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Celebrating women in conservation: Mya Nwe

Sai Nay Won Myint from WWF-Myanmar

“In this time of historic change for Myanmar, I consider it to be my life’s calling to help shape my country’s economic and environmental future.””

Mya Nwe
Program Officer, Forests

What I do for nature

My work focuses on how WWF can launch conservation projects in my home country of Myanmar since the start-up of our new office as part of our Greater Mekong program. Few places on Earth have such great wealth of natural resources, including forests and freshwater, that provide the fundamental link with our well-being. WWF and our partners are currently mapping and assessing natural resources in Myanmar to guide future decisions that will impact nature. My days involve research, outreach, and engagement with policymakers, donors, and partners to provide tools and the capacity the Mekong countries need to collaborate toward green growth.

Why I do it

I grew up in Myanmar, which is now the second most vulnerable country in the world to climate change. I vividly experienced the Cyclone Nargis, which killed more than 100,000 people, and the aftermath it left behind. If Nargis is a sign of more intense storms to come due to climate change, I want to contribute to a more resilient future for my country. Without well-managed forests and arable land, the food we eat, the water we drink, as well as the protection we need against natural disasters are threatened. Understanding some of these challenges first hand have made me realize the importance of balancing growth and conservation. Like the rest of the region, Myanmar is at crossroads and undergoing a lot of pressure for development after 50 years of isolation with large foreign investments pouring in. In this time of historic change, I consider it to be my life’s calling to help shape my country’s economic and environmental future. The government is eager to engage with WWF on achieving such a vision. It will not be easy, but I’m excited about the possibilities ahead.