AMBIO

, Volume 42, Issue 7, pp 789–804 | Cite as

Biodiversity Conservation in a Changing Climate: A Review of Threats and Implications for Conservation Planning in Myanmar

  • Madhu Rao
  • Saw Htun
  • Steven G. Platt
  • Robert Tizard
  • Colin Poole
  • Than Myint
  • James E. M. Watson
Review

Abstract

High levels of species richness and endemism make Myanmar a regional priority for conservation. However, decades of economic and political sanctions have resulted in low conservation investment to effectively tackle threats to biodiversity. Recent sweeping political reforms have placed Myanmar on the fast track to economic development—the expectation is increased economic investments focused on the exploitation of the country’s rich, and relatively intact, natural resources. Within a context of weak regulatory capacity and inadequate environmental safeguards, rapid economic development is likely to have far-reaching negative implications for already threatened biodiversity and natural-resource-dependent human communities. Climate change will further exacerbate prevailing threats given Myanmar’s high exposure and vulnerability. The aim of this review is to examine the implications of increased economic growth and a changing climate within the larger context of biodiversity conservation in Myanmar. We summarize conservation challenges, assess direct climatological impacts on biodiversity and conclude with recommendations for long-term adaptation approaches for biodiversity conservation.

Keywords

Myanmar Climate change Economic development Protected areas Biodiversity Threats 

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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Madhu Rao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Saw Htun
    • 3
  • Steven G. Platt
    • 4
  • Robert Tizard
    • 3
  • Colin Poole
    • 1
  • Than Myint
    • 3
  • James E. M. Watson
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Wildlife Conservation Society Regional Conservation Hub, #01-08 Tanglin International CentreSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Wildlife Conservation Society, Myanmar ProgramYangonMyanmar
  4. 4.Wildlife Conservation Society, Myanmar ProgramYangonMyanmar
  5. 5.Wildlife Conservation SocietyBronxUSA
  6. 6.School of Geography, Planning and Environmental ManagementUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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