Myanmar launches first Unesco biosphere reserve

Nay Pyi Taw, Dec 11 (IANS) Myanmar has launched the country’s first Unesco Biosphere Reserve — Inle Lake in Shan state, opening a new chapter in its commitment to bio-diversity and eco-system conservation, the media reported on Friday.

Inle Lake was designated as Myanmar’s first biosphere reserve under Unesco’s Man and the Bioshpere (MAB) programme in Paris in June this year, Xinhua reported.

UNESCO official highlighted the need for innovative technical and eco-technological solution which are key for preserving the lake along with education and research activities through an inclusive management framework for the lake.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has worked closely with Myanmar concerned to provide technical assistance for the nomination process of the Inle Lake in collaboration with the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

The lake gets funding from the government of Norway under the framework of the Inle Lake Conservation and Rehabilitation project.

The inscription of Inle Lake as one of the world natural heritage sites by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) came after that of Myanmar’s three Pyu ancient cities in June last year.

The 489,721 hectares’ Inle Lake is located in Nyaungshwe township, Taunggyi district in Myanmar’s eastern Shan state.

The wetland ecosystem of this freshwater lake is home to 267 species of birds, out of which 82 are wetland birds, 43 species of freshwater fishes, otters and turtles. Diverse flora and fauna species are recorded.

The Inle Lake is reported to be the nesting place for globally endangered Sarus crane.

In addition to its ecological importance, Inle Lake is also unique for the way the local inhabitants have adapted their life style to their environment.

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