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Indawgyi Lake Becomes a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Indawgyi Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Myanmar and the third largest inland lake in Southeast Asia, has been granted the UNESCO recognition as a Biosphere Reserve. The designation becomes the second of its kind for Myanmar, after Inlay Lake situated in Shan State gained UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status for its ecological importance in 2015.

Located in Mohnyin Township in Kachin State of northern Myanmar, Indawgyi Lake is home to more than 160 bird species — some of which are globally threatened water birds—as well as turtle species, endemic fish, mammals, reptiles and primates. The Biosphere Reserve of Indawgyi Lake stretches over an area of 133,715 hectares, including the lake and the surrounding wetlands and forest to a distance of about 15 kilometres. Indawgyi Lake measures 13 kilometres east to west, and 24 kilometres north to south.

Myanmar may Use Drones for Mangroves Restoration

Myanmar could use drones to survey a large area in the country and rapidly plant the seeds of Mangrove trees in an effort to restore some of the vital plants to the region, according to the Thomson Reuters foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, the global news and information provider. Despite the importance of Mangroves that protect coastlines in the face of extreme weather as well as defending against rising sea levels and extreme weather, they are being destroyed at a rate three to five times higher than global deforestation, a 2014 UN report warned. Since 1980, Myanmar has lost approximately 2.4 million acres of mangroves, which provides a habitat for fish and shrimp and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere, while protecting residents and their livelihoods.

Drones could plant these trees 10 times faster than humans and cut costs by half. A single pilot operating six drones could plant up to 100,000 trees every day, according to British start-up BioCarbon Engineering.

Indian Prime Minister to Visit Myanmar

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi plans to make a visit to Myanmar on September 6 and 7, according to a post on the website of the Indian embassy in Myanmar. The visit will be Modi’s first trip to Myanmar less than three years after coming to the country’s capital Nay Pyi Taw in November 11-13, 2014 to attend the 12th ASEAN-India Summit and ninth East Asia Summit.

The visit is to be made just after the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit that will be held in Xiamen, China, from September 3 to 5. The trip will become Modi’s first bilateral visit to Myanmar since he was sworn in, after promising Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi during her visit to India in October as well as to Myanmar president Htin Kyaw in August.

Officials said during Modi’s visit, the two sides are expected to renew their long-standing commitment not to allow insurgent groups to use their soil for hostile activities against the other side, which is essential for prosperity of people settled along the border. Aung San Suu Kyi is also expected to raise the issue of recently announced restriction on beans and pulses imports from Myanmar.