Unesco added Inle Lake to a list of 651 biosphere reserves in 120 countries, stating that the designation is “one of the main international tools to develop and implement sustainable development approaches in a wide variety of contexts.”
The Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, with support from the Norwegian government and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), successfully nominated the site during an ongoing summit in Paris.
Biosphere reserves are “experimental sites” comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems, according to Unesco.
Located in Taunggyi District of Shan State, Inle Lake is known for its picturesque mountain views and cultural diversity. The area is home to a range of ethnic minority peoples, many practicing traditional methods of livelihood such as floating farms and the site’s signature leg-rowing fishing and transport methods.
According to Unesco, the ecosystem of the freshwater lake is home to 267 bird species and 43 species of freshwater fish, otters and turtles. It has also been reported that Inle could be a nesting place for the globally endangered Sarus crane.