22 Aug 19 - Source: Myanmar Times - A workshop to conserve Ramsar wetland sites in central Myanmar will be held to educate the public and government officials, said U Thein Aung, chair of the Myanmar Birds and Environmental Conservation Association.

A Ramsar site is a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

The workshop, which will be held in Mandalay City Hall on Saturday, will focus on 10 priority wetland areas in Mandalay Region.

"Although there are many wetland areas in Mandalay, the Ramsar sites that we will discuss are the famous ones in Mandalay such as Sont Ye Lake, Paleik Lake, Taungthaman Lake, and Pyu Lake. The workshop will discuss the challenges that the residents face in Ramsar sites and how to conduct conservation work. We will submit the results of discussions at the workshop to the relevant government agencies," U Thein Aung said.

Ramsar sites around the world are the main source for the replenishment of underground water, while also providing protection against floods, helping to regulate the climate, and absorbing carbon dioxide. However, many wetlands are under threat due to human activity, climate change, and pollution.

"About 30 representatives from local communities will be invited to the workshop. Although things such as restaurants, bars, and recreational boating services in wetland areas can be commercially beneficial, the waste generated by those businesses contribute to pollution of natural resources. The workshop will work towards finding solutions to such issues. A photo exhibition of birds in Myanmar will also be held at the workshop," said U Thein Aung.

There are four major shallow-water areas in Myanmar: Moe Yoon Gyi Lake in Bago Region, Indawgyi Lake in Kachin State, Mein Ma Hla Kyun in the Ayeyarwady delta, and the southern part of Moattama Gulf.

The 45,000 hectare Moattama Gulf was designated the fourth Ramsar site in Myanmar in May 2017. It has also been recognized as the Ramsar Site with the richest shallow-water resources in the world. – Translated