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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Indawgyi Lake becomes new Ramsar Site on World Wetlands Day

Indawgyi Lake Biosphere reserve, Myanmar

Yangon February 3

The Myanmar government and Ramsar Secretariat announced Myanmar's largest Indawgyi Lake as a Ramsar Site on World Wetlands Day, on February 2.

The designation will help maintain the conservation process. The lake supports the livelihood of some 30,000 people and is home to at least 20,000 migratory birds and indigenous water birds, 93 fish species and reptiles.

According to Dr. U Nyi Nyi Kyaw, the director general of the Forest Department, “The new Ramsar Site will ensure the longterm conservation and wise use of Myanmar’s most important wetland, the Indawgyi Lake basin, which is only Myanmar’s second Ramsar Site. However, the government remains committed to designating additional Ramsar Sites to create a national network of protected wetlands.”

Currently, firewood extraction and consumption have been reduced through fuel-efficient stoves and community forestry.

Local communities participate in the designation of fish conservation zones to protect fish breeding and nursery grounds.

The Department of Fisheries just approved nine community-managed fish conservation zones, including a ‘no-fishing zone’ around Shwe Myint Zu Pagoda.

Indawgyi’s outstanding cultural and natural heritage has been attracting an increasing number of tourists.

To ensure tourism is sustainable and beneficial to local people, a community-based ecotourism initiative offering new adventures such as kayaking, cycling and trekking— all of which provide jobs for local youths, has started.

The Myawady Daily

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