Karen State, Burma is a recognised biodiversity hotspot and one of the few remaining regions in the world with a full component of top predators and an extensive prey base to support it. This unique wildlife situation has arisen from the inaccessibility of the region to poachers and illegal wildlife traders as a result of the bitter military conflict in the region that has lasted for more than half a century. As the Myanmar government advances with political reform, liberalisation and accessibility, the wildlife will inevitably come under increased threat as natural resources are utilised or from the increased accessibility of poachers to access remote areas rich in fauna and flora.
The Karen Wildlife Conservation Initiative (KWCI) is a multi-organisation group, including representation from the Karen Forestry Division of the Karen National Union (KNU), and was established in 2012 with the objective of conserving biodiversity and ensuring the protection of threatened wildlife in Karen State, Burma (Myanmar).
While the region is renowned for having a troubled history, conservation of globally important biodiversity and natural habitat should be a common unifying theme which can transcend ethnic, religious and territorial differences in the wider region. KWCI works progressively toward achieving its objectives while supporting the peaceful reconciliation process in Myanmar.