Cooperation framework for Brahmaputra-Salween Landscape finalized


The Regional Cooperation Framework for Brahmaputra-Salween Landscape Conservation and Development Initiative (BSLCDI) was finalized at a meeting in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, on 26 and 27 June 2014. The meeting was organized jointly by ICIMOD and Forest Department, Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (FD-MOECAF).

The representatives of the three countries – China, India, and Myanmar – discussed and agreed on the principles for regional cooperation, vision, goals, and objectives of the Framework. They also discussed the processes for long-term collaboration in the Landscape.

The Framework is a guiding document that directs national and regional actions and builds upon existing bilateral and multilateral cooperation in the three BSL member countries. With the framework in place, the three countries can start the highly anticipated work on the ground.

The Framework will now be tabled for endorsement to respective parties soon. This is expected to ease on-the-ground interventions in the Landscape. The Landscape, shared by China, India, and Myanmar, is an area of high endemism, rich in both biological and cultural diversity, and sits at the convergence of three global biodiversity hotspots. 

According to Dr Eklabya Sharma, Director Program Operations of ICIMOD, the framework will strengthen cooperation between China, India, and Myanmar. “There are challenges that are multidimensional but ICIMOD is hoping that its experience as an intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing center on landscape conservation and transboundary cooperation initiatives will help and we see opportunities to improve livelihoods and the environment using the ecosystems approach," he said.

Prof Dong Qi of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said for a long time CAS has been looking forward to cooperate with Myanmar in sharing information in transboundary biodiversity monitoring and scientific research. “We have also been offering fellowships to research scholars from India, Myanmar, and other ICIMOD member countries,” he said. 

Dr Pitamber P Dhyani of G. B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED) said his Institute accords highest priority to holistic conservation and sustainable development for which transboundary approach is very important. 

The director of Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division of Myanmar, Win Naing Thaw, said the BSL region is very important to Myanmar and transboundary cooperation is a high priority for conservation of the landscape.

The meeting came at the back of the hard work put in by China, India, and Myanmar and ICIMOD in three consultation meetings in Tengchong, China in 2009, Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, in 2011, and Kaziranga, India, in 2014.