FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: UN Watchdog Visits Myanmar to Investigate Conservation Project Jeopardizing Indigenous Peoples Rights

Conservation Alliance Tanawthari (CAT) and Accountability Counsel


Myeik, Myanmar, July 24, 2019 — The United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) independent watchdog visited Myanmar last week to investigate a large conservation project posing grave risks to Indigenous communities in Tanintharyi Region, which has seen decades of armed conflict during Myanmar’s 70-year civil war.


About 150 community members from several Karen Indigenous villages in Lenya area met with the UNDP watchdog, known as the Social and Environmental Compliance Unit (SECU), to voice their concerns about the “Ridge to Reef project”. The US$21 million project will establish a massive interconnected government Protected Area spanning 3.5 million acres in Tanintharyi Region, and is being implemented by the UNDP, through funds from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), with support from the Myanmar government, Flora and Fauna International (FFI), and the Smithsonian Institute.

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