China, India and Myanmar have finalised a joint programme for biodiversity management, climate change adaptation, cultural conservation and sustainable economic development in the Brahmaputra-Salween landscape of the eastern Himalayas, a landscape shared by the three countries.

Experts from the three countries gathered in Myanmar capital Nay Pyi Taw from 21 to 23 December to plan the transboundary management of the biologically rich Himalayan ecosystem. The consultation was organised jointly by the Myanmar Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

The Brahmaputra-Salween landscape comprises several remote but key protected areas in the eastern Himalayas, including Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve in China, Namdapha National Park in India (also a tiger reserve), and Hkakaborazi National Park in Myanmar. The area is home to a number of wildlife species of global importance such as takin, red panda, snub nosed monkey, Hollock gibbon and Namdapha flying squirrel, as well as many endemic flowering plants.

These species are distributed widely across the landscape. Therefore, noted David Molden, Director General of ICIMOD, “A regional approach is required to manage this mountain landscape, to enhance the livelihoods of the people living there, and to conserve its natural resources and ecosystem services for future generations.”

The consultation was inaugurated by U Win Tun, Minister for Environmental Conservation and Forestry, Myanmar. The participants drafted a programme framework whose highlights include collaborative and multidisciplinary research, regional capacity building, and policy and institutional support. Planned interventions will promote transboundary biodiversity management, cultural conservation, sustainable economic development, and enhanced ecosystem and socio-economic resilience in the Brahmaputra-Salween landscape, an ICIMOD spokesperson said.

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