Dawna Tenasserim Report 2018

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Dawna Tenasserim ANNUAL REPORT 2018

The Hidden Forests of Southeast Asia


This report acknowledges the exceptional work on the ground from both WWF Myanmar and Thailand teams. The data collection has been largely as a result of excellent Monitoring and Evaluation support, great collaboration between regional and national communications teams as well as good cooperation from the finance team. Special notes go to Kassia for the generous use of the template for the report as well as to Amy Maling, Myanmar Landscape Manager, who will be ending her tenure after several years of successfully building the Myanmar Dawna Tenasserim program from the ground up. Big thanks to Danielle Freund for the layout and design of this report. Š Hkun Lat / WWF - US

STAFFING CHANGES IN THE DAWNA TENASSERIM There have been several key staffing changes in the Dawna Tenasserim management team. Iain Jackson, Thailand Dawna Tenasserim Landscape Manager, departed in June 2018. The team thanks him for his contributions. Amy Maling, Myanmar Dawna Tenasserim Landscape Manager, will be departing from her current role in April 2019, but will stay on as a part-time advisor. Amy has made significant contributions to the landscape, building the program up from the ground over the last few years. She will be replaced by incoming Myanmar Landscape Manager, Gaurav Gupta, previously leading Myanmar’s sustainable business programme. Welcome Gaurav! Finally, Thailand Conservation Director, Gordon Congdon, will also be departing in March and will be much missed in the landscape.



© Christy Williams / WWF - Myanmar


Tiger evidence in key WWF working areas in Myanmar and national minimum numbers reported for first time (22 individuals). Transboundary initiatives received a growing base of funding support for operationalizing. Tiger populations in Thailand are stable and evidence of new presence in WWF working areas.

‘Indigenous Communities Conserved Areas’ adopted within Myanmar national policies and frameworks.

Public statement by Myanmar senior official that the Dawei Road would be the first sustainable infrastructure initiative in Myanmar.

© Ola Jennersten / WWF-Sweden

Making the Dawna Tenasserim a Household Name A cornerstone of building support for a landscape approach to the Dawna Tenasserim involves raising its profile within its respective countries, within the WWF network and internationally. Key aspects in 2018: Re-branding of the Dawna Tenasserim: working with a creative agency have developed a visual identity for the landscape along with taglines, a conclusion on the ‘re-naming’ debate. There is agreement to refer to it as Dawna Tenasserim given that it is difficult to adopt or change the name entirely. The ‘Landscape’ and hence the acronym ‘DTL’ however will be dropped. Cats of the Dawna Tenasserim – The Dawna Tenasserim is phenomenal for biodiversity and in particular feline biodiversity. It boasts 8 species of felines, 7 of which can be found in just one of its protected areas: Kaeng Krachan national park. A poster showcasing the Cats of the Dawna Tenasserim is printed (and available online) and the report will be launched in April 2019.

Fragmented and Core Forest Map


5 TIGER HEARTLANDS IN THE DAWNA TENASSERIM WWF has identified 50 Tiger Heartlands as crucial sites for tiger recovery in the WWF High Impact Initiative 50 New Tiger Heartlands: Creating and securing sites essential for doubling wild tiger numbers. One of the strongest arguments for a transboundary Dawna Tenasserim hinges on the connectivity of tiger ranges. A priority over the next three years will be the connectivity of 4 of these, including in Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex, the Western Forest Complex and adjacent forests in Tanintharyi, and their management as integral, transboundary tiger ranges.

© Jeff Goldberg



Evidence of tigers in surveys in Tanintharyi Region and Kayin State. Myanmar government has released official minimum tiger numbers for the first time. Nationally there is evidence of at least 22 tigers, including breeding tigers in the Dawna Tenasserim.

Evidence of tiger presence in Kuiburi National park for the first time in 7 years. This is part of one of the Tiger Heartland HII sites and testament to the protection provided to national parks in Thailand’s Dawna Tenasserim. It is also part of a transboundary landscape including Tanintharyi on Myanmar side.

