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Friday, January 22, 2016

Indawgyi wildlife sanctuary on course for Ramsar List

< AMM >

Indawgyi, located in Moenyin Township, Kachin State, Myanmar, is the third largest inland lake in Southeast Asia. The measurement of the lake is 8 miles across from east to west and 15 miles from north to south.

"Now, Indawgyi wildlife sanctuary is accepted as the second Ramsar Site in Myanmar by the Ramsar Secretariat. The official announcement will be made on World Wetlands Day which falls on February 2," said Dr. Naing Zaw Tun, deputy director of Natural Environment and Wildlife Conservation Department adding that its office in teaming up with Flora and Fauna International in carrying out ground studies for nearly three years to designate Indawgyi wildlife sanctuary as Ramsar Site.

The main dominant ethnic groups dwelling around the lake are Kachin, and Shan. There are about 20 villages around the lake. Their main occupation is plantation. Indawgyi Lake lies within the area of Indawgyi Lake Wildlife Sanctuary. The Sanctuary itself composes about 300 square miles, and contains a variety of rare animal species. It was established in 1999, in the concern of environmental and wildlife preservation.

Some of the globally threatened bird species can be found in this sanctuary. Some of those species are Greylag Geese, Oriental Darter, and Purple Swamphen. Visitors can take a tour by a motor around the lake to view the wetland species.

Moeyungyi Wetland Wildlife Sanctuary was designated as a first Ramsar site in Myanmar in 2004, in pursuant of an international treaty on maintaining the ecological character of their wetlands.

The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance now includes 2208 Sites (known as Ramsar Sites) covering over 210,734,269.41 ha (520,735,720.3 acres). The country with the highest number of Sites is the United Kingdom at 170 and the country with the greatest area of listed wetlands is Bolivia, with over 140,000 km2 (54,000 sq mi). The Ramsar definition of wetlands is fairly wide, including "areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters" as well as fish ponds, rice paddies and salt pans.

The Ramsar Convention (formally, the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat) is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the Convention was signed in 1971.

To be included as a protected area system (PAS) under the Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance, the place needs to meet Ramsar's criteria and Indawgyi wildlife sanctuary meets its standards.

Conservationists said they can implement more conservation process and that tourism can be developed in this region after it is desig nated as a Ramsar Site. Moreover, locals have more access for job opportunities.

The Myawady Daily

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