Balance environment for living and non-living beings

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Mount Popa stands as an oasis amidst Central Myanmar’s arid lands, adorned with lush greenery and a diverse array of flora, including medicinal plants tracing back through successive eras. Embedded in the myths and oral traditions of locals, Mount Popa is believed to be a haven for those with supernatural abilities, hermits, and seekers of life’s essence.
Environmentalists rejoice as the government announces the establishment of the first national Geopark in Mount Popa Park, located in Kyaukpadaung Township of the Mandalay Region, on 20 March 2024. This declaration fills the local populace with pride, recognizing their region as a national geopark within the heart of central Myanmar.
The Geopark encompasses intangible cultural treasures ranging from geological marvels and biodiversity hotspots to ancient cultural heritage sites, social traditions, local products, and natural splendours. Preserving these invaluable assets requires systematic conservation efforts coupled with public awareness campaigns to safeguard these treasures. Consequently, the Geopark serves as a crucial site for sustainable development, ensuring that residents can reap the benefits of preserving these irreplaceable heritages.
Comprising 15 geological zones, the Mount Popa Geopark falls under the stewardship of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation. Their mandate involves safeguarding these areas to guarantee the long-term sustainability of natural resources and heritage sites through the establishment of conservation zones for biodiversity, ecosystem preservation, and maintaining geological integrity.
The establishment of Mount Popa National Geopark marks the initial stride towards enhanced conservation of natural resources. This precedent sets the stage for the creation of more geoparks across the nation, each blessed with abundant natural resources and rich cultural traditions, poised to become coveted tourist destinations for both domestic and international travellers.
With the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation aiming to designate 10 per cent of the nation’s total area as environmental conservation zones, efforts are underway to expand the conservation footprint. Presently, 59 natural environmental conservation areas cover 6.42 per cent of the nation’s territory. These endeavours also seek to position Mount Popa Geopark as a contender for inclusion in the World Geopark Sites roster.
Establishing geoparks across the nation not only showcases the country’s commitment to environmental conservation but also provides habitats for biodiversity and preserves cultural heritage, contributing to the delicate balance of the natural environment in Myanmar. If so, the geoparks will improve the climatic conditions of all parts of the nation.

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