YANGON, Jan 11 2014 (IPS) - As Myanmar nurses a fragile democracy after long years of military rule, a new danger has reared its head. Climate change, say experts, has the potential to spur migration and exacerbate conflict in the country.

NGOs point out that more than five years after Cyclone Nargis killed 146,000 people and severely affected 2.4 million, inhabitants of the Ayeyarwady Delta are yet to find their feet.

Read more: Natural Disasters Add to Myanmar’s Troubles


For decades, one of Southeast Asia's largest countries has also been its most mysterious. Now, emerging from years of political and economic isolation, its shift towards democracy means that Myanmar is opening up to the rest of the world. Myanmar forms part of the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot, and some of the largest tracts of intact habitat in the hotspot can be found here. With changes afoot, conservationists are looking to Myanmar as the best hope for protecting biodiversity in the region.

Read more: Myanmar faces new conservation challenges as it opens up to the world


Asian Scientist (Aug. 1, 2013) – Long isolated by economic and political sanctions, Myanmar returns to the international community amid high expectations and challenges associated with protecting the country’s great natural wealth from the impacts of economic growth and climate change.

In a new study, published in AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, scientists have examined the implications of economic development and climatic changes on conserving Myanmar’s biodiversity.

Read more: Myanmar: A Biodiversity Hotspot Under Threat


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