Monday, September 25, 2017

Ecotourism on the cards

Ecotourism is set to receive a boost as the government prepares to finalise a plan to link tourism with conservation. They say this will help promote protected areas, from Lampi Marine National Park in the south to Hkakaborazi National Park in the north, and will also provide local people with jobs.

Mt Victoria (Natmataung) in Chin State. (Douglas Long/The Myanmar Times)Mt Victoria (Natmataung) in Chin State. (Douglas Long/The Myanmar Times)

“The plan will ensure conservation of our protected areas for future generations,” said U Htay Aung, Union Minister of Hotels and Tourism, at the first national consultation workshop, which was organised with the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry.

Paul Rogers, consultant to the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) based in Nepal, said, “Ecotourism will strengthen the relationship between tourism and protected area management by directing revenue toward conservation efforts.” ICIMOD is providing technical support.

“Measures are under way for ecotourism to be developed in the buffer zones of protected areas,” said U Win Naing Thaw, the director of the Department of Forestry.

The goal is to ensure that tourism in protected areas will support biodiversity, conservation and community-based income generation, and strengthen the management of protected areas.

ICIMOD tourism specialist Marjorie van Strien said an intergovernmental Ecotourism Task Force had been established to draw upon the expertise of senior officials from 15 departments. Consultations have been held in Putao, Natmataung, Lampi, Mandalay and Yangon.