Mr Joern Kristensen, the director and Myanmar representative of the Institute for International Development, said the president’s decision was a huge step forward towards efforts to preserve the environment of the lake, in southern Shan State.
Mr Kristensen said he had learned of the president’s backing for the creation of the Inle Lake Conservation Authority from the Minister of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, U Win Tun, on January 24.
The formation of a conservation authority to protect the lake’s environment was recommended in a report submitted to the government by the IDD in November 2012.
The report also outlined a range of measures aimed at minimizing the impact of tourism and development on the lake and the surrounding area.
Speaking to Mizzima on January 27, Mr Kristensen said many organizations had been involved in projects aimed at conserving the lake but a lack of coordination had been problematic.
“The formation of the Inle Lake Conservation Authority will enable information about the lake, such as water conditions and fish species, to be available in one place and all the organizations can cooperate,” he said.
Mr Kristensen said he hoped President U Thein Sein would also consider recommendations in the report to appoint government representatives, and to collaborate with the Shan State government and township authorities.
“It is important for preservation work to be able to negotiate among all the organizations,” Mr Kristensen said.
He said the IDD would assist with training programs to build human and technological capacity to protect the lake’s eco-system.