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Burma’s Last Eden

The Indo-Burma Hotspot is the most threatened biodiverity hotspot in the world. Karen State, Myanmar lies within this hotspot and retains some of the best biodiversity remaining is Asia. Insatiable demand for wildlife and pressure from illegal logging continues to increase as black markets in Asia expand. Myanmar and Thailand are major regional hubs that facilitate both the extraction and trade of endangered wildlife to supply these markets. Central to the successful long-term preservation of biodiversity in Karen State is the establishment and effective protection and management of national and globally recognized protected areas.

 

After decades of military rule, economic sanctions and international isolation, a quasi-civilian government is now seeking to integrate this former ‘pariah’ nation into Southeast Asia and the greater global community. In the context of a more legitimate neo-liberal regime, the previous government of Thein Sein initiated a series of reforms to attract foreign investment and stimulate economic growth. Perhaps predictably, the response was considerable and Myanmar, now touted as Asia’s “last economic frontier,” has become a focus of growing international corporate interest.

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