Taunngyi – Inle lake is experiencing environmental degradation from the combined effects of unsustainable resource use, increasing population, climate change and rapid tourism development. The native flora and fauna are endangered by exotic invasive species and the quality of water, which used to be safe for consumption, is now contaminated and a source of health problems for the locals.

Group Photo at the Inception Workshop with the representatives from the Shan State Government, representative from the Royal Norwegian Embassy and UNDP Myanmar. Photo: UNDP Myanmar

UNDP, in partnership with Norway, is supporting the Inle Lake Management Authority (ILMA) to address these adverse environmental, social and economic impacts by providing technical and financial assistance to further enhance the management of the Inle Lake watershed, as part of the project “Strengthening the Inle Lake Management Authority to Improve Conservation and Development.

A project inception workshop was held in Taunggyi on 29th October, attended by parliamentarians, government officials, representatives of local ethnic groups, and NGOs. The objectives of the workshop were to share the project design and planned activities, which were developed in discussion with government agencies and local community groups, with a broader group of stakeholders and to formally launch the project. The meeting was opened by His Excellency, Dr. Linn Htut, Chief Minister of the Shan State Government.

In his opening remarks, the Chief Minister highlighted the historical, cultural and environmental significance of Inle Lake for local communities and for the country. He emphasized the need for a multisectoral and coordinated approach for strengthening the long-term management of the lake area to ensure its future conservation.

The project, funded with financial assistance from the Government of Norway and involving technical assistance of UNDP, builds on the achievements and lessons learned from the earlier UNDP and Norway project, Inle Lake Conservation and Rehabilitation (2012-2016) and the Five-Year Action Plan for Inle Lake Conservation (2016-2020). It supports the inclusive management of Inle Lake through the Lake Management Authority, targets an increase in awareness about the environmental challenges facing the lake, and aims to maximize the long-term impact of all sustainable development initiatives, including mobilization of additional resources to support the better management and conservation of the lake.

Ms. Lise Norgaard, Minister Counsellor, Deputy Head of Mission, the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Myanmar expressed her appreciation for the successful implementation of the first project, and requested stakeholders to continue their engagement and participation under the new project ensuring that the results achieved through joint efforts are sustainable and its outcomes maximized.

Mr. Biplove Choudhary, Chief of Unit, Sustainable Inclusive Growth, UNDP, in his remarks congratulated the Government of Myanmar, and the Shan State Government for the impressive achievements to date related to the conservation of Inle Lake. He said, “A strengthened Inle Lake Management Authority will play a key role in ensuring the sustainability of current and planned conservation efforts. UNDP, under its Country Programme for Myanmar (2018-2022), remains committed to supporting the Government of Myanmar in strengthening environmental governance and promoting inclusive growth through an integrated and multi-sectoral strategy”.

CSO representatives shared the local communities’ perspectives on ongoing Inle Lake initiatives and outlined their development needs, and recommended activities for consideration of the project. They welcomed increased opportunities for local community participation in all phases of project implementation and monitoring.

The inception workshop concluded with agreement on the Inle Lake Project Results Framework and work plan activities.

Read more about the project: http://www.mm.undp.org/content/myanmar/en/home/projects/inle-lake.html

For additional information, please email UNDP Myanmar communications team:

Ms. Sandra Barrows: sandra.barrows@undp.org 09 7974 36048

Ms. Yamon Phu Thit: yamon.phu.thit@undp.org 09 7916 39052

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