The Dawna Tenasserim, straddling the Myanmar-Thailand border, has some of the largest remaining areas of contiguous tropical moist and deciduous forests in Southeast Asia. Over 83% of the landscape is still forested and it harbors exceptional biodiversity and globally important populations of tigers, Asian elephants, and a myriad of other species. Embedded within the Dawna Tenasserim is the Western Forest Complex (WEFCOM) in Thailand, which includes 19 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. In addition, the Dawna Tenasserim also includes other protected areas in Thailand as well as critical conservation areas in Myanmar.
The 179,896 km2 Dawna Tenasserim is almost as large as the entire country of Cambodia and is recognized within WWF as one of five priority landscapes worldwide. This underlines the global importance of the landscape and the urgency to conserve it. To find such a vast, intact ecosystem within Southeast Asia is rare. The Dawna Tenasserim is not only important for protecting biodiversity but also multiple ecosystem services that support both natural and human communities. While the ecosystems and forest landscape of the Dawna Tenasserim support large populations in rural areas as well as urban centers in Bangkok and Yangon both in terms of water provisioning, carbon sequestration and biodiversity resources, given the national jurisdictions of management, the integral ecosystem services provided by the landscape as a whole are rarely accounted for. This concept posits that if the full ecosystem value of the entire landscape was understood, estimated and communicated to respective decision makers, that there would be a stronger impetus for cross border dialogue and political level collaboration on sustainable NRM. At the same time there are a number of growing threats within the landscape (including commodities driving deforestation, infrastructure leading to habitat fragmentation and climate change impacts among others. While there is anecdotal and sector/ site specific evidence of impacts, there has yet to be a comprehensive assessment or modeling of threats and changes with conservation implications that are at whole landscape level and cross sectoral. Such an assessment will help prioritize how and where limited resources should be focused and what strategic areas should be targeted to maximize conservation outcomes.
To develop an online platform depicting changes over time in key landscape criteria/ modules (target species’ movement, land cover, climate variables and carbon stocks).
Key modules to be covered in this single biome, human footprint approach based assessment are subject to recommendation from the researcher and limitation of data, but preferred modules are:
Contact : Regan.Pairojmahakij@wwfgreatermekong.org