Photo story: A journey down Myanmar’s Chindwin River

Photo story: A journey down Myanmar’s Chindwin River Women in Chaung U township in Sagaing Region, Myanmar, make a living delivering lunch to farmers. (Photos by Wichai Yuntavaro/SEI)

​Source -The Third Poles - Local communities in the remote region rely on the river and its biodiversity for their food, fuel and livelihoods, resources that are increasingly under threat.

The Chindwin Basin is rich in biodiversity, with almost 47% still under forest cover. Originating in the lushly forested mountains of the Hukawng Valley in northern Myanmar, the 1,200 km long Chindwin River – the main tributary of the Ayeyarwady – is home to 6 million people in Myanmar who depend on it for their livelihoods.

Views of the Chindwin River from the Mahamyaing forest in the upper Chindwin Basin.

 At the intersection of India's Assam state, the Eastern Himalayas and China, the region has at least 140 mammals and more than 370 bird species. Several of the mammal species are also classified as threatened.

But the basin's rich biodiversity faces a number of serious threats from mining, logging, sand dredging and hydropower projects as well as land clearance for agriculture. Meanwhile, Myanmar's conservation plans and policies and environmental safeguards are still being developed even as regulatory and enforcement capacity remains weak

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