From 23 to 25 March 2018 the Ambassador of Italy Pier Giorgio Aliberti visited Kawthaung and Lampi Marine National Park where the Italian NGO Istituto Oikos implemented the project “COAST - Building Local Capacity for Conservation and Tourism Development in Myeik Archipelago”, funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Lampi Marine National Park, located in the Myeik Archipelago, is the only Marine National Park of Myanmar. Istituto Oikos has been working for 10 years to promote the conservation of natural resources and the sustainable management of this Park. Thanks to the project COAST – promoted by Istituto Oikos and partially funded by Italy – local development, natural resources management and biodiversity conservation have been endorsed by supporting local authorities and involving local communities.
During the mission Ambassador Aliberti had meetings with local authorities and project stakeholders for a final evaluation of the activities implemented and the results achieved. Besides, Istituto Oikos presented the main results of the project: construction of park facilities, including a ranger house, a park office and a guesthouse; training for the Park’s staff; environmental monitoring tools and protocols for key species and a water distribution system for local communities.
This mission also gave the opportunity to discuss about the future plans for the area. The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation has just approved another project that will be carried out by Istituto Oikos: “STAR- Innovative Strategies for Environmental Conservation and Social Inclusion through the Development of a Responsible Ecotourism Model”. This initiative will promote responsible tourism in Kawthaung District through the active involvement of local authorities, communities and the private sector, thus confirming not only the sustainability of Istituto Oikos' interventions in Lampi and the wider Myeik Archipelago, but also the constant and fruitful cooperation between Italy and Myanmar in the development sector.