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Dr. Cherry Aung
Marine Science Department, Pathein University

Dr. Toe Aung
Assistant Director
Secretariat of National Coastal Resources Management Committee, Forest Department, Mnistry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation

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In Myanmar, there are three main departments of Marine Science such as Pathein University at Pathein, Mawlamyine University at Mawlamyine and Myeik University at Myeik. These three univsersities are located at the coastal regions/states of Myanmar, and among them, in particular, Marine Science Department at Pathien University is situated at Ayeayarwady Region. It was established in 2002 and providing B.Sc degree, B.Sc (Honours) and M.Sc degree.  There are 20 staffs in the department where teaching, research and training are the main activities of the department. The subjects delivered related to marine and coastal themes are Biological Oceanography, Chemical Oceanography, Physical Oceanography, and Geological Oceanography. The studies on Coral reefs, Seagrass, Seaweeds, Mangroves and other coastal resources are also in the lists.

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC) is the Myanmar Ministry responsible for policy and management within the area of Environment and Forestry at the national, regional and local level, and is part of the Myanmar Governmental Organization. MONREC is composed of two main sectors with more than 70,000 staff. 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. Moreover, the FD has more made strenuous efforts to expand marine protected areas, and now take the responsible of 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.

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. LMMA- locally managed marine area has been initiated to protect critical habitats of fish and marine animals, and to raise the awareness and participation of local people. The above-mentioned NCRMC led by Vice President is jointly collaborated by Forest Department of MONREC and Department of Fishery of MOALI. In that central platform for coastal resources conservation, the representatives from MONREC and MOALI remain core partners as secretaries.

Related websites:

Forest Department
Background Information

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 been declined 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.

MPA Information

MPA(s) with coral reefs:204.84

More Information:

1.   Lampi Marine National Park : 50617.60 Ac (204.84 km2) – coral Reefs

2.   Meimahla Wildlife Sanctuary : 33776 Ac  (136.69 km2) – mangroves and coastal forests

3.   Thamihla Wildlife Sancturary : 217.60 Ac  (0.88 km2) – mangroves and coastal forests

World Heritage Sites

Sites with Coral Reefs: 1

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.

Last Updated: 7 May 2020