Norway urges international effort to protect Myanmar’s nature

Myanmar Launches Initiative for Natural World Heritage

Nay Pyi Taw: Seven natural sites have been identified for Myanmar’s World Heritage “Tentative List” during a meeting conducted in Nay Pyi Taw to launch the World Heritage process for natural heritage in the country. The meeting was organized by the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF) and UNESCO on November 21-22, 2013, with cooperation from IUCN and the Norwegian Environmental Agency.myanmar

The meeting marked the launch of UNESCO’s “Safeguarding Natural Heritage in Myanmar within the World Heritage Framework” project, which is being supported by the government of Norway through the Nordic World Heritage Foundation. The project introduces the World Heritage framework as a means to enhance the protection of Myanmar’s natural heritage in conformity with the highest international standards.

Participants included representatives from MOECAF, the Ministry of Culture and Chief Minister’s Offices from concerned states as well as experts from international and national institutions working in the environmental field.

Marte Briseid, First Secretary of the Royal Norwegian Embassy, emphasized the importance of international cooperation to assist Myanmar in protecting the beauty and value of the country’s rich natural heritage.

A signatory to the Convention since 1994, Myanmar does not yet have any sites inscribed on the World Heritage List. It already has eight sites of high priority on the national Tentative List, which is the inventory of sites considered to have potential for World Heritage listing in the future. This includes the Pyu Ancient Cities, Bagan, Mrauk-U and Inle Lake, among others.

At the moment, Myanmar does not yet have any natural sites on the national Tentative List. The meeting provided a forum to discuss potential natural sites to be included in the future. There is tremendous potential in the country as it is rich in marine and terrestrial biodiversity, contains important ecosystems, and has sites reflecting great aesthetic qualities, natural phenomena and geological processes. This natural heritage is increasingly under threat.

Seven sites were discussed during the meeting: the Hukaung Valley Tiger Reserve, Indawgyi Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, Ayeyawaddy River Corridor, Khakaborazi National Park with Hponkanraziand proposed extension, Myeik Archipelago, Natma Taung National Park and the Tanintharyi Forest Corridor.

As the next step, a high-level national consultation meeting is proposed for early in 2014 to seek further inputs and endorsement from other concerned ministries, state and local authorities and other stakeholders.

This meeting is the first step towards long-term cooperation to support the government in nominating and strengthening management for future natural World Heritage sites in Myanmar.

Source: India Education Diary

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