Tanawthari Landscape of Life: A Grassroots Alternative to Top-Down Conservation in Tanintharyi Region

Introduction

Tanintharyi Region, known as Tanawthari in Karen, is a vast indigenous community conserved landscape. The region is home to one of the largest remaining areas of low-mid elevation intact evergreen forests in Southeast Asia, which connect upland forests to the intact coastal mangrove forests that stretch along the Tanintharyi coastline. These forests support a rich biodiversity and a multitude of globally threatened and endangered species, including Tigers, Asian Elephants, Pangolins and Tapirs. These diverse ecosystems, and the biodiversity that they sustain, have been managed for generations by indigenous communities. These communities maintain profound relationships to their surrounding territories, and have deep local ecological knowledge and effective adaptive management practices to protect these sites and the biodiversity therein.

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