Back to news
21 May 2015 | Press releases

Streamline ecotourism in protected areas, say experts

3 mins Read

70% Complete

More than 200 experts, policymakers, government officials, and journalists who participated in the three-day international conference on ecotourism in protected areas said streamlining ecotourism in protected areas will go a long way in strengthening livelihoods, conservation, and adaptation.

Discussing topics like climate change, spiritual tourism, nature conservation financing, working with host communities, etc., they said creating and sharing new knowledge on ecotourism policy and practice would be crucial to determine the direction of progress countries make in the field of ecotourism.

The international conference titled ‘Ecotourism in Protected Areas: Strengthening Livelihoods, Conservation, and Adaptation’, held from 19 to 21 May 2015, was organized by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and jointly hosted by Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism (MOHT) and the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF).

His Excellency U Nyan Tun, Vice President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Photo: Udayan Mishra/ICIMOD

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 (MICC II) in Nay Pyi Taw. The opening ceremony also saw the launch of Myanmar’s new ‘Ecotourism Policy and Management Strategy’, developed with technical collaboration from ICIMOD.

In his opening address, Vice President U Nyan Tun said that not only is tourism Myanmar’s one of the largest service industries, but it also one of the seven priority sectors spelt out in the country’s economic policy. “The contribution and cooperation from different sectors of the tourism industry will be critical to the success of implementation of the Ecotourism Policy and Management Strategy,” he said.

During a closed-door session in the morning of 19 May, Minister U Win Tun of MOECAF noted the opportunities the tourism sector presented in Myanmar. “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 said, adding that the ministry is planning to increase the number of ecotourism sites.

In his closing remarks in the afternoon of 21 May, Minister U Htay Aung of MOHT said that Myanmar’s new Ecotourism Policy has been developed to guide the systematic and sustainable development and management of ecotourism, and to avoid and mitigate any potential negative impacts that may arise from unregulated nature-based tourism development. “We fully believe that ecotourism will not only benefit the protected areas through conservation, but also the local communities through employment, capacity development, and alternative source of livelihood,” he said.

ICIMOD’s Regional Programme Manager Dr Dhrupad Choudhury said the Conference is an important milestone in the support ICIMOD has extended to the Government of Myanmar in the process of formulating the Ecotourism Policy and Strategy. “We are privileged to have supported this Policy through the whole process with the strong support of the two ministries. We will look forward to continuing this partnership and foster regional cooperation and knowledge generation,” he said.

Pointing out the need to engage communities at the local level, ICIMOD’s Theme Leader for Livelihoods, Dr Golam Rasul, said, “For making ecotourism a success, we need to engage the key stakeholders, particularly the local communities, to diversify their livelihood options and improve their lives.”

The Conference was endorsed by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), and was supported by key sponsors, including the European Union, the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) – Environment Operations Center, Empower Consultancy, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Kempinski Hotel.

Conference website: www.icimod.org/ecotourism2015

Conference social media hashtag: #ecotourism2015

ICIMOD Facebook: www.facebook.com/icimod
Twitter: @icimod
YouTube: www.youtube.com/icimod

For additional information on the Conference, please contact:

Marjorie van Strien, ICIMOD
Email: marjorie.strien@icimod.org
Mobile: 09253677295

Daw Khaing Mee Mee Htun
Ministry of Hotels and Tourism (MOHT), Myanmar
Email: asean.dht@gmail.com
Mobile: +95 67 406248

For media-related matters, please contact:

Kyaw Kyaw Lwin
Ministry of Hotels and Tourism (MOHT), Myanmar
Email: mohtmail@gmail.com
Mobile: +95 9 43169660, +95 67 406061

Nira Gurung, ICIMOD
Email: nira.gurung@icimod.org
Phone: +977 01 5003222

Stay current

Stay up to date on what’s happening around the HKH with our most recent publications and find out how you can help by subscribing to our mailing list.

Sign Up

Related contents

Continue exploring this topic

8 Aug 2011 Press releases
Youth Forum prepares tomorrow’s leaders to address climate change adaptation and the mountain agenda

A week-long training and knowledge sharing workshop for young people from 17 Asian countries opened today in Kathmandu, helping to ...

6 Dec 2017 Press releases
MOPE, EU, and ICIMOD host international conference on resilient HKH

After four days of invigorating discussion on resilience issues in the Hindu Kush Himalaya, Nepal’s Ministry of Population and the ...

10 Jun 2019 Press releases
The heritage gap

Currently, there are only 17 inscribed World Heritage sites in a region covering eight countries, four Global Biodiversity Hotspots, and ...

3 Aug 2020 Press releases
HKH post COVID-19 resilient recovery plans must consider mountain realities

As governments around the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region reel from the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic immediate, medium- and ...

30 Sep 2015 Press releases
Design manual launched to support the construction of stronger and cleaner brick kilns in Nepal

The “Design Manual for Improved Fixed Chimney Zig-Zag Brick Kilns” has been released by Honorable Minister Mahesh Basnet, Ministry of ...

3 Dec 2017 Press releases
MOPE and ICIMOD host international conference on resilience

More than four hundred experts in Kathmandu to discuss solutions for mountain communities Four hundred experts from around the world are ...

1 Dec 2015 Press releases
Regional knowledge centre nominates secretary of MOCHTA as board chair

[caption id="attachment_7328" align="aligncenter" width="560"] Photo credit: Farid Ahmad/ICIMOD[/caption] The Secretary of the Ministry of ...

20 May 2011 Press releases
South Asia media workshop calls for better understanding and increased attention on adaptation to climate change

Dhulikhel, Kathmandu Twenty-four media representatives from the South Asian countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal,