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10 Feb 2015 | News

Myanmar to lead the way with ecotourism in protected areas

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On 19–21 May 2015, the Government of Myanmar launched its ambitious Ecotourism Policy and Management Strategy for Protected Areas, developed with technical collaboration from ICIMOD. With this document, Myanmar initiates a careful approach to opening up 21 selected protected areas for sustainable ecotourism development, setting an example for the region. This effort aligns the objectives of Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism and Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry to strengthen the conservation of protected areas, stimulate sustainable economic development for local communities, and contribute to climate change adaptation.

 

The Vice President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, His Excellency U Nyan Tun, officially opened the conference on 19 May at the Myanmar International Convention Centre in Nay Pyi Taw. In his opening address, Vice President U Nyan Tun said that “the contribution and cooperation from different sectors of the tourism industry will be critical to the successful implementation of the Ecotourism Policy and Management Strategy in Protected Areas”
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During a closed-door Ecotourism Policy Dialogue on the morning of 19 May, Union Minister, U Win Tun of Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry noted that “ecotourism provides an opportunity to fulfil development goals as stipulated by the Government of Myanmar including green growth, people-centered development, people-oriented approaches, and maintaining the national culture and identity”. He added that the Ministry is planning to increase the number of ecotourism sites. Union Minister U Htay Aung of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism presented the Ecotourism Policy and Management Strategy in Protected Areas, highlighting its key components. One of these is the Ecotourism Service Framework that will be prepared by the ministries to guide ecotourism business agreements in protected areas and ensure that benefits accrue to conservation and local communities.

 

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