Eco Tourism Development
Myanmar, a tropical country in Continental South East
Asia, lies between latitudes 9° 58' to 28° 29' North and longitudes 92°
10' to 101° 10' East. The country has a total land area of 676,577 km2.
The country's length from south to north is about 2,090 km and the
maximum width from west to east is about 805 km. The country has four
important river systems, flowing in the north-southerly direction, of
which the Ayeyarwaddy River, the main waterway, is navigable for about
Myanmar is regarded as a land of diverse culture, traditions and natural resources. It is
endowed with one of the largest forest covers in the region. More than half of
the country is still covered with forests, which are well managed under the
Myanma Selection System (MSS).
Forest resources play a dominant role in improving the socio-economic life of the
people of the nation. The country is the world's prime supplier of natural teak
(Tectona grandis), which is one of the pillars of the State's economy. About 75%
of the total population of 49 million live in rural areas, depending upon forest
resources. The forestry sector provides goods and services for domestic
consumption as well as export markets.
The forestry sector constituted around l % of the national GDP annually over the
last decade. Export earnings made by the forestry sector constituted about 30%
of the country's total in the early l990s, followed by decreasing shares in
total export earnings in the subsequent years due to increases in other sectors.
But, it has increased considerably in 98-99 and 99-2000. Growth rate of GDP of
the forestry sector is about 2.7% of the total national GDP in 96-97, 1.3% in
97-98, 1% in 9899 and 0.9% in 99-2000. The role of forests for environmental
stability and for soil and water conservation is increasingly recognized by the
State. The protected areas system is well established with the set-up of parks
and sanctuaries. Myanmar is committed to sustainable development of forests and
biological resources through accession to a number of international conventions
and agreements. In effect, forestry in Myanmar has been well in place,
maintaining a balance between environment, development and social needs.
Protected Areas System (PAS)
Diverse forest ecosystems in Myanmar are home to nearly 300 known mammal species, 360 reptiles
and about 1,000 bird species. Myanmar is also endowed with about 7,000 plant
species. Myanmar is found to have more than 1,200 species of butterfly, of which
six are identified as rare species even at the global level. So far, 23
sanctuaries and five parks, constituting about 2.26% (15,270 km2) of the total
land area of the country have been established under the existing PAS, and
proposals for forming new protected areas have also been made. It is stipulated
in Myanmar Forest Policy, 1995 that the coverage of the PAS will be increased to
5% in the short term. In the long term it is intended to increase up to 10%.
The natural forests of Myanmar provide substantial opportunities for ecotourism development.
The MeinmahlaKyun Wildlife Sanctuary in the Ayeyarwaddy Delta, the Hlawga Park
near Yangon, the Yangon Zoological Gardens, the Moeyungyi Wet- lands Wildlife
Sanctuary near Bago, the Seinyay Forest Resort| on the strategic road across
Bago Yoma teak forests, the Popa Mountain Park and the Shwe-set-taw
Wildlife Sanctuary in the Central Myanmar. The Pyin-Oo-lwin Botanical Gardens, the
Alaungtaw Kathapa National Park in Upper Myanmar and the Inle Lake Wetlands
Wildlife Sanctuary on the Shan Plateau of Eastern Myanmar are among those with
outstanding ecotourism potential.
The Inn-Daw Gyi Wetlands Wildlife Sanctuary in northern Myanmar and the Natmataung (Mt.
Victoria) National Park on the north-west Chin Hills are also of high potential
for ecotourism and are now being developed. The Chatthin Wildlife Sanctuary in Upper Myanmar is also the
protected area where development activities for ecotourism are being made.
Moreover, the Khakarborazi National I Park in the far north constitutes an
attractive environment with snow-capped mountains and sub-alpine forests and
opportunities for mountaineering and outdoor recreation. Most striking upgrading
have recently been made at Pyin-Oo-Lwin Botanical Gardens, Popa Mountain Park
and Moeyungyi Wetlands Wildlife Sanctuary, to promote ecotourism, public
recreation, education and research.
Pho Kyar Forest Resort
Pho Kyar Forest Resort is located in a foot-hill of Bago Yoma Mountain ranges and lies within
the Saing Ya tropical reserved forest. 10 miles away from the town of Thargaya,
which is a town on Yangon to Mandalay main motor-road and 204 miles from Yangon
and 240 miles from Mandalay.
The Resort is emerged as the ideal eco-tourism spot has been having a special
privilege of occupying a prime location. The camp is surrounded by a stream
running in zigzag way within the area and fragrance of wild orchids, plants and
trees in seasonal flowers. And also sound of birds will get into fascinating
atmosphere. The Stream supplies an abundance of water for local residents and
provides a bathing place for elephants.
There is a opportunity to visit elephant village where you can learn and see the
Mahaut (elephant driver) communicate with their respective elephants how
instinctive and natural inborn tendency between elephants and human being.
The resort has seven bungalows comprising 14 standard double rooms equipped with
hot and cool water, electrical supply, 24 hours room service, restaurants,
laundry service, traditional massage on request, cafeteria and bar.