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Myanmar moves to save scenic Chin mountain

Myat Moe Aung  The Myanmar Times Thu, Feb 20, 2020

Photo – Forest Department

CHIN STATE, Myanmar – The government has been asked to declare a new national park at scenic and biodiversity-rich Ciaring Tlang mountain, a Forest Department official said.

Located near Tikir village in Chin State’s Htantlang township, Ciaring Tlang covers about 7458.5 acres.

With evergreen forests and grassland, the mountain is home to 92 tree species, and 37 kinds of animals, such as tigers, bears, leopards and monkeys, among others, according to a department survey.

Ciaring Tlang is also home to 64 bird species, such as vultures and black drongo, the agency said.

“To be classified as a national park, we have submitted requests to several government agencies and ministries. We hope it will be declared a national park within this year. All its residents agree,” said U Zaw Min, deputy director of the department.

The proposal to declare the mountain and its surrounding areas a national park was submitted in January 2018. The original area covered 9387 acres but in consideration of residents’ farmland on the hills, the area was reduced to 6804.5 acres.

“To take care of the residents’ livelihoods,” he said, “we left out 918.5 acres for farms and another 10 acres for irrigation.”

U Zaw Min said the department allocated 654 acres as a breeding ground for gayal, a semi-domesticated ox.

Vice President U Henry Van Thio, who chairs the Myanmar Tourism Development Central Committee, recently inspected Ciaring Tlang and gave instructions to arrange trekking tours of the area and to encourage the breeding of gayals, which retain wild instincts and rarely mate in captivity. The animals mainly browse in forests, but if a salt lick is provided, they will return to a regular spot.

Ciaring Tlang mountain. Photo – Forest Department

U Zaw Min said they are also looking into the possibility of conducting scientific research and eco-tourism on the mountain.

“Chin State is the country’s least densely populated state. Chin people don’t rely on forests, so these wilderness areas are untouched,” U Zaw Min said.

Designating Ciaring Tlang a national park will bring many benefits by boosting tourism and biodiversity conservation, he said.

“Its natural beauty is unique. We can see rock and soil layers of earth and biodiversity. The area is situated on the mountainous border with India, which attracts great hornbills there for breeding,” U Zaw Min said.

Chin State has Natmataung National Park in Hakha township, which covers 176,202 acres; Kimo Mountain in Paletwa township, which covers 32,172 acres; and Bawipa National Park in Hakha which covers 43,530 acres.

The department also said it will designate national parks at Lay Thar Taung, also known as Kennedy Peak; Miepi; Zinghmuh M’htung; Sarhmwun Taung; and Hmone mountain.

As of April 2019, 44 natural conservation areas had been established in Myanmar, or 5.85 percent of the country’s land area.

They include Alaugdaw Kathapa National Park, Khakaborazi National Park, Nat Ma Taung National Park, Lampi Island Marine National Park, Inle Lake Wetland Sanctuary, Indawgyi Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, Mainmahla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary, and Htamanthi Wildlife Sanctuary.

https://www.mmtimes.com/news/myanmar-moves-save-scenic-chin-mountain.html

From: THE MYANMAR TIMES, MYANMAR Thu, Feb 20, 2020

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