Bring a Species Back from the Edge of Extinction
by Myint Shwe
(Natogyi, Mandalay Division, Myanmar)
When I was a young, I was fond of killing animals such as birds, turtles, snakes.... Our parents did not like that. They showed their love for animals by releasing fish, turtles and birds as well as aged cows during religious days. But I now notice that they released turtles, including tortoises, into the pond. Although they loved animals, they had no knowledge of their habits/habitats.
Now most wildlife is endangered due to the lack of awareness, illegal trade, habitat loss, development, as well as global warming.
After one year as a school teacher, I joined nature and wildlife conservation. I worked for 20 years. It was hard to protect the nature reserve. Local people want to use resources for their subsistence. They see us as their enemy. We work for their future yet they don't accept our job.
Finally I found a new way: teaching about "green" issues to their children. The students easily catch on to the importance of preserved areas. They love animals and they participate in the protection of protected areas.