On 2nd February, 2020, the government of the Republic of the Union Myanmar announced the designation of Inlay Lake Wildlife Sanctuary as EAAFP Flyway Network Site (EAAF 147) in celebration of the World Wetlands Day. This marks the 6th EAAFP Flyway Networks Site for Myanmar.
“On this World Wetlands Day, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar is very proud to announce the Inlay Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, a very important site for providing various ecosystem services, supporting about 200,000 local people in the surrounding areas by providing food and livelihood sources, as the sixth East Asian Australian Flyway Network Site of Myanmar. This recognition will support to ensure the long-term conservation of migratory waterbirds and wise use of wetlands. The Government is committed to strengthen the implementation of various activities of network sites in coordination with related organizations under this international recognition and to designate additional network sites to create national networks of protected wetlands” said Dr. Nyi Nyi Kyaw, the Director-General of the Forest Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation of Myanmar.
“Designation of the FNS is just the start of its long-term sustainable management for the conservation of Inlay Lake Wildlife Sanctuary and the migratory waterbirds they support, as well as for the benefit of the local community. Continuous effort in monitoring, education and awareness-raising, capacity building, and sharing information among the EAAFP network would be essential. The EAAFP is ready to work together with the Myanmar government to protect the wetlands in our Flyway.” said Doug Watkins, Chief Executive of East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership.
Inlay Lake is a freshwater wetland on the Shan Plateau of Eastern Myanmar. It is the second largest inland lake in the country. Inlay Lake Wildlife Sanctuary covers over 640,900 hectares, including Inlay Lake, Sakar Inn and Moebye Reservoir. The site is diverse in habitats as it adjoins tropical forests, hill and temperate evergreen forest with shorelines of marshland, peatlands, grassland, farmlands and others.
The lake is an important staging site to over 20,000 individuals of over 75 species of migratory waterbirds of East Asian-Australasian Flyway. Threatened migratory waterbird recorded at the site includes Baer’s Pochard (Critically Endangered) and Sarus Crane (Vulnerable). Six waterbird species have been recorded in numbers over 1% of the Flyway population (Black Coot, Little Cormorant, Glossy Ibis, Black-winged Stilt, Asian Openbill and Brown-headed Gull).
Inlay Lake Wildlife Sanctuary is particularly important for endemic fish species. One of these is the Inle carp (Cyprinus intha), or locally known as nga-phein which plays a crucial role in the cultural and socio-economic advancement.
To protect and conserve its valuable biodiversity, Inlay Lake Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1985 as a Protected Area. It was designated as the first UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve (MAB) of Myanmar in 2015. The site became an ASEAN Heritage Parks in 2013 and was designated as the 5th Ramsar Site of Myanmar in 2018.
World Wetlands Day: https://www.worldwetlandsday.org/
Flyway Network Site of EAAFP: https://www.eaaflyway.net/about-us/the-flyway/flyway-site-network/
Other EAAFP Flyway Network Sites in Myanmar: https://www.eaaflyway.net/myanmar/