The training and deployment of specialist Wildlife Protection Units is a critical component of KWCI. The on-going poaching and extraction of endangered species from protected areas in Myanmar and neighbouring countries in the region presents a serious and immediate threat to the high value biodiversity of Karen State.
Insatiable demand for wildlife and pressure from illegal logging continues to increase as black markets in Asia expand. Myanmar and Thailand are major regional hubs that facilitate both the extraction and trade of endangered wildlife to supply these markets. To counter these threats and effectively secure protected areas in Karen State, two highly trained teams of rangers were deployed in December 2013. Operating under the Karen Forestry Department (KFD), these teams conduct continual monitoring and surveillance operations to ensure local and National Conservation Laws are effectively enforced.
Experts from the African Field Ranger Training College were engaged to conduct the initial training and establishment of these elite teams. More training is scheduled for 2014 and will remain an on-going priority for KWCI to ensure the effective protection of wildlife in Karen State.