IMC signboards raise awareness for Fishing Free Zones and conservation activities at Indawgyi Lake before annual pagoda festival

In March 2013, before the annual Indawgyi Pagoda Festival, when people from all over the country travel to Indawgyi Lake, Inodo- Myanmar Conservation (IMC) erected 30 signboards near seven Fishing Free Zones (FFZs) established at the lake. During the 10 day long Indawgyi Pagoda festival Burmese visit the Shwe-myint-zu pagoda located in the middle of the lake in a FFZ while low water levels allow two sandbanks to emerge, making it easy for the pilgrims to walk from the bank to the Pagoda. However, the large number of visitors also increase the amount of rubbish in the lake and the protected FFZ near the pagoda.

Indawgyi lake is one of IMC's priority sites for conservation activities. Being the largest inland lake in Myanmar and one of the largest in Southeast Asia, with a water surface of 312km², Indawgyi Lake is geographically as well as culturally significant to the Burmese. The area has a high biological diversity with different ecosystems and species occurring in and around Indawgyi Lake. The sanctuary is an important breeding ground for birds and 97 species of waterfowl and provides habitat for 64 species of fish. In addition, the lake is only fed by a single stream that is an important migratory route for fish. The project objectives are to provide an educational opportunity for fishery families to understand the ecology and value of the Indawgyi wetland ecosystem and to adopt sustainable fishing practices as well as carrying out education activities about water pollution.

The signboards erected near the pagoda highlight the conservation activities of IMC and the local fishing communities in the valuable wetland area of Indawgyi Lake Wildlife Sanctuary (ILWS). The signs also highlight sustainable fishing practices and the need to reduce pollution, including disposing of litter in the water. In addition, 13 signboards were also placed in villages around the lake where the main livelihoods of agriculture fisheries are dependant on the lake and surrounding areas. These sigs provided awareness on fishing practises harmful to the ecosystem in the lake, such as electro-fishing which is an indiscriminate and damaging practice still used.

Press release by Khine Khine Swe


Above: Signboards were erected on the bank of Indawgyi Lake where thousands of pilgrims will walk along during the pagoda festival. More signs were set up near fishing villages around the lake.
Photo: Khine Khine Swe

Above: Shwe-myint-zu pagoda, located in a Fishing Free Zone in Indawgyi Lake
Photo: Khine Khine Swe


Thank you

We would like to thank the European Union fund for supporting this project.

For more information about Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary (ILWS) and our conservation activities at the site, please contact

Mrs. Khine Khine Swe - Indo-Myanmar Conservation (IMC)

No. 13, Building 22, Shwe-ohn-pin Housing, Yankin, Yangon