Member Type Country
The Department of Marine Science under the Ministry of Education is tasked with doing researches and managing both marine and coastal resources and environment especially on coral reef, seaweeds, seagrass bed and mangroves and fisheries as well. Researches on oceanography and marine and coastal resources have been regularly done by students and staffs for academic needs. Other researches collaborated with other agencies like NGO, INGO and CSO are also contributed.
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC) is responsible for policy and management within the area of Environment and Forestry at the national, regional and local level. Forest Department, a primary authority responsible for administering Reserved Forest Lands, is responsible for the protection and conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable management of forest resources in the country.
Ministry of Agriculture, Livelihoods and Irrigation (MOALI) is also another one which has mandate to conserve and manage marine environment including coral reefs. The Department of Fishery of MOALI is a key in working for conservation and management of marine and fish species.
Myanmar has a long coastline with more than 2800 km running from North to South of the country. Generally, the coastline is divided into three parts, the upper Rakhine Coast, the middle Ayeyarwady Coast and the lower Teninthayi Coast. The middle Ayeyarwady region and apart from it, Rakhine and Teninthayi Coast are well known for their richness of coral reefs. Myeik Archipelago is composed of more than 800 islands and also well known for its beautiful coral reefs. According to Marine Science’s survey, there are more than 500 species of corals has been recorded from the Myeik Archipelago. Like many other countries, coral reefs in Myanmar are facing the problem of degradation, especially by fishing and trading.
Surface of Coral Reefs: 1870 km2
Coral Reef Information from National Strategy and Action Plan for Mangroves for the Future in Myanmar
Coral reefs in Myanmar remain largely unexplored and the species diversity and health of this ecosystem is poorly known. An extrapolation of potential habitat area of coral reefs is suggested to be 187,000 ha (BOBLME, 2012). Rakhine and Tanintharyi coastal areas, in particular offshore island of Myeik Archipelago, are the most favourable grounds for both hard and soft corals. Recent studies suggest that Myanmar coral reefs have declined by over 56 %. The proximal cause of the ecological impoverishment is a combination of the effects of the 2010 mass bleaching event, contiguous with prolonged exposure to Malthusian fishing techniques (principally blast fishing, and illegally small-meshed fishing nets) and unregulated marine product resource extraction.
National Coastal Resources Management Committee: Forest Department, MONREC take responsibility of the secretariat of “National Coastal Resources Management Committee” with a total of 20 members including the ministers, permanent secretaries and director-general of the corresponding ministries, led by Vice President of the country. One of the focal members of ICRI, Dr Toe Aung is the secretariat of the committee and Marine Science Department participates as Advisory member.
Coral Conservation Club Myanmar: Coral research and conservation group from Marine science Department is recently organized the Coral Conservation Club Myanmar together with Forest Department, MONREC, Myanmar underwater Federation (MUF) and Myanmar Diver Centre (MDC).
MPA(s) with coral reefs:204.84
- Lampi Marine National Park: 50617.60 Ac (204.84 km2) – coral Reefs
- Meimahla Wildlife Sanctuary: 33776 Ac (136.69 km2) – mangroves and coastal forests
- Thamihla Wildlife Sanctuary: 217.60 Ac (0.88 km2) – mangroves and coastal forests
- Nant Tha Island and Mann Aung Island Marine Protected Area
Nga Yoke Kaung MPA (in process), Lower Rakhine Coast, Ayeyarwady Region
Thame Hla Island MPA (in process), Lower Rakhine Coast, Ayeyarwady Region
Pho Htaung Gyaing MPA (in process), Lower Rakhine Coast, Ayeyarwady Region
Myeik Archipelgos have been among the selected lists to propose UNESCO World Heritage Sites, where large extent of coral reefs exist, and lampi marine natinal park has been founded, and a dozen of marine national parks are selected to propose MPAs.
In May 2020, the submerged coral bed around near Nant Tha Island and Mann Aung Island Marine Protected Area has been unexpectedly exposed and become the hot news. Many of the local people come and see the beautiful corals. Local authorities are trying to conserve the coral reefs from destruction and trying to find out more about the problem of the sea-level drop or the continent rise in the area.
Last Updated: 5 October 2020