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First IUCN Red List of Ecosystems for Myanmar

14 / Sep / 2020Policy Making

First IUCN Red List of Ecosystems for Myanmar

A new national ecosystem risk assessments for Myanmar ecosystems is now published and available online.

The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) is a tool for decision makers and natural resource managers that facilitates the implementation of conservation strategies and policies. The RLE methodology and thresholds are meant to be used for assessing the risk of ecosystem collapse on a global scale. However, RLE assessments at a sub-global scale such as regional, national, and sub-national are also recommended as action plans and policies are usually defined at this scale.

Recently, researchers from University of New South Wales (Australia), in association with Wildlife Conservation Society and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation from Myanmar (MONREC), published the first Red List of Ecosystems for Myanmar, where 64 ecosystems were assessed.

Assessed ecosystems correspond to 6 realms: terrestrial, subterranean, freshwater-terrestrial, freshwater, marine-terrestrial, marine-freshwater-terrestrial. For each ecosystem in Myanmar, all of the Red List of Ecosystems criteria were assessed in association with national ecosystem experts. Assessors found that approximately 45% of the assessed ecosystems are threatened, 26% are Data Deficient (insufficient published information to assess their risk), and one ecosystem has already collapsed.

In a country where forests dominate and cover 42.92% of its land, managing the natural resources for the benefit of both, current and future generations, is crucial. It is expected that this RLE serves as “a valuable tool to support decisions and investments that simultaneously provide human well-being and biodiversity benefits” said H. E. U. Ohn Winn, from MONREC; as well as to strengthen management and monitoring to ensure the sustainability of the country through the conservation of ecosystems.

Written by: Michelle Castellanos




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