© Hkun Lat / WWF-US

Supporting Sustainable Natural Rubber Promoting sustainable natural rubber production is an important part of Myanmar’s conservation strategy in the Dawna Tenasserim, in the absence of formal protection measures. Given that economic drivers of deforestation such as rubber production are behind the loss of vital forest cover, this has been a significant focus of the Dawna Tenasserim work. Through various projects, including IKEA, the team has been advocating for the inclusion of zero deforestation in Myanmar’s evolving sustainable natural rubber guidelines.

Growing Financial Base of Support for a Transboundary Approach In the past year, almost 1,100,000 USD basket funding secured for Dawna Tenasserim transboundary


CHF from WWF Switzerland


150,000 EU from WWF Belgium

150,000 EU from WWF Austria 68,400

EU support from EU via Voices for Mekong Forests


EU committed from Forest Hub


EU from Sustainable Landscapes Challenge

PaulThompson Thompson2016, 2016,Thailand ThailandWildlife WildlifeCollective Collective ©©Paul

Dawna Tenasserim’s fauna:

A snapshot of biodiversity in regional landscapes Birds


Dawna Tenasserim



Central Annamites



Terai Arc Landscape



Dawei Road Linear infrastructure development is a key threat to the habitat connectivity of the Dawna Tenasserim. One particular project of concern is the impending construction of the Dawei Road from Htee-Thee Khee on the Thai border through the largely forested ‘Tanintharyi Landscape Corridor’ connecting 3 conservation areas as well as Tanintharyi Nature Reserve and the proposed Tanintharyi National Park. The road construction has been a continued key focus of WWF attention and advocacy over the past year.

© WWF - Myanmar / Hkun Lat

TIMELINE January 2018 February 2018

March 2018

June 2018

(Meeting with the Neighbouring Economies Development Authority, NEDA).

(Premchai Karnasutra poaching case – high profile poaching incident involving the CEO of Italian Thai Development, the company poised to be awarded the contract for the road construction).

As a result of the concerns over environmental and biodiversity impacts, camera trapping survey along the length of the intended route of the Dawei Road.

(approval of questionable EIA for the road design).

September 2018

WWF Myanmar issued a public statement covered in the Bangkok Post that “This is a road to an ecological and social disaster [in Myanmar]… and the planned road would pass through a region of “huge ecological importance with rich biodiversity.”

November 2018

(WWF organized a sustainable infrastructure knowledge exchange including Ministry of Construction, Myanmar and Department of Highways, Thailand).

One of the points of contention in the EIA was the conclusion that there were few species of high conservation value present in the area where the road would be constructed. The camera trapping has demonstrated that this conclusion is not correct. The camera trapping documented a high diversity of species in the area: 23 mammals photographed, including 3 cat species and 12 globallythreatened mammal species.

In addition to camera trapping along the road, WWF has embraced a transboundary approach in engaging with government officials, financing agencies and civil society on both sides of the border in advocating for the biological and social importance of the area in which the road is to be constructed. In November 2018, a knowledge exchange was organized by WWF involving infrastructure construction and relevant conservation agencies from Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia. Participants shared experiences, challenges and best practices from their countries in addition to WWF setting the stage for the national incentives in making infrastructure development more sustainable. Participants were taken to Highway 304 where Italian Thai Development is constructing world class mitigation measures between Khao Yai and Thap Lan national parks.

© Chit Ko - WWF Myanmar

Wildlife Monitoring Kaeng Krachan is matched by similarly sized (proposed) protected areas on the opposite side of the Myanmar border. This block of forest serves as one of the largest forest landscapes in mainland Southeast Asia. With support from WWF Australia, WWF Japan and WWF Sweden wildlife monitoring in this cross-border complex has been ramped up. A critical first step is monitoring and assessing wildlife and key species. Camera trapping on both sides of the border is now underway. In the case of Kaeng Krachan, despite being the country’s largest Protected Area, WWF’s camera trapping work is some of the first systematic monitoring efforts to be conducted.

In 2018:

Dawei Road:

• 31 camera traps deployed. • 23 mammal species camera trapped (including 3 feline species).

Kaeng Krachan National Park: • Camera traps deployed in 16 locations (additional 14 locations will be included in early 2019). • Presence of tiger confirmed (show photo). • 32 species of mammal were found in Kaeng Krachan NP.

