The Indo-Myanmar Conservation focuses on the biodiversity of the Indo-Myanmar Hotspot, a highly biodiverse region encompassing Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, most of Myanmar and Thailand, and parts of India, Bangladesh and China.
Within this area, IMC currently works in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam and coordinates with international partners to extend the scope of its work further.
The main office of IMC is based in Hanoi, Vietnam and Vietnam is the birthplace of the Asian Turtle Program (ATP), the tortoise and freshwater turtle-focused conservation program which was incorporated into IMC in 2015. ATP has worked throughout Vietnam, delivering education and training activities for schools, universities and governmental wildlife protection entities. The program also helps rescue confiscated turtles from the trade, rehabilitate and release them back to the wild, and perform in situ and ex situ conservation and research on the most endangered and endemic species, amongst other things.
IMC also conducts wider biodiversity surveys in Vietnam, documenting newly discovered species and updating scientific knowledge about native species. In particular, IMC’s scientific staff have worked on many of Vietnam’s highly localised and threatened frog species. IMC is also developing alternative livelihood project in areas where expanding agriculture and urbanisation threaten important biodiversity.
IMC’s work in Lao PDR began in 2019 with the first Tortoise and Freshwater Field Skills Training Course, an event which is held annually in Vietnam as part of the Asian Turtle Program’s (ATP) efforts to build local expertise in turtle conservation.
ATP/IMC is now planning more research activities in the country to increase knowledge about the turtle species found in Laos.
IMC was first established in 2008 with activities focused in Myanmar, the hotspot’s largest and most biologically important country. A community-based conservation project in Rakhine Yoma Elephant Sanctuary aims to negotiate agreements with the local Chin ethnic minority that exchange livelihood support for a commitment to stop hunting and instead monitor the region’s wildlife with particular focus on elephants and the Arakan forest turtle.
Another project builds the technical capacity among rangers, local communities, and university students to monitor and protect key wild and captive populations of the Myanmar star tortoise and the Arakan forest turtle, two Critically Endangered endemics.
Other work included establishing a fish sanctuary in Indawgyi Lake, Kachin State and working with local people to protect the Eld’s Deer in Chatthin Wildlife Sanctuary.