‘eighty years of promoting biodiversity conservation through taxonomic research, scientific training and international networks’

Harrison Institute, Centre for Biodiversity Research

Recently, Harrison Institute Director, Paul Bates, conducted a series of meetings in Naypyitaw, Yangon and Mandalay relating to ideas for facilitating responsible tourism in Myanmar.

Amongst others, he met Dr Aung Myat Kyaw (centre) and other representatives of the Union of Myanmar Tourism Association (UMTA), see above.

Paul discussed with U Ohn (left), Chairman of the Myanmar environ-mental NGO, FREDA, the various concepts of developing partnerships between government, business, civil society, scientists and conservationists.

A team comprising the Harrison Institute, the University of Mandalay (led by Prof Mie Mie Sein, Head of Department of Zoology - see above) and a range of NGOs including FREDA, Grow Back for Posterity, the Myanmar Bird and Nature Society, supported by UMTA, have submitted a series of grant applications to help develop this programme.





Harrison Institute and responsible tourism in Myanmar

Paul Bates was very fortunate to discuss his ideas with His Excellency, the Union Minister for Hotels and Tourism, U Htay Aung, in Naypyitaw, the capital of Myanmar.

There was great interest in the idea of 'responsible tourism', as here in the offices of the Myanmar Bird and Nature Society (MBNS) in Yangon. Paul made a short presentation to the Society's Vice Chairman, Dr Thein Aung and colleagues.

If successfully implemented, 'responsible tourism' could lead to a more equitable and inclusive distribution of wealth, especially for the rural communities of Myanmar, a more sustainable use of the environment, more effective biodiversity conservation, and enhanced business opportunities for the tourism industry.

Responsible tourism is one of the themes that is repeatedly emphasised in the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism's recent publication 'Myanmar Tourism Master Plan, 2013-2020'.

It could also support many of the priorities highlighted in the 'Myanmar Biodiversity Conservation Vision, 2013' published by the Ministry for Foresty and Environmental Conservation.