The Ramsar Secretariat is very pleased to announce that Myanmar has deposited its instrument of accession with the Director-General of UNESCO as of 17 November 2004, and thus the Convention, as amended in 1982 and 987, will enter into force for Myanmar on 17 March 2005.
The new Party's first Wetland of International Importance is "Moyingyi Wetland Wildlife Sanctuary" (256 ha, 17°33'N 096°37'E), a state-owned area in Southern Bago comprising floodplain and a storage reservoir that is important for flood control. Some 15 villages with about 14,000 inhabitants are located in the surrounding area and depend upon the wetland for traditional fishing and water supply for paddy fields. A number of vulnerable and near-threatened bird species are supported. The Wild Bird Society of Japan has been assisting Myanmar's Nature and Wildlife Conservation Division with capacity building and research studies, and Japan's Ministry of Environment has worked with the Forest Department in inventorying the country's wetlands and preparing management plans. The Secretariat warmly welcomes Myanmar to the community of Ramsar nations. As of today, the Convention's 143 Contracting Parties have designated 1399 wetlands for the Ramsar List, covering 122,828,174 hectares. [16/12/04] It is such good news for 2004. Myanmar is a very important country for waterbird conservation in Asia. Needless to say the greatest contribution is from the Forest Department of Myanmar (particularly U Khin Maung Zaw and U Thein Aung, and U Uga), and the National Commission for Environmental Affairs of Myanmar. The projects were supported by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan.
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