Free Music Festival Aims to Raise Awareness of Illegal Wildlife Trade

By Lwin Mar Htun 3 April 2018

The “Voices for Wildlife” music festival will be held on April 7 in Yangon’s Mahabandoola Park with the aim of supporting efforts to stamp out illegal wildlife sales across the country.

Organized by the Voices for Momos organization with the support of the Danish Embassy, the music festival is the first ever held specifically to raise public awareness of the illegal wildlife trade and to urge the government, at both the Union and regional levels, to take steps to end illegal wildlife sales.

“Through the concert, we hope to put the spotlight on one of the biggest global challenges faced not only by Myanmar but many countries — the illegal wildlife trade,” Danish Ambassador Peter Lysholt Hansen said at a press conference at Pansuriya Café on Tuesday.

“Ending wildlife trafficking is a responsibility of all of us, and while these sales continue in Myanmar, its wildlife remains in peril,” the ambassador said. “We congratulate the government of Myanmar on steps already taken to protect wildlife, and we urge the government to also develop a solid framework to end this trade.”

Local entertainers including Bunny Phyo, Chuu Sit Han, Kyaw Thiha, Irene Zin Mar Myint, Naw Naw, Pann Yaung Chel, Wyne Lay, Zaw Pyae, Charlie, and The Peacists will perform at the concert. The event is open to the public free of charge and will run from 5 to 9:30 p.m.

Lin Htet, a composer known for creating pieces that use both traditional and Western instruments, will serve as the festival’s music director.

The concert is the crowning event in the five-month public campaign “Voices for Momos,” which was launched in November 2017. Through a series of public events, “Voices for Momos” has raised public awareness of the dangers facing Myanmar’s wild elephants, which are on the brink of extinction due to poaching for their hides and other parts.

Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein and his wife Daw Khin Mi Mi Kywe will attend the event.

“The support for this campaign has been overwhelming with voices from all sectors speaking out to protect elephants and all wildlife here in Myanmar and around the planet. We are very grateful for the support of these entertainers who have volunteered their time and talent. If you haven’t already signed up to take part, then do and be part of history in the making,” said Christy Williams, country director of World Wild Fund for Nature Myanmar.

“Voices for Momos” was launched to stem the crisis of elephant poaching and skinning in Myanmar. It aims to encourage individuals and organizations across all sectors to use their voice to call for the end of illegal wildlife sales in Myanmar, according to organizers.