Kuiburi National

• 20 camera traps to monitor wildlife use of water holes, saltlicks and grasslands.

Tanintharyi, Myanmar:

• 18 camera traps deployed. • Presence of tiger confirmed.

Mae Wong Klong Lan:

• 69 camera traps (pairs) deployed from January - August 2018 as part of 4th tiger monitoring survey. • The camera traps reveal 9 adult tigers: 5 females and 4 males. • 69 camera traps (pairs) deployed from January - August 2018 as part of 4th tiger monitoring survey. • The camera traps reveal 9 adult tigers: 5 females and 4 males.


• Camera trap pairs have been set in 11 different locations.

A Landscape Vision: Adopting a landscape-based approach has been central to WWF Myanmar’s conservation strategy. This has taken a number of forms.

In 2018: •

2 sub national landscape approach workshops were organized in Tanintharyi and Kayin

• Support for improvement of Land Use Planning: 43 village land use plans •

Completed socio-economic baseline report within Tanintharyi

Supported the formation of nation-wide ICCA Network

Engagement in discussions on transboundary Salween Peace Park

• Identifying how conservation initiatives are contributing to peace building

© Adam Oswell / WWF-Thailand

Š Adam Oswell / WWF-Thailand

Boots on the Ground: Vital Stats WWF supports protection of wildlife and their habitat in different ways. Thailand has a well- established system of protected areas with government rangers and SMART patrol systems in place which WWF strategically complements. In Myanmar, a multipronged approach of capacity building (for Wildlife Protection Units, community organizations and civil society groups), civil society engagement, and livelihoods support are essential to an effective overall strategy.

Kuiburi National Park Park Size 969 km² Number of Patrol Teams

9 with support from WWF

Average Monthly Patrols Total Foot 3,528 km Patrol Distance Patrol trips 463 over the past 6 months

Mae Wong

Khlong Lan

Umphang Wildlife

National Park

National Park


894 km²

420 km²

2590 km²

7 with financial and training support from WWF 14

4 with support from WWF

17 with limited support from WWF

2,441 km

1,501 km

7,992 km



510 over 6 months

non-timber forest products: Mushrooms were the main target (72%), followed by poaching (28%)

Poaching: 58%


52.94 % of 96,900 ha in just the Percentage of first half of the year, thus should Patrol Cover reach annual goal of 70% 1 SMART patrol training with 44 rangers on field data collection, GPS and MAP use, 2 trainings on Trainings GPS Map and SMART program for 35 rangers, and monthly SMART patrol meetings

Major Threats

illegal logging: 32% non-timber forest products: 9% (mainly honey collecting) aquatic fauna poaching: 1%

Note: these statistics, while quantitative do not (yet) cover critical data related to effectiveness and enforcement.

KEEPING THE FOREST INTACT The Dawna Tenasserim has deforestation targets of: Thailand reduced to 0.4% from 0.49% in 2017 Myanmar reduced to 0.5% from 0.95% in 2017

Rates of deforestation in the Dawna Tenasserim landscape over time While overall deforestation rates remain unsustainably high in the landscape, forest cover monitoring of 11 WWF supported community forests in Myanmar Dawna Tenasserim from January to December 2018 in Banchaung Valley and Tayetchaung township showed very low forest loss/almost zero forest loss (0.046%) - lower from 2017 monitoring which recorded 0.053%. A key success in 2018 was the endorsement of a GEF 7 forest restoration project in Thailand. WWF will be responsible for biodiversity mapping components and significantly for the exciting work connecting the two major protected area complexes (Kaeng Krachan Forest Complex and the Western Forest Complex) in the Dawna Tenasserim through the Tenasserim Corridor.

Š Hkun Lat / WWF - Australia

People in conservation areas Indigenous Community Conserved Areas (ICCAs): an important emerging development in Myanmar is the growing recognition of ICCAs by state and non-state actors. This is important given the potential role of indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities in the sustainable management of traditionally used areas. An ICCA working group formed in 2017 with support from WWF has grown in numbers and leadership capacities. The capacity support has included training in technical skills associated with ICCA mapping and evidences to demonstrate conservation oriented traditional governance.

