The Inle lake is renowned for a number of traditional cultural and livelihood practices, which have made it one of the main attractions for Myanmar’s booming tourism industry. The lake is, however, suffering environmental degradation from the combined effects of unsustainable resource use, increasing population pressures, climate variability and rapid tourism development.
The Government of Myanmar (GOM) implemented a number of initiatives to develop and conserve the Inle Lake in recent years. These initiatives were carried out in collaboration with a number of development partners including UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, IUCN, IFC, Government of Norway, and UN-Habitat.
In 2012, through the financial support from the Royal Norwegian Government, UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) implemented the Inle Lake Conservation and Rehabilitation Project. It supported restoring environmental stability of the lake, environmental conservation, livelihoods and environmentally friendly community development activities.
In 2015, the GOM prepared the Inle Lake Conservation 5- Year Action Plan (2015 to 2020), key priorities include: setting up an institutional framework for Inle Lake conservation management; developing baseline data on the natural and social environment for future conservation and development and of Inle Lake; promoting sustainable tourism practices; development of infrastructures; and training and capacity building for the local community.
In the effort to provide continuing support to the GOM in promoting an inclusive development and effective environmental management of the Inle Lake, UNDP Myanmar in partnership with Shan State Government and MIID is implementing a two-year (2018 – 2020) project on ‘Strengthening the Inle Lake Management Authority to Improve Development and Conservation’. The project is funded by the Government of Norway.
The key objective of the project is to support the implementation of the Inle Lake Conservation Action Plan, particularly by strengthening the coordination and effectiveness of Inle Lake Management Authority; and development of implementing guidelines and tools for monitoring and tracking progress of the Action Plan.
In February 2019, the Shan State Government has adopted the Inle lake Conservation Law, a major milestone for the long-term conservation and management of the Inle Lake. Towards this, UNDP is seeking services of an experienced environmental lawyer to work with UNDP, Shan State Government, MIID and lead the development of the Inle Lake Conservation Rules and Regulations and associated Standard Operating Procedures.