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Conservation of Inle Lake is a ‘national duty’, says Burmese VP

Fishing on Inle Lake (PHOTO: Creative Commons)

The Burmese government has pledged to continue spending 100 million kyat (over US$100,000) every year to conserve and protect Inle Lake in Shan state, one of the major tourist attractions in the country.

According to the Shan state government’s Inntha Ethnic Affairs Minister Win Myint, the promise was made by Vice-president Sai Mauk Kham while on a tour of the lake area and nearby town of Nyaungshwe on Saturday, when he said that the 100-million-kyat annual budget will be allocated to the irrigation, agriculture and forestry departments to be used towards conservation of the lake.

“The vice-president urged the people of Inle Lake, including the younger generations, to join the effort to conserve the lake via a public-focused campaign,” said Minister Win Myint.

He said the vice-president emphasised that the lake’s width had been narrowing and silting gradually over the years. Speaking to guests at the nearby town of Nyaungshwe, Sai Mauk Kham said that conservation of Inle Lake was “a national duty”.

More than 90,000 foreign tourists have visited Inle Lake so far this year. Tourism authorities say they expected that number to hit 150,000 by the year’s end.

According to an official report, the area of Inle Lake has declined from 104 square miles to 24 square miles; from 36 miles long to 11 miles; eight miles wide to four miles; and from 20 feet deep to 12 feet.”