Indawgyi Lake is Southeast Asia’s third-largest lake and the largest lake in Myanmar, with outstanding environmental and cultural value. The region supports the livelihoods of some 50,000 people and is highly biodiverse, home to a large number of mammal, waterbird, fish and reptile species.
Fauna & Flora has been working with local community groups as well as relevant government departments in the Indawgyi Lake basin to protect critically important wetlands and surrounding watershed forests. The first step was the international recognition of Indawgyi as a globally important wetland site under the Ramsar convention. Fauna & Flora also facilitated the process that led to Indawgyi being declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2017.
The main threats to Indawgyi Lake are unsustainable fisheries, deforestation due to unsustainable firewood collection and illegal timber extraction, habitat loss due to land encroachment in northern grassland, pollution caused by gold mining and the lack of waste management and sanitation, as well as the recent introduction of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the paddy fields surrounding the lake.