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23 Mar 2018 | HI-LIFE

Promoting Ecotourism in the Hkakabo Razi Landscape, Myanmar

Local people, district government representatives, and representatives from the private sector in Myanmar gathered together to discuss prospects for ecotourism in the Hkakabo Razi Landscape at a two-day stakeholder consultation workshop in November 2017.

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Titled Ecotourism Plan for Hkakabo Razi Landscape, the event provided stakeholders an opportunity to voice concerns and communicate directly with conservation professionals.

The first day of the workshop focused on tourism planning in Putao, especially outside of the Hkakabo Razi Landscape protected area. The second day focused on the protected area itself.

The importance of the Hkakabo Razi National Park, which is one of Asia’s heritage parks, was discussed during the workshop. The participants were also asked to identify good things about life in Putao and note five development opportunities to improve life in the district over the next five to ten years.

The participants were aware of the potential of ecotourism in the region and the benefits of establishing an ecotourism sector in the district. They talked about promoting the region’s culture and securing the sustainability of its natural resources after the promotion of tourism in the area.

Over 70 participants including local community leaders, officials from different ministries, and representatives from Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Myanmar and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), the private sector (local tour operators, hotels, tour guides, etc.), and the Myanmar Responsible Tourism Institute (MRTI) attended the event.

ICIMOD, under its Landscape Initiative for the Far Eastern Himalaya (HI-LIFE), is promoting tourism development, as an alternative livelihood option for local people in the Hkakabo Razi Landscape. It has established a Community Information Resource Centre (CIRC) and separate community managed accommodation facility and resource centres for tourists and locals to empower the local community empowerment and strengthen capacity for conservation and livelihood development. The CIRC will be owned and managed by the community with technical and financial support from ICIMOD, WCS, and the Forest Department, Myanmar.

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