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Natural Heritage Sites      

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Intangible Cultural Heritage

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Phase I

Time frame: 2012-2014

Funding source: Government of Norway / Nordic World Heritage Foundation

Executing agencies: UNESCO and Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF)

There is tremendous potential for the nomination of natural sites to World Heritage list as Myanmar is rich in marine and terrestrial biodiversity, contains important ecosystems, and has sites reflecting great aesthetic qualities, natural phenomena and geological processes. Nevertheless, an evitable growth of the country in terms of industry and urban development has posed its natural heritage under increasing threat.

An inaugural meeting for the project was held, attended by representatives from Norway, MOECAF and UNESCO. It brought together government agencies, relevant stakeholders as well as international experts. The meeting was a forum to discuss potential natural sites to be included on Myanmar’s World Heritage Tentative List. 

After the revision of the proposed Tentative List of natural sites, seven sites have been identified on a provisional basis through an IUCN study.

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Phase II

Time frame: Three years

Funding source:  Government of Norway

Partners:  Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, Myanmar National Committee on World Heritage, IUCN, Norwegian Environmental Agency

The phase II of the project “Safeguarding Natural Heritage in Myanmar within the World Heritage Framework” will continue to enhance Myanmar’s capacity to safeguard natural heritage within the international framework and standards of the World Heritage Convention. The project will support Myanmar to identify and nominate sites with potential Outstanding Universal Value as well as develop the required technical and institutional capacity to sustainably manage and develop the sites. 

Moreover, this project will contribute towards the accomplishment of the Global Strategy launched by the World Heritage Committee by promoting a representative, balanced and credible World Heritage List.

As a result of Phase I of the project, seven natural sites were identified and included in the Tentative List of Myanmar in 2014.

With the positive experience during the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee in 2014 of having Myanmar’s first cultural site inscribed in the World Heritage List, the Pyu Ancient Cities, Myanmar is interested to also nominate natural sites. World Heritage nomination in Myanmar is seen to be a strong tool to enhance protection for sites containing potential Outstanding Universal Value.

The project seeks to support Myanmar to nominate its first natural World Heritage Site. Additionally, UNESCO will work closely with MOECAF and other partners to upgrade management systems to meet international standards including tourism management and site monitoring which will strengthen natural capacity for the protection of the sites more broadly in the country.

In this sense, and with a view to long term sustainability of the project, efforts will be placed to raise awareness about World Heritage and build capacity among national and local stakeholders to respond to the effects of unsustainable natural resource use and development practices.

The foreseen activities for the project include:

  1. Consultations to raise awareness about World Heritage
  2. Preparation of World Heritage nomination dossier
  3. Review of management systems, statutory regulations, zoning plans and site demarcation
  4. Collection, assessment and enhancement of baseline data on biodiversity and ecosystems
  5. Development of management plans and associated measures
  6. Support to authorities to implement management actions
  7. Development and implementation of training programmes in heritage site management