KACHIN STATE, Myanmar, 19 June 2017: Indawgyi Lake was designated as a Man and Biosphere Reserve (MAB) of the UNESCO’s network at the 29th session of MAB International Coordination Committee, held 12 to 15 June, at the UNESCO headquarter in Paris, France.
Goble New Light of Myanmar quoted Forest Department general director, Dr Nyi Nyi Kyaw, saying the designation as a MAB reserve is recognition of the value of its biodiversity.
“The government will further development efforts and cooperation with local residents for preservation of the lake and its surrounding areas.”
Indawgyi Lake is the largest body of freshwater in Myanmar. With a total surface area of 133,715 ha, the site consists of a large open lake with floating vegetation areas, a swamp forest and seasonally flooded grasslands.
Hills covered in subtropical broadleaf forests are home to a number of threatened forest birds and mammals, including primates. Villagers derive most of its income from farmlands bordering the lake.
Indawgyi Lake was designated as an ASEAN Heritage Park of Myanmar in 2003 due to its special ecosystem and biodiversity richness. It was also designated as a Ramsar Site in February 2016 because of the large and diverse population of globally important bird species and other unique wetland characteristics.
New sites are designated every year by the MAB Council which is composed of representatives of 34 elected UNESCO Member.
Other Biosphere Reserves joined the network this year:
Mono Biosphere Reserve (Benin); Mono Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (Benin/Togo); Savegre Biosphere Reserve (Costa Rica); Moen Biosphere Reserve (Denmark); La Selle – Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (Dominican Republic / Haiti); Bosques de Paz Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (Ecuador/Peru); Majang Forest Biosphere Reserve (Ethiopia); Black Forest Biosphere Reserve (Germany); San Marcos de Colón Biosphere Reserve (Honduras); Tepilora, Rio Posada and Montalbo Biosphere Reserve (Italy); Sobo, Katamuki and Okue Biosphere Reserve (Japan); Minakami Biosphere Reserve (Japan); Altyn Emel Biosphere Reserve (Kazakhstan); Karatau Biosphere Reserve (Kazakhstan); Gadabedji Biosphere Reserve (Niger); Itaipu Biosphere Reserve (Paraguay); Castro Verde Biosphere Reserve (Portugal); Khakassky Biosphere Reserve (Russian Federation); Kizlyar Bay Biosphere Reserve (Russian Federation); Metsola Biosphere Reserve (Russian Federation); Great Altay Transboundary Biosphere Reserve (Russian Federation / Republic of Kazakhstan); Backo Podunavlje Biosphere Reserve (Serbia); Garden Route Biosphere Reserve (South Africa); Jebel Al Dair Biosphere Reserve (Sudan); and Mono Biosphere Reserve (Togo).
The Man and the Biosphere Programme was created by UNESCO in the early 1970s as an intergovernmental scientific endeavour to improve relations between people around the world and their natural environment.