Indawgyi Lake in Myanmar’s Kachin State – the largest freshwater lake in the country and the third largest in South-east Asia – has been designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, the second in the country to get the recognition after Inle Lake in 2015.
Up till now, only the Phyu Ancient cities of Halin, Beikthano and Sri Ksetra are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a status given since 2014. Fourteen other sites in Myanmar, including Bagan and Mrauk U, are on the Tentative List.
Spanning an area of 133,715ha, the now Biosphere Reserve of Indawgyi Lake includes the lake and the surrounding wetlands and forest to a distance of about 15km.
Indawgyi Lake is home to more than 160 bird species – some of which are globally threatened – turtle species, endemic fish, mammals, reptiles and primates. Every year in the fall, migratory birds from as far as Siberia find solace around the area within Indawgyi Lake Wildlife Sanctuary.