005.

6. Agriculture in Myanmar contributes 50.6% to the GDP as opposed to industry (9.7%). This is in stark contrast to neighbouring countries such as Thailand where the contributions to GDP are 9.9% and 44.1% from the agricultural and industrial sectors respectively and India (19% agriculture and 27.4% industry). ADB, Asian Development Outlook: Myanmar. Manila, 2007.

7. J. Perlez, ‘Myanmar is Left in Dark: An Energy-Rich Orphan’, New York Times, 17 November 2006; S. McCarthy, op. cit., 2000; M. Maung, op. cit., 1997.

8. ADB, op.cit., 2007.

9. M. Adas, The Burma Delta: Economic Development and Social Change on an Asian Rice Frontier, 1852-1941. University of Wisconsin Press, USA, 1974; I. Brown, ‘Blindness Which We Mistake For Sight: British Officials and the Economic World of the Cultivator in Colonial Burma’, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 33, 2005, 181-193.

10. N. Hudson-Rodd and Myo Nunt, Control of Land and Life in Burma. Tenure Brief 3. Land Tenure Centre. University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA, 2001.

11. S. McCarthy, op. cit., 2000.

12. ADB, op. cit., 2007.

13. A.W. Tordoff, J.C. Eames, K. Eberhardt, M.C. Baltzer, P. Davidson, P. Leimgruber, U. Uga and U Aung Than, Myanmar: Investment Opportunities in Biodiversity Conservation, 2005.

14. Natural forest area is defined by the Food and Agricultural Organization as the total area of forest composed primarily of indigenous (native) tree species. Natural forests include closed forest, where trees cover a high proportion of the ground and where grass does not form a continuous layer on the forest floor (e.g., broadleaved forests, coniferous forests, and bamboo forests), and open forest, which the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines as mixed forest/grasslands with at least 10 per cent tree cover and a continuous grass layer on the forest floor. Tree height at maturity should exceed 5 meters. Natural forest is estimated by subtracting plantation area from total forest areas. (FRA 2000).

15. P. Leimgruber, D.S. Kelly, M.K. Steininger, J. Brunner, T. Muller and M. Songer, ‘Forest Cover Change Patterns in Myanmar (Burma) 1990-2000’, Environmental Conservation, 2005, 356-364.

16. E.W. Sanderson, M. Jaiteh, M.A. Levy, K.H. Redford, A.V. Wannebo and G. Wolmer, ‘The Human Footprint and the Last of the Wild’, BioScience 52, 2002, 891-904.

17. P.J.J. Bates, M.J. Struebig, S.J. Rossiter, T. Kingston, Sai Sein Lin Oo and Khin Mya Mya, ‘A New Species of Kerivoula (Chiroptera: Verspertilionidae) from Myanmar (Burma)’, Acta Chiropterologica 6(2), 2004, 219-226; J.A. Wilkinson, Htun Win, Thin Thin, Kyi Soe Lwin, Awan Khwi Shein and Hla Tun, ‘A New Species of Chirixalus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) From Western Myanmar (Burma)’, Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 52, 2003, 17-26.

18. M.J.R. Pereira, H. Rebelo, E.C. Teeling, S.J. O’Brien, I. Machie, Hla Bu Si Si, K. Maung Swe, Mie Mie Khin and P.J.J. Bates, ‘Status of the World’s Smallest Mammal, the Bumble-Bee Bat Craseonycteris thong-longyai in Myanmar’, Oryx 40, 2006, 456-463.

19. A. Rabinowitz and S.T. Khaing, ‘Status of Selected Mammal Species in North Myanmar’, Oryx 32, 1998, 201-208.

20. BirdLife International, Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K., 2001.

21. C.M. Peters, A. Henderson, M. Maung, Lwin Saw, T. Maung Lwin Kyaw and T. Shaung, ‘The Rattan Trade of Northern Myanmar: Species, Supplies, and Sustainability’, Economic Botany 61(1), 2007, 3-13.

22. S. McCarthy, op.cit., 2000.

23. P. Leimgruber et. al., op. cit., 2005.

24. Global Witness, A Conflict of Interest: The Uncertain Future of Myanmar’s Forest. A Briefing Document. London, UK, 2003.

25. M. Aung, ‘Policy and Practice in Myanmar’s Protected Area System’, Journal of Environmental Management 84, 2007, 188-203.

26. J.C. Eames, H. Hla, P. Leimgruber, D.S. Kelly, S. M. Aung, S. Moses and S. N. Tin, ‘The Rediscovery of Gurney’s Pitta Pitta Gurneyi in Myanmar and an Estimate of its Population Size Based on Remaining Forest Cover’, Bird Conservation International 15, 2005, 3-26.

