Inle Lake Stakeholders Prepare a Five Year Action Plan to Tackle Lake Conservation Challenges

Oct 7, 2014

Formulating a plan to ensure sustainable development and conservation of Inle Lake.

[Taunggyi – 7 October] Departmental officials, parliamentarians, non-government agencies, representatives of the local ethnic peoples met in Taunggyi yesterday to review the Draft Inle Lake Conservation 5-Year Action Plan (2015-2016 to 2019-2020) which is led by the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry in collaboration with Shan State Government and with technical support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The Workshop was inaugurated by U Win Tun, the Union Minister for Environmental Conservation and Forestry and U Sao Aung Myat, Chief Minister of the Shan State Government.

In his opening speech, Union Minister U Win Tun highlighted that the sustainability of Inle lake is a national concern as it is an important natural and cultural heritage of Myanmar, and a means of livelihood for its inhabitants.

Inle Lake is suffering environmental degradation from the combined effects of increasing population pressures, unsustainable resource use, water pollution, siltation, climate variability and rapid tourism development. The current five year action plan (2010-11 to 2014-15) for Inle Lake Conservation is coming to an end. To ensure sustainable development and environmental conservation of Inle Lake, the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry is now preparing a new Inle Lake Conservation Five-Year Action Plan (2015-16 to 2019-20) through a participatory process involving the Shan State Government, key stakeholders from several line ministries, other relevant agencies and local Inle Lake communities. The five year action plan will be part of a long term plan.

“The five year plan should have an integrated development approach, as the environmental conservation of Inle Lake and sustainable development of the Inle Lake communities is indispensable”, U Sao Aung Myat said.

The Inle Lake Conservation Five Year Action Plan (2015-2016 to 2019-2020) aims at ensuring a balanced approach between conservation and development of Inle Lake through the active participation of local communities and key stakeholders. The plan will also include monitoring and management systems to evaluate progress of conservation efforts. The stakeholders recommend the plan should consider not only remedial measures to reduce environmental degradation but also to improve socio-economic conditions and protect livelihoods of local communities in the Inle Lake watershed.

The workshop builds on previous consultations organized on 26 and 27 August, 2014 in Taunggyi, where the stakeholders participated in identifying the key activities of the plan. Building on the previous discussions, the workshop offered the opportunity for various stakeholders to review and discuss the first draft of the Inle Lake Action Plan.

“It is important to strengthen the governance of Inle Lake conservation efforts on the basis of a clear action plan that rallies private, civil and government actors at various levels and defines various roles. It is also equally important to develop local capacities to monitor the health of the lake’s eco system and establish a baseline to measure water quality,” Mr. Igor Bosc, Senior Programme Advisor of UNDP said.

Under the UNDP Country Programme for Myanmar (2013-2015), UNDP is supporting the Government of Myanmar in strengthening environmental governance. Currently, UNDP is implementing the Inle Lake Rehabilitation and Conservation project with the financial support of the Government of Norway. In addition, UNDP is providing the technical support in developing the Inle Lake Five year Action Plan for Inle Lake Conservation (2015-16 to 2019-2010). The Action Plan is expected to be finalized in December 2014, so that the different departments and development partners start implementing it in 2015.

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