Why do we need to involve local communities in conservation? Tanintharyi Work Sites

45 villages, approx. 22,290 people

Kaeng Krachan National Park

+1000 people

Umphang Wildlife Sanctuary

+12,000 people, plus 1 refugee camp with approx. 20,000 people (1 more refugee camp is situated adjacent to Umphang with implications for poaching and natural resource use).

Community Forestry Ensuring that communities have basic livelihood needs met and are able to sustainably manage forest resources themselves is an important part of strategies within the Dawna Tenasserim and within Myanmar especially.


8 new Community Forestry applications were approved


3 new Community Forestry applications were approved

The Myanmar Dawna Tenasserim program has initiated two community forestry based business models in 2018. These include the collection, processing and sale of elephant foot yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolious), and the processing of bamboo products. This has included skills training on sustainable bamboo production, bamboo treatment and carpentry. There are now around 16 CFUG members (30% women) who are earning income from selling treated bamboo slats to Pounamo, a construction and design company that has ordered 6,000 bamboo slats from Kyiekpilan CFUG at a flat rate of US$2,200.

Š Hkun Lat / WWF - US

Managing Human Elephant Conflict Story from Myanmar A target village where WWF Myanmar works is home to some 780 households of returned refugees. The resettled community has adopted planting corn, soy beans, and elephant foot yam as key livelihood strategies. However, the location for the new village overlaps with a salt lick used as part of the traditional migration route by elephants. The village was established without systematic planning and has unintentionally created human elephant conflict giving the competing interests in the same geography. Villagers worked together with relevant authorities to mitigate the conflict and in May 2018, community members with supervision of experts created artificial salt licks in a nearby forest. An elephant monitoring group from the community was formed and trained to set up camera traps to determine whether elephants are using the artificial salt licks. To date the project has shown encouraging results as the elephants appear to be using the artificial licks and the number of human-elephant conflict incidents has fallen.

Story from Thailand Kuiburi national park has long been a key project area for WWF Thailand and the centerpiece of the team’s work is on elephants: elephant monitoring, elephant protection, and supporting elephant-based ecotourism. There was initially growing HEC between local community members, who grew pineapples and the elephants from the park who would raid the pineapple plantations. This relationship has been significantly altered with the inclusion of local community members in revenue from elephant based ecotourism. However, the elephant population continues to grow and is creating pressure on the capacity of the park to feed them. In 2018 WWF Thailand initiated an early warning system with support from True Corporation. The system sends camera trap photos in real time to the DNP data center. If elephants appear to be leaving the park the DNP sends rapid response teams to swiftly respond to departures of elephants from the park boundaries. The warning system and joint (ranger-community) response teams are effective, but ultimately there may be a need to consider solutions to the limited carrying capacity of the park.

Where We are Going in 2019 and Beyond Increasing wildlife (and particularly, tiger and prey) monitoring. Getting better baselines and understanding of tiger and prey status in the Tiger Heartland sites. WWF tiger HII meeting with TAI team in May. Improving wildlife protection by supporting the first line defenders of wildlife in the field: rangers and wildlife protection units. Transboundary dialogue. Creating opportunities for trust building and communication among key stakeholders (including government actors, park representatives, civil society and community representatives in the landscape. This will be through the Dawna Tenasserim Learning Network initially. Engaging on the Dawei Road. The construction of the road is expected to begin in 2020. Given the significance of the road for the Dawna Tenasserim, it is critical that WWF ensures that if the road goes ahead, that it uphold the highest standards for protecting biodiversity and human rights. Š Saw Kler Htoo

Regan Suzuki Pairojmahakij Dawna Tenasserim Transboundary Landscape Manager WWF-Greater Mekong (based in WWF Thailand office) Level 3, Phisit Building, 9 Pra Dipat Soi 10, Pra Dipat Road, Phaya Thai, Bangkok 10400 Tel.: +66 2 619 8534-37 Website: http://greatermekong.panda.org/ Email: regan.pairojmahakij@wwfgreatermekong.org

Š Adam Oswell / WWF-Myanmar