ICSFDC News Alerts

Myanmar: Protecting livelihoods and nature on Inle Lake December 02,2019   |  Source: Relief Web

The fear that haunts Ko Than Htoo, who is the main breadwinner for his five-member family, is that Inle Lake will one day dry up. He has been a boatman for over 25 years. Only two years ago he had to leave nearby Pekon Lake after the water level went down to the point of his boat running aground. Enlisted as a Ramsar site and a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve, Inle Lake is the second largest in Myanmar. It has long hosted a rich diversity of bird and fish species. However that is under threat by deforestation, pollution, unsustainable agriculture and tourism.

“My livelihood is attached to this lake. I am concerned about its future because I have witnessed the impact of decreased water level in the other lake. The people never stopped cutting down trees up in the hills and every time there was rain, all the mud and silt from upstream would flow down to the lake,” says Ko Than Htoo. “We should do something to keep this lake alive so that it keeps us alive.” There are thousands of people like Ko Than Htoo and the Intha community who depend on the wetland resources for their livelihoods.

There are several Intha villages on the lake and their floating gardens draw tourists. However, in the recent years, the haphazard use of chemical pesticides has contaminated the

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