Taninthayi Nature Reserve Project

The Taninthayi Nature Reserve Project (TNRP) is the mechanism by which payments from three private gas pipeline companies (TOTAL, PETRONAS and PTT Exploration and Production Company) have financed the creation and management of a protected area as compensation for impacts on biodiversity along the pipeline route. This public-private partnership is unique in Myanmar, but is influencing and informing similar developments in the country.



The goal of the project is to maintain the biodiversity of the nature reserve while contributing to the sustainable livelihood of local communities. A committee made up of national government and company representatives oversees the project, with WCS in a technical advisory role for the design and implementation of the conservation activities, including law enforcement, outreach, livelihoods, research, and administration.


 TNRP is an innovative model for conservation and protected area management based on voluntary biodiversity compensation. The model was developed prior to the introduction of the concept of ‘biodiversity offsets’. An independent review of the model, commissioned by WCS, has come up with a number of lessons learned to ensure that similar conservation projects are designed to have the desired impact.

In 2017 WCS facilitated the development of a new management plan for phase four of the project. This plan brought together the Karen National Union (KNU) and government Forest Department – a major breakthrough for the peace-building process. The management plan incorporates TNRP becoming a model site for other protected areas to learn from, including how public-private partnerships can function for conservation.

As a result WCS is developing a new partnership linked to the gas pipeline, where it leaves TNRP and goes into the sea. As a first step, WCS is collecting fisheries data near the gas exploration site of Australian oil and gas company, Woodside Energy. This has the potential to develop into further work looking at the impact of offshore infrastructure on marine biodiversity conservation.

Learn more

  • Impact assessments should thoroughly analyse direct and indirect impacts on biodiversity
  • The ‘mitigation hierarchy’ should be followed during the construction and operation of infrastructure, meaning that the developer aims to avoid any negative impacts first, then to minimize, rectify, reduce and only offset as a last resort
  • In identifying how much compensation is enough it is necessary to quantify biodiversity losses from development impacts and gains from conservation activities
  • Monitoring actions is the only way to determine their success in mitigating impacts and reducing biodiversity losses

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