The bill was drafted by the hluttaw Bill Committee, government agencies, civil society organisations and local MPs.
“This law is necessary for Inle Lake because no separate budget has been set aside for its conservation. It would allow the organisation to directly administer the lake and seek a budget from either the Myanmar government or the state government for conservation projects,” said U Aung Kyi Win of Save Inle Lake.
The law has nine chapters. Inle Lake’s administration group is chaired by the minister for Inn Ethnic Affairs, and comprises MPs from 10 wetland townships, chairs of self-administered regions, concerned departments and civil society organisations.
“I think we will wait till early 2020 to approve the bill. Some residents think enforcement of the law will make them feel uneasy. That is not true. We will approve the bill only after holding discussions with the public,” said U Khin Maung Win, MP for Nyaungshwe and a member of the administration group.
In a signature petition, 48 local civil society groups around the lake demanded that the state government approve the bill only after seeking public opinion, as those who live in wetland areas don’t know enough about the bill.
The event was attended by the state minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation, the minister for Inn Ethnic Affairs, the minister for Karen Ethnic Affairs, MPs for Nyaungshwe constituencies 1 and 2, state department officials, the Nyaungshwe administrator, and officials from Taunggyi, Kalaw, Pindaya, Yatsauk, Ywarngan, Hsi Hsaing, Pinlaung, Hpekon and Hopan.