The Taninthayi (Tenasserim) Mountain Range, along the border between Myanmar and Thailand, covers a global important terrestrial eco-region with a transition zone from continental dry evergreen forests common in the north to semi-evergreen rain forests to the south. As a consequence, they contain some of the highest diversity of both bird and mammal species found in the Indo-Pacific region. The world's smallest mammal, Kitti's hog-nosed bat, equal in mass to a large bumblebee, resides in the limestone caves of this eco-region. Recent studies indicated that this eco-region is recognized as one of the world’s largest populations of Asian elephants and tigers survive in the forests along the border between Thailand and Myanmar. Besides biodiversity features, the rugged watersheds drain into the mighty Tennaserim, Salween, and Chao Phraya rivers, supporting globally endangered and endemic species as well as a diversity of human cultures. Karen and Mon people live in the Taninthayi Range and many other indigenous cultures call this area home as a template for sustainable use of the region’s rich natural resources.
However, the outstanding biodiversity features and cultural diversity of the Taninthayi Range are vulnerable due to poaching, fragmentation and encroachment for agriculture, illegal logging, settlements inside and around the park, and human-elephant conflicts. In addition, limited capacity and resources for adequate biodiversity conservation, management and monitoring in Myanmar make it unable to contribute to the transboundary biodiversity conservation in this eco-region. Therefore, this project seeks to address the problem associated with limited national capacity and resources in biodiversity conservation and ineffective conservation of forest ecosystems and biodiversity in the Taninthayi Range in Myanmar. Expected outputs of the project include: 1) capacity building of national institutions to design and implement the sustainable biodiversity conservation, monitoring and research in the Taninthayi Range in Myanmar; 2) establishment of initial institutional mechanisms for the transboundary biodiversity conservation in protected areas in the Taninthayi Range; and 3) strengthening of local stakeholder participation and livelihoods of forest-dependant local communities in the transboundary biodiversity conservation areas. At the national level the project will contribute to the establishment of transboundary biodiversity conservation programmes and activities that can be further enhanced in the Taninthayi Range between Myanmar and Thailand and other transboundary protected areas.