About the Project
Approximately 20% of Myanmar’s Key Biodiversity Areas are found in the Tanintharyi Region which includes the largest areas of lowland wet evergreen forest remaining in the Indo-Myanmar hotspot, some of the largest contiguous blocks of mangrove forest in mainland South East Asia, and some 800 islands and diverse marine ecosystems of the Myeik Archipelago. These ecosystems support outstanding biodiversity including flagship species such as tiger, Asian elephant, Asian tapir, Sunda pangolin and many others.
Taninthary’s rich biodiversity and ecosystem is in danger due to high rates of deforestation (caused by unsustainable oil palm plantations, illegal logging and forest encroachment), pressures from mining and industrial development and unsustainable use of natural resources including fisheries. The region faces urgent imperatives to conserve biodiversity and safeguard the region’s ecological and socio-economic security. The current pattern of economic development benefits individual companies at the expense of forgone development opportunities. A more sustainable growth would accrue benefits to the state and local communities, and provide the basis for the prosperity of community based natural resource management, as natural capital and resilience to local communities and indigenous peoples.
The Ridge to Reef project establishes, for the first time, integrated land and seascape planning and management in Myanmar with effective engagement of local communities.
The project aims at supporting long-term sustainable development and ecological security of Tanintharyi’s marine, coastal and terrestrial biodiversity through integrated planning, management and protection involving a wide range of stakeholders including the local communities and indigenous peoples. The overall project approach entails consultations and engagement of all villages in the project target areas in order to obtain support and agreement for proposed project activities.
The project also aims at ensuring that its activities do not restrict legal access of local people to natural resources. The project fully respects customary land use, rights and tenure and will help to map out such claims as part of its participatory land use planning approach.
To secure the long-term protection of Key Biodiversity Areas in Tanintharyi through integrated planning and management at land and seascape scales, with interconnectivity from ridge to reef.