Project final report

Towards a multidisciplinary program for improving rural livelihoods through integrated management of the Inle Lake catchment, Myanmar - final report

Date released
01 May 2015
Publication Code

Jennifer Bellamy, Roy Sidle, Julian Prior, Neal Menzies, Laura Wendling, Joern Kristensen and Ohn Win


Inle Lake is a place of significant ecological, social and cultural value. It is listed as an ASEAN Heritage site and on the Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.  The Lake and its catchments are a vital part of the economy of Shan State and the nation, providing many goods and services that support the diverse livelihoods of its agricultural, fisheries, forestry and tourism communities.  It also acts as the main water source for the Law Pi Ta hydroelectricity power plant.  About 90,000 people inhabit Inle Lake and its nearby environs, while 800,000 people inhabit its four catchments. Renown for a number of cultural and livelihood practices (floating gardens, weaving industry, traditional leg-rowed boats), the lake is one of the main tourism attractions in Myanmar, with over 300,000 international and domestic tourists visiting each year, providing a critical boost to the local and national economies. 

Over the last twenty five years, in seeking more sustainable futures to complex cross-sectoral and cross-cutting management issues, Australia has had a challenging but unique experience with linking policy, science and community through integrated approaches at a catchment or regional scale for enabling more sustainable resource use and economic development.  Many lessons have been learnt from the challenges faced.

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