Eco-Tourism in Myanmar
Myanmar is a tropical country located in Southeast Asia. It has a total land area of 676,577 km2. It has four vital river systems, which play an important role in Burmese societies. The country is dubbed as the land of wealthy natural resources. In fact, it has one of the biggest forests in the entire region. Myanmar still has half of its land area covered with lush greens that are managed by the Myanmar Selection System (MSS).
Myanmar’s Ecosystem Explored
Hosting a diversity of wildlife flora and fauna species—300 mammals, 7,000 plants, 1,000 bird species and 360 reptiles, Myanmar is truly a perfect venue for eco-tourism and nature-oriented activities. Dubbed as the “Golden Land” because of its numerous golden pagodas and natural resources, the country constitutes one of the few biological reservoirs in the entire continent.
Aside from the bountiful resources that can be found in the country, picturesque landscapes, magnificent mountains, verdant forests, pristine beaches, lakes and rivers also contribute to the overall beauty of the land.
Efforts to Protect and Preserve the Environment
With the increasing problem on environmental degradation, authorities in Myanmar are looking for ways to preserve the natural beauty of the country without sacrificing the needs for resources for development. Careful planning and implementation of eco-tourism programs should be observed to maintain the long-term benefits of nature to the people and the nation at large. Some measures include controlling and limiting the tourism level in ecotourism sites.
Since forests supply valuable resources in the socio-economic sphere of Myanmar, these must be protected at all cost. The government is committed to maintain sustainable development of biological resources through agreements and international conventions. The programs for ecotourism are currently being implemented.
Protected Areas System (PAS)
At present, there are five nature parks and 23 sanctuaries, which compose 15, 270 km2 (2.26%) of the country’s total land area and these were established under the current PAS. Proposals for the creation of new protected areas are being made.
The Hlawga Park, MeinmahlaKyun Wildlife Santuary, Moeyungyi Wetlands Wildlife Sanctuary, Yangon Zoological Gardens, Popa Mountain Park, Seinyay Forest Resort, Shwe-set-taw Wildlife Sanctuary, Alaungtaw Kathapa National Park, Pyin-Oo-Lwin Botanical Gardens and the Inle Lake Wetlands Wildlife Sanctuary are just some of the sites that possess great ecotourism potential.
It’s true what they say that prevention is better than cure, and this proves to be true in the context of Myanmar when it comes to ecotourism and preservation of nature. Protective measures must be carried out before the destruction of the environment takes its toll. You can get a glimpse of all the efforts being done by the authorities when you visit Myanmar with your best buddy or your family.
Also, you can do your part in taking care of nature even if you’re only visiting by following the rules set by the government and field implementers in the ecotourism sites. With small acts such as throwing your trash in the proper places, avoiding making graffiti, taking plants or animals without permission and refraining from smoking can do wonders for the environment as well.