Training Course Strengthens Protection for Southeast Asia’s Most Iconic Species

Participants at the 8th PROTECT Managers course conduct a simulated command post exercise

Participants at the 8th PROTECT Managers course conduct a simulated command post exercise

Participants at the 8th PROTECT Managers course conduct a simulated command post exercise


Some of Southeast Asia’s most pristine parks and iconic species will enjoy better protection after 21 rangers and police underwent an intensive, 16-Day PROTECT Managers Course in Thailand.

Freeland conducted the course for participants from Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand, teaching them effective management skills for protected areas in the region, which are home to endangered species such as Asian elephants and tigers.

The PROTECT Managers course is designed to deliver specific skills to government officers tasked with managing law enforcement operations in protected areas or forests. The participants are taught leadership skills and the methods for conducting intelligence led patrol operations and planning, among other skills like using camouflage and arresting poachers, that are invaluable for managing protected areas and ensuring the officers stay safe.

Providing participants with the tools needed to pass on what they learn to their counterparts is an integral part of the PROTECT course. One of the participants from Myanmar, Pol. Brig Gen. Nay Win, said, “The officers from Myanmar who participated on this course will not only use the techniques and tools taught but will also pass the lessons on to other police officers throughout Myanmar”.

The latest PROTECT Managers course was the eighth that Freeland has conducted in recent years and marks the first time that police from Myanmar have participated. So far, Freeland has trained more than 2,000 rangers, and continues to work with partners from Africa to Asia to build the capacity of frontline officers and managers charged with protecting endangered species and biodiversity.

PROTECT is a competency-based training program where students are required to achieve at least 70 percent to pass the course. As a result of this high standard, the American Council on Education College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT®) has evaluated and recommended college credits for PROTECT. After passing the course, the students can apply for a total of five semester hours in the lower-division criminal justice or administration of justice baccalaureate/associate degree category.

The PROTECT Managers VIII course was funded by the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics Affairs (INL) with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking (ARREST) Program.

For more info on PROTECT and the other work Freeland is doing to fight poaching and protect wildlife, visit