27. A. Rabinowitz, G. B. Schaller, and Uga, ‘A Survey to Assess the Status of Sumatran Rhinoceros and Other Large Mammal Species in Tamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary, Myanmar’, Oryx 29, 1995, 123-128; A. Rabinowitz and S.T. Khaing, op. cit., 1998; M. Rao, T. Myint, T. Zaw and S. Tun, ‘Hunting Patterns in Tropical Forests Adjoining the Hkakaborazi National Park, North Myanmar’, Oryx 39, 2005, 292-300.

28. T. Lynam, S.T. Khaing and K.M. Zaw. ‘Developing a National Tiger Action Plan For the Union of Myanmar’, Environmental Management 37, 2006, 30-39.

29. K. Koy, W.J. McShea, P. Leimgruber, B.N. Haack and Myint Aung, ‘Percent Canopy Cover – Using Landsat Imagery to Delineate Habitat for Myanmar’s Endangered Eld’s Deer (Cervus eldi)’, Animal Conservation 8, 2005, 289-296.

30. X. Sun, C. Nian, A. White, R. A. West and E. Katsigris, ‘China’s Forest Product Import Trends 1997-2002: Analysis of Customs Data With Emphasis on Asia-Pacific Supplying Countries’, Forest Trends, CCAP, and CIFOR, 2004.

31. F. Kahrl, H. Weyerhaeuser and S. Yufang, ‘Navigating the Border: An Analysis of the China-Myanmar Timber Trade’, Forest Trends, 2004.

32. J.C. Eames et al., op.cit., 2005.

33. M. Aung, op.cit., 2007.

34. C.L. Keeton, King Thebaw and the Ecological Rape of Burma: The Political and Commercial Struggle Between British India and French Indo-China in Burma, 1978-1886. Manohar Publishers, Delhi, 1974; M. Aung, op. cit., 2007.

35. R. Salter, Priorities For Further Development of the Protected Area System in Myanmar. Report for Conservation and Wildlife Sanctuary Mission MYA/91/015. Yangon, Myanmar, 1994.

36. O. Milton and R. D. Estes, Myanmar Wildlife Survey: 1959-1960. Special publication No. 15. A report prepared for the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources and the American Committee for International Wildlife Protection, New York, 1963, p. 4.

37. R. L. Bryant, The Political Ecology of Forestry in Burma, 1824-1994. Hurst and Company, London, 1997.

38. L.A.D. Leslie, Wilderness Trails in Three Continents: An Account of Travel, Big Game Hunting and Exploration in India, Myanmar, China East Africa and Labrador. Heath Cranto, 1931; G. Orwell, Burmese Days (1934). Penguin Books, USA, 1987.

39. R. Lydekker, The Game Animals of India, Myanmar, Malaya and Tibet. (Second Edition Revised by J.G. Dollman.) Rowland Ward, London, 1924.

40. Global Witness, A Conflict of Interests: The Uncertain Future of Myanmar’s Forests. A Briefing Document. London, UK, 2003; R.L. Bryant, op. cit., 1997.

41. R.L. Bryant, op. cit., 1997.

42. H.C. Smith, ‘Wildlife Protection in Burma’, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 37, 1935, 167-188.

43. D.A. Weatherbe, ‘Burma’s Decreasing Wildlife’, Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 43, 1940, 150-160.

44. M. Rao, A. Rabinowitz and S.T. Khaing, ‘Status Review of the Protected Area System in Myanmar, With Recommendations For Conservation Planning’, Conservation Biology 16, 2002, 360-368.

45. M. Aung, op. cit., 2007.

46. O. Milton and R.D. Estes, op. cit., 1963; O. Milton and H.Z. Kimlai , ‘Myanmar Wildlife Survey Report on the Pidaung Wildlife Sanctuary’, Burmese Forester 14(1-2), 1964, 54-68.

47. O. Milton and R.D. Estes, op. cit., 1963; O. Milton and H.Z. Kimlai, op. cit., 1964.

48. M. Rao et al., op. cit., 2002; M. Aung, op. cit., 2007.

49. T. Lynam et al., op. cit., 2006.

50. J. Terborgh, C. van Schaik, L. Davenport, M. Rao (eds), Making Parks Work: Strategies for Preserving Tropical Nature. Island Press, Washington, D.C., 2002.

51. D. Graham-Rowe, ‘Under the Gun’, Nature 435, 2005, 87-872.

52. T. Allendorf, K. Swe, T. Oo, Ye Htut, M. Aung, M. Aung, K. Allendorf, L.A. Hayek, P. Leimgruber and C. Wemmer, ‘Community Attitudes Toward Three Protected Areas in Upper Myanmar (Burma)’, Environmental Conservation 33(4), 2006, 